Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Ipswich Town: Quaner brace delights 1,400-strong travelling army and secures just the fourth win of Town’s season
Two first-half goals from Collin Quaner were enough as Ipswich secured just their fourth win of the season with a 2-1 success at Bolton.
The first was a header from a Luke Chambers cross while the second came from outside the box, as the Huddersfield man took a touch to turn before unleashing an effort which went in off the post.
An own goal at the death, as Josh Emmanuel deflected the ball towards his own goal where James Collins failed to clear off the line, denied Ipswich a clean sheet but the three points were secured.
This was just the seventh time this season the Blues had managed to score two goals in a game and the first time they had won when doing so – just their fourth success of a miserable campaign.
But it was no more than their performance deserved against a struggling Bolton side, who had missed two days of training this week while on strike.
It delighted a travelling army of more than 1,300 supporters, many of whom would have gone to bed last night not knowing whether or not the game was on due to IT problems at stricken Wanderers.
The victory of course means little in the Blues’ battle to beat the drop, with the gap to safety remaining at 13 points heading into Wednesday’s visit to Brentford. The Blues could be relegated at Griffin Park, although that would require Wigan, Millwall and Reading all to win and the Blues to fall to defeat.
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But that fate has been accepted for some time, especially by supporters, with the fans in attendance enjoying the opportunity to see their side claim three points.
Lambert made five changes to his side with the return of James Collins the headline, as the veteran defender came back into the side for the first time since the loss to Reading at the start of March.
He and captain Luke Chambers were tested early on by powerful striker Josh Magennis, with mixed results in what was otherwise a quiet opening 20 minutes.
The Blues has been the better side during that time, with Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop and Alan Judge finding time and space without being able to create chances for lone striker Collin Quaner.
After absorbing a spell of Wanderers pressure, the Blues were ahead when Chambers, still up following a corner, delivered an excellent cross from the right which Quaner did well to meet and head past Remi Matthews.
Town tails were up, with Judge stinging Matthews’ palms from inside the box and then continuing to pull the strings as he popped up all over the field.
It was soon two, as Quaner took a touch to move the ball out from under himself and fire in off the post from 25 yards.
Bolton looked to respond but had no answer before the break, at which point they were roundly booed by a home support which have been put through the mill during the course of the last week.
By contract, the Ipswich coaching staff shook the hands of each and every player as they left the field at the interval, but there was still a job to be done.
Ipswich had to dig deep in the second period, with Chambers in particular making a string of important clearances with his head as Bolton pushed for a way back into the game.
Bartosz Bialkowski did well to hold Erhun Oztumer’s shot at the second attempt but,, aside from a few balls into the box, that’s as close as Wanderers came to finding a route back into the game before the late own goal robbed Town of a clean sheet.
Bolton Wanderers: Matthews; Olkowski, Wheater, Beevers, Taylor (Oztumer 64); Connolly, Williams; Ameobi, O’Neil (Connell 41), Buckley (Noone 77); Magennis
Subs: Alnwick, Little, Wilson, Donaldson
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Emmanuel, Chambers. Collins, Kenlock; Skuse, Bishop (Downes 62), Dozzell (Chalobah 74); Edwards (Jackson 81), Judge; Quaner
Subs: Gerken, Bree, Nsiala, El Mizouni