Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Ipswich Town: Blues miss chance to end a positive week on a high
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Ipswich Town missed the chance to narrow the gap to safety as two second-half goals cost them in this afternoon’s loss at Blackburn.
While the Blues had lived dangerously at times in a game which lacked quality for long periods, they would have seen this as an opportunity to claim vital points as the game remained scoreless at the hour mark.
But that all changed when Callum Elder clipped the heels of Rovers winger Adam Armstrong, allowing Danny Graham to send Dean Gerken the wrong way from the spot.
The game was effectively up less than 10 minutes later, when Joe Nuttall had the easiest of finishes as he tucked home Armstrong’s cross with his first touch after coming on as a substitute.
Defeats for Rotherham and Reading mean the picture inside the bottom four remains the same, with Ipswich seven points from safety, while Bolton host West Brom on Monday.
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The only change to Lambert’s side saw Judge come in for his Ipswich debut in place of Jack Lankester, and the Irishman was involved early as he looked to get on the ball and move the Blues forward.
The visitors were quickly on the back foot, though, and were lucky to avoid disaster when Skuse turned into trouble 25 yards out and was stripped of possession by Bradley Dack. The ball then found its way to Danny Graham, but Skuse and Luke Chambers managed to get back to block.
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Dack then split the Ipswich defence with a sublime ball which Elliott Bennett could only fire over, before an even bigger let off when Corry Evans’ shot from a partially-cleared corner trundled through a mass of bodies before bouncing kindly back into Dean Gerken’s arms off the post.
The Blues continued to live dangerously as Dack lobbed a ball over Gerken, which James Collins got back to to clear, before another Rovers attack ended with the Ipswich goalkeeper pushing Adam Armstrong’s shot round the post.
Then the big Ipswich chance of the half as a long ball over the top saw Will Keane just about reach it to round goalkeeper David Raya, but the forward had taken himself wide and had little support as he was crowded out when looking to provide a killer cross.
Ipswich then survived a succession of corners before they were saved by the half-time whistle before both sides contributed to a scrappy start to the second period.
But it was Ipswich who buckled first, with two goals in less then 10 minutes effectively ending the game as a contest.
First Graham netted from the spot after Callum Elder conceded a penalty by clipping Adam Armstrong’s heels, before the latter got in behind the Ipswich defence to square and give substitute Nuttall the easiest of finishes as he scored with his first touch.
Gerken’s superb save from Joe Rothwell kept the score down and, while Teddy Bishop had an effort blocked behind, Ipswich showed little threat of getting back into the game before the full-time whistle went.
Blackburn Rovers: Raya, Bennett, Lenihan, Rodwell, Bell; Reed (Rothwell 46), Evans (Smallwood 82), Travis, Armstrong; Dack, Graham (Nuttall 73)
Subs: Leutwiler, Nyambe, Brereton, Conway
Ipswich Town: Gerken; Pennington, Chambers, Collins, Elder; Chalobah, Skuse; Judge, Keane, Sears (Bishop 82); Quaner (Lankester 66)
Subs: Bialkowski, Nsiala, Kenlock, Downes, Dawkins
Attendance: 12,762 (562 Ipswich fans)