Blackpool 1-4 Ipswich Town: Blues back on top as first-half blitz secures excellent three points
A first-half blitz was enough for Ipswich Town as Paul Lambert’s men secured all three points at Blackpool.
Luke Chambers, Gwion Edwards and Teddy Bishop all scored good goals inside the opening period to put the visitors in control of the contest, with the Blues ruthless during 45 minutes as they took three of their four chances to lead a clash otherwise lacking in quality.
Gary Madine induced some nerves when he got his side up and running with a scrambled effort on the hour, but Town stood firm under pressure and completed the job with 10 minutes to go as Chambers fed Edwards superbly for the Welshman to lash home number four and secure an excellent away victory.
With Hull (4-1 at Fleetwood) and Lincoln (2-1 at home to Bristol Rovers) both losing their 100% records this weekend, the Blues are back on top of the League One and are now one of two unbeaten sides in the third tier alongside Sunderland.
Lambert made three changes to his league side, two of them enforced as Myles Kenlock replaced Stephen Ward (Achilles) and Emyr Huws came in for Jon Nolan, who dropped out with a calf injury.
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The other change saw Alan Judge come into the side in place of Freddie Sears, but the Irishman saw little of the ball in the opening exchanges as both sides traded blows in a game of wind-assisted head tennis.
That pattern continued, with brief interludes, for the first 15 minutes before former Blue Luke Garbutt took aim from 30 yards but fired well over the top of the bar.
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But then, with the first real piece of quality in the game, Town took the lead. Dozzell started the move off with a pinpoint ball into the feet of Hawkins which the Blues then moved left for Edwards. The Welshman beat Jordan Gabriel all ends up and delivered a cross which, though behind the Ipswich attackers, sat up enticingly for Chambers who did superbly well to keep his shot down and arc it into the back of the net from just inside the box.
Town were on the up and pushing for more but, when Judge’s corner was caught well by Chris Maxwell and released downfield quickly, the defenders had to storm back and would have been grateful to see Jerry Yates head over the top from CJ Hamilton’s good cross as Blackpool broke.
Chambers’ goal had illuminated an otherwise drab affair, battled in the air, before the Blues produced an incisive break to add to their advantage.
It was born as Kenlock and Edwards hunted as a pack to win the ball back, high up the left wing, with Kenlock driving inside for the ball to fall to Bishop, who played an excellent pass for Edwards to cut inside and do the rest.
It was the Welshman’s third goal of the season and he was soon joined again at the top of the Town scoring charts by Bishop who, after Keshi Anderson slipped under pressure from Alan Judge, picked up possession, teased the Blackpool defence and curled a left-footed effort into Maxwell’s bottom right corner.
Town were three up at the break and cruising, with Lambert’s men doing well to keep their hosts quiet during the opening 10 minutes of the second period, as Neil Critchley sent his men out all guns blazing in a bid to get back into the game.
But, after Kayden Jackson replaced Hawkins, Blackpool got themselves going as Jordan Gabriel’s cross ultimately fell to the feet of Madine, who lashed home with Town keeper Holy on the deck.
From nowhere, nerves began to creep in but, despite some difficult moments and increasing pressure, Ipswich continued to stand firm at the back.
Madine couldn’t quite reach Gabriel’s cross as the ball flew across the box but all nerves were lifted with 10 minutes remaining as Edwards collected Chambers’ beautiful crossfield ball to finish well again as he cut inside.
Town travel back to Suffolk with the points secure, ahead of Accrington Stanley’s visit next weekend.
Blackpool: Maxwell; Gabriel, Ekpiteta, Turton, Garbutt; Ward, Robson, Anderson (Williams, 76); Hamilton, Yates, Madine
Subs: Sims, Thorniley, Mitchell, Kemp, Antwi, Lubala
Ipswich Town: Holy; Chambers, Wilson, Nsiala, Kenlock; Dozzell, Huws, Bishop (Bennetts, 68); Judge, Edwards, Hawkins (Jackson, 57))
Subs: Cornell, McGuinness, Woolfenden, Lankester, Sears