Bolton Wanderers 0-5 Ipswich Town: Blues run riot against young Trotters to move top of League One
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Ipswich Town ran out comfortable winners against a young Bolton side this afternoon to secure a victory which took Paul Lambert’s side top of League One for the first time.
James Norwood and Kayden Jackson both scored twice, with Gwion Edwards grabbing the other Ipswich goal on an afternoon where the result was never really in doubt.
In truth the score could have been approaching double digits, were it not for a string of good saves from goalkeeper Remi Matthews as chances went missing for the visitors. They had a total of 29 shots on goal during this game.
The Town starting XI had an average age of 27 compared to 20 for the young hosts, with only goalkeeper Matthews, captain Jason Lowe and midfielder Luke Murphy boasting real senior appearance. They are also without a permanent manager following the departure of Phil Parkinson this week.
But gap in experience and quality showed throughout, with Ipswich comfortable as they got the job done having entered the game as heavy favourites.
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The three points take Paul Lambert's men top of the table as they maintained an unbeaten start, with the Blues sitting ahead of Blackpool, Coventry and Sunderland on goal difference.
Lambert made five changes from the one which started Tuesday's victory over AFC Wimbledon, for a game played in a subdued atmosphere and just 5,000 home supporters.
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And the Blues started well, with Kane Vincent-Young enjoying the early moments of his Ipswich career as he was released down the right flank when looking to overlap Gwion Edwards.
The new signing from Colchester was the maker of Town's first opportunity of the game as he got forward well once again to fizz in a low cross which Norwood toed wide and off the boot of the waiting Kayden Jackson.
Norwood's first opportunity of the afternoon came and went as his left-footed shot was pushed away by Matthews, after he was played in by Edwards, but he was on the scoresheet soon enough.
It came from the spot after Harry Brockbank was adjudged to have handled Cole Skuse's scooped pass, with Norwood stepping up and blasting down the middle to make amends for his miss at Peterborough a week ago.
The striker's next effort was stopped by the legs of Matthews before he lashed his fifth chance of the afternoon over the bar, letting out a roar of frustration as he did so.
Alan Judge scuffed and then dragged efforts wide of the post before the half was out, with Town lucky Vincent-Young was on hand to cover and clear after Myles Kenlock's slip allowed Callum King-Harmes space to cross.
The first chance of the second period saw Luke Chambers force a smart stop from Matthews, as he met Judge's corner before Town's second arrived.
Skuse's pass freed Norwood as the striker forced another save from Matthews, but Edwards was there to gobble up the rebound as he fired home from the edge of the box.
Number three put the game beyond doubt as James Wilson's hooked ball back into the penalty area was flicked on by Norwood, with Edwards and Jackson converging on the line for the striker to tap home.
Jackson fired home the fourth after Norwood held off his man to allow a long ball to bounce through to his striker partner, before Norwood grabbed his second as he kept his composure to convert a pinpoint Alan Judge cross.
Norwood then departed, having had a hand in all five goals, before both sides played out the final few minutes.
Next up for the Blues is a home clash with Shrewsbury next Saturday.