Ipswich Town 1-0 Wigan Athletic: Sears goal wins at as Blues survive nervy finish
PUBLISHED: 16:57 15 December 2018 | UPDATED: 21:24 15 December 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
It wasn’t pretty, but Freddie Sears’ deflected goal was enough to secure Ipswich Town’s first home win since April this afternoon.
The striker turned and shot through traffic after 67 minutes of an ugly encounter, played in driving wind and rain, with his effort flicking off a defender before finding the net.
Ipswich had lived dangerously for much of the second half, giving away a string of free-kicks on the edge of their box and surviving as Reece James struck the bar. But they just about hung on following a nervy finish.
It was only the Blues’ third home win this calendar year and ensures Paul Lambert’s men have narrowed the gap to safety to five points, following results elsewhere.
Lambert named an unchanged side for his fourth outing at Portman Road, with his players setting off on the front foot before Jordan Roberts won an early corner before Flynn Downes delivery was cleared.
Jonas Knudsen had the first effort on goal of any note, with the Dane’s effort at the back post bundled wide following good work from Nolan and Lankester.
Roberts’ best work was coming out wide, with his balls into the box teasing but unable to hit an Ipswich attacker, but the back door was left ajar time and again as Windass first dragged a shot wide before being unable to connect with Reece James’ excellent cross.
As Lambert and assistant Stuart Taylor tried to get their players going from the touchline, Roberts’ flick on put Sears in on goal, but the forward was only able to drive an effort over the top.
The teams were locked at 0-0 at the break and continued to cancel each other out until the hour mark, when Town were lucky to survive again as full-back Reece James’s effort rattled Dean Gerken’s crossbar.
Then, the moment which sent Portman Road wild as Chalobah’s long ball into the box was headed up in the air by a Wigan defender, bringing a moment of chaos as Roberts and Nolan both attempted to move it towards goal. It fell to Sears who turned and shot, with his effort deflecting past goalkeeper Walton.
James and Gary Roberts both missed the target with free-kicks from the edge of the box as nervy Ipswich lived dangerously after taking the lead.
Gerken had to save from a James free-kick and was able to pounce on the ball following penalty area pinball which followed later, before seven minutes of added time was put up by the fourth official.
The Blues just about survived before an outpouring of relief both on the pitch and in the stands.
Ipswich Town: Gerken; Spence, Chambers, Pennington, Knudsen; Chalobah, Downes (Dozzell 72), Nolan; Lankester (Edwards 62), Sears, Roberts (Jackson 90)
Subs: Bialkowski, Nsiala, Kenlock, Bishop
Wigan Athletic: Walton; James, Kipre, Burn, Connolly; Evans, Morsy; Byrne (McManaman 81), Windass (Garner 71), Roberts. Grigg (Vaughan 61)
Subs: Jones, Dunkley, Gibson, Massey,
Attendance: 14,640 (310 from Wigan)