Gillingham 0-1 Ipswich Town: Lambert's men go top of the league again thanks to Vincent-Young winner
PUBLISHED: 17:06 21 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:54 21 September 2019
Ipswich Town extended their unbeaten league start to nine games as Kane Vincent-Young's headed effort secured all three points at Gillingham this afternoon.
The full-back was just a few yards from goal when he headed home a sumptuous Kayden Jackson cross, finishing a team move which started at the back and worked through the thirds before the ball ended up in the net.
It wasn't always pretty, but the Blues did enough to come out of an often scrappy game and reclaim their position at the top of League One.
A backs to the walls defensive effort was required to secure Tuesday night's 1-0 win in Milton Keynes and, while things were not as desperate on this occasion as time ticked down, the Blues did need to dig deep to ensure a fifth-successive clean sheet.
The Blues had been cheered on by another sold out away end in Kent, with the 2,000 Ipswich fans inside Priestfield hailing their side at the final whistle as manager Paul Lambert and his players took their acclaim.
Next up for the Blues is a visit from Tranmere Rovers next weekend.
The wing back system abandoned after 90 seconds at MK Dons on Tuesday night was given another outing in this game, with Lambert making four changes to his side.
Luke Woolfenden came back into the side as the right of three central defenders alongside Luke Chambers and James Wilson, while Gwion Edwards returned as the left wing-back.
Andre Dozzell was in at the tip of the midfield while Alan Judge started as a second striker alongside Kayden Jackson.
The make-up of the Ipswich side meant they needed to keep the ball on the turf to utilise the ball-playing ability of Judge and Dozzell, as well as the pace of Jackson, but they struggled to do so in the early stages of the game as the hosts enjoyed the better of the play.
Gillingham were the first of the two sides to cause trouble as Oliver Lee scuffed a shot wide from the edge of the box after Chambers had failed to clear convincingly.
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There was nothing scuffed about Tom O'Connor's effort from 25 yards as he fizzed an excellent volley just over the top, with the shot clipping the top of the net and tricking sections of the home support into thinking they were ahead.
Ipswich were beginning to find their feet and tested Jack Bonham for the first time as a low effort from Edwards stuck to the goalkeeper's hands, before they ultimately took the lead with a goal of the highest quality.
It started at the back as the Ipswich defenders played their way forward into midfield, with Flynn Downes and Andre Dozzell exchanging a succession of crisp passes with Cole Skuse and working the baclk wide for Jackson to deliver a sublime cross which Vincent-Young attacked to head home.
The Blues were perhaps lucky to lead at the break, where Jon Nolan replaced Downes, with Tuesday's goalscorer helping his side keep the ball well at the start of the second period.
Mark Byrne's curled effort was easy for Tomas Holy to hold, as the hosts built pressure, with Wilson clearing on a number of occasions before Brandon Hanlon headed wide from former Ipswich loanee Ben Pringle's corner.
The hosts' biggest chance of the game to date saw top-scorer Alex Jakubiak played through the middle after Nolan's attempted tackle in midfield broke kindly, but skipper Chambers got back and made an excellent block tackle to keep the clean sheet intact.
In what was becoming an end-to-end contest, Judge rattled the inside of the post from just outside the box before Nolan's right-footed effort stung the palms of Bonham, as Lambert's men looked for a second goal.
Cole Skuse tried his luck, lashing over from 30 yards before Wilson and Chambers both produced good clearances as Gills attacked in search of a point.
The introduction of substitute James Norwood gave Ipswich a focal point in the final third as they looked to keep the ball in opposition territory, which they ultimately did well to reclaim their position at the top of the table.
Gillingham: Bonham, Fuller, Ogilvie, Ehmer, O'Connor (Hodson 48); O'Keefe, Byrne, Lee; Tucker (Pringle 53) Hanlan, Jakubiak (Mandron 69)
Subs: Walsh, Hodson, Ndjoli, Charles,-Cook, Cisse
Ipswich Town: Holy; Woolfenden, Chambers, Wilson; Vincent-Young, Skuse, Downes (Nolan, 46), Edwards; Dozzell (Huw 65) Judge, Jackson (Norwood, 76)
Subs: Norris, Garbutt, Georgiou, Keane