Ipswich Town 0-1 Coventry City: Lambert’s Blues show spirit but can’t avoid defeat at home to League One leaders
PUBLISHED: 16:54 07 March 2020 | UPDATED: 19:39 07 March 2020
Ipswich Town put in a spirited display but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat at home to league-leaders Coventry City.
Matt Godden scored the only goal of this game on 16 minutes as he spun his way through the Ipswich defence before finding the bottom corner with an excellent finish but, by the end of the contest, it was Ipswich who had had the better of the play.
Sadly, though, for all their good football, desire and some bright openings, you never truly felt they had the attacking threat to find a way back into the contest against a side who could well be celebrating promotion to the Championship in just a few weeks.
But Paul Lambert's players deserve great credit for the character they showed after falling behind once again, just a few days on from a home loss to Fleetwood in which many failed to cope with a difficult atmosphere inside Portman Road.
The defeat sees Ipswich drop to 10th in the League One table, seven points off the play-offs with many of those above them still holding two games in hand.
Just as he did for the clash with Fleetwood on Tuesday evening, Lambert made six changes to his side for the visit of the league leaders.
They came in all areas of the field, with Will Norris returning in goal, Luke Woolfenden coming into the back line, Gwion Edwards going in at right-back, Cole Skuse coming into midfield and Teddy Bishop and Freddie Sears forming part of a three-man forward line.
The Blues were without Will Keane after the striker picked up a groin injury, leaving Sears to play through the middle alone, but the first Ipswich attack came down the right flank as Edwards played Jon Nolan in. The former Shrewsbury man skipped inside and went down under the challenge of Kyle McFadzean but saw his appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Trevor Kettle.
In the lead-up to the game Lambert had asked the fans to back his players, after the Fleetwood game was played out in front of a fractious atmosphere, and the Town fans responded as they encouraged their side despite some passes going astray during the early exchanges.
But the hosts were soon behind. Nolan lost the ball in midfield and from there Liam Walsh was able to drive towards goal and slip Godden in, with the striker slotting his shot past Norris for his 15th of the season and his fourth in as many games.
Ipswich kept trying to play the ball around but weren't able to make it stick in the final third in any kind of meaningful way, with their best chance of making something happen always like to be passes dissecting the defence.
A golden chance appeared in that manner as Judge played a long ball over the top finding Nolan in acres of space. The ball dropped from on high between him and the goalkeeper with the Ipswich midfielder hesitating before heading it harmlessly into Marko Marosi's hands.
The Blues had reacted well to going behind and had the better of the play heading into the half-time break, prior to which goalkeeper Norris was show a yellow card after confronting referee Kettle on the way off the pitch.
Lambert's men started the second period on the front foot, too, with Skuse nearly threading Sears, before Fankay Dabo's good cross from the right skipped past Chambers' out-stretched leg and was fired over the top by Godden. It should really have been 2-0.
Ipswich continued to push, without overly testing Marko Marosi in the Coventry goal, before Luke Garbutt was forced off with what looked like a groin injury and was replaced by Josh Earl.
Lambert's first attacking change saw Tyreece Simpson enter the game in place of Sears before Armando Dobra replaced Bishop, but despite some promising moments there was to be no equaliser.
Ipswich Town: Norris; Edwards, Chambers, Woolfenden, Garbutt (Earl 64); Skuse, Dozzell, Nolan; Bishop (Dobra, 74), Judge, Sears (Simpson 68)
Subs: Holy, Wilson, Huws, Morris
Coventry City: Marosi; Rose, Hyam, McFadzean; Dabo, Kelly, Walsh, McCallum; Allen (Shipley, 68), O'Hare (Westbrooke, 85), Godden
Subs: Wilson, Pask, Giles, Pask, Biamou
Att: 18,825 (1,740)