Ipswich Town lost 2-0 at West Brom in a Championship match last night. Stuart Watson reflects on the action.

East Anglian Daily Times: Darnell Furlong heads West Brom into an early lead against Ipswich Town.Darnell Furlong heads West Brom into an early lead against Ipswich Town. (Image: PA)


Morgan Whittaker scored after seven minutes for Plymouth. Harry Wilson scored after nine minutes for Fulham. Jay Stansfield scored after 13 minutes for Birmingham. Sam Nombe scored after four minutes for Rotherham. Jay Fulton scored after nine minutes for Swansea.

Ipswich, for the sixth successive game, went behind early on when Darnell Furlong met a corner delivery beyond the near post and sent a glancing header into the net. A combination of Nathan Broadhead getting caught napping and not having anyone on the far post made it a poor goal to concede. In truth, the Blues were fortunate that Jed Wallace's dangerous low cross wasn't converted by Brandon Thomas-Asante seconds prior.

"We're aware of it, but we're not obsessing over it," said McKenna, when quizzed about this recurring theme of going behind.

"I've been here for two years and this hasn't been an issue for us until quite recently. I actually thought we started with a good energy, I liked the feel of us in the first couple of minutes, but the first corner we had to defend we didn't defend. We'll reflect on that.

"We've been strong on set plays this season. I don't think we'd conceded one, possibly, up until Rotherham. Now we've conceded a set play against Rotherham, an early set play against Swansea and an early set play in this one. It's not like we're being battered at the start of games with chances, we've just got to defend set play moments better."

East Anglian Daily Times: Wes Burns is well off target at The Hawthorns.Wes Burns is well off target at The Hawthorns. (Image: Pagepix Ltd)


Town managed to ride out the inevitable spell of post-goal pressure, take the sting out of the home crowd and find a foothold in the game. The remainder of the first period was fairly even.

The Blues, sadly, just lacked a bit of composure when it mattered most. Jack Taylor lifted a shot over when Leif Davis cut a low corner back to him in the box. Nathan Broadhead tried a cute pass in the box rather than taking on a shot. Wes Burns slashed at a shot following Conor Chaplin's clever headed pass and then, next time space opened up in the box, opted to pass rather than shoot. 

West Brom, meanwhile, were looking dangerous down the flanks. The lively Jed Wallace was often exploiting the space vacated by the highly-positioned Leif Davis. 

Come the interval the game was finely poised. The next goal looked crucial.

East Anglian Daily Times: West Brom players celebrate after going 2-0 up against Ipswich early in the second half.West Brom players celebrate after going 2-0 up against Ipswich early in the second half. (Image: Pagepix)


Town burst out the blocks at the start of the second half. Sam Morsy's teasing ball into the box forced a corner and a roar went up from the away fans behind that goal.

Seconds later, however, and Ipswich were 2-0 down. A delivery from the left was half-cleared, Morsy's follow-up shot was blocked and one straight pass out the back set up a Baggies counter-attack. After Wallace's driving run and Thomas-Asante's pass, Grady Diangana produced a precise side-footed finish in off the post.

Would Ipswich have turned the tide without that goal going in? We'll never know. 

"That goal set the whole context, feel and flow of the second half," said McKenna. He's right.

West Brom should have made it 3-0 when Matt Phillips missed a sitter from close-range. Ipswich ended the game without having been able to produce a single shot on target. A comeback never looked likely. The 'oles' started up towards the end as the Baggies cruised to victory.

East Anglian Daily Times: Luke Woolfenden applauds the travelling fans at West Brom.Luke Woolfenden applauds the travelling fans at West Brom. (Image: Pagepix Ltd)


Town's attack was undoubtedly off colour. But you also have to recognise that West Brom are a physically strong, well-organised, experienced side who managed the game expertly.

They've lost just two of their last 24 home games under meticulous manager Carlos Corberan now. They're up to fifth after winning six of their last nine. Their team contained six players with decent Premier League experience.

There's no shame in this result. Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and say the better team on the day won.

Ipswich are, let's not forget, a newly-promoted side.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna hugs captain Sam Morsy following a 2-0 loss at West Brom.Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna hugs captain Sam Morsy following a 2-0 loss at West Brom. (Image: Pagepix Ltd)


This was only the third league defeat of 2023.

It's the first time since a 0-0 draw at Bristol Rovers, back on Valentine's Day, that Town have failed to score.

It's the first time, remarkably, the Blues have lost by a two-goal margin in the league since going down 2-0 at Bolton way back in January 2022 during the early stages of McKenna's management.

This game was the Northern Irishman's 100th game in charge. His record reads: W58 D27 L15. Very few teams are as relentlessly competitive week-in, week-out.

Leeds and Southampton dropping points at Rotherham and Huddersfield respectively this weekend softens the blow of a rare defeat and provides a further reminder of how competitive this division is.

I've not got my head in the sand. Have the Blues fallen a little below their self-set very high standards in a number of games recently? Without wanting to massively overplay that, yes, I think they have. Are they conceding too many goals? Absolutely. You can't keep letting in two or more a game (that's happened 12 times now this season) and forever get away with it. A combination of those two things has seen the fine margins start to tip the other way with a few results.

This group has surely earnt all our trust, belief and unwavering support though. Back-to-back home games - Millwall on Wednesday and Coventry on Saturday - provide an opportunity to show that. Together stronger. Onto the next one.