Ipswich 1 Gillingham 0: Steady Teddy grabs a late winner as Town bounce back with victory
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Teddy Bishop produced a sublime finish with just four minutes left on the clock as Town bounced back from two successive defeats on the road with a 1-0 win over Gillingham at Portman Road tonight.
Bishop was in the right place, just outside the 18-yard box, to curl home Stephen Ward’s pull back to net his fourth goal of the season in the 86th minute. It was a fine finish and nothing more than Town deserved. They played some good football throughout and created the better chances.
However, they failed to supply the cutting edge on occasions and Gillingham almost nicked a point after hitting the post at the death.
But that would have been harsh on Town.
Paul Lambert made three changes to the team that lost 0-1 at Lincoln on Saturday.
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Both centre-halves were replaced, with Luke Woolfenden and Mark McGuinness coming in for James Wilson and Toto Nsiala, while the suspended Jon Nolan, who was serving the first of a three game ban after his late red card at Sincil Bank, was replaced by Freddie Sears.
The heavy rain of the day had stopped falling by kick-off and it was a dry and cold evening at Portman Road.
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Gillingham won an early corner after Rob McKenzie’s shot was deflected by McGuinness. That was cleared easily and the early exchanges were pretty even.
Jack Lankester, playing in the No.10 role, slid a lovely ball into Sears, who took the ball on and saw his shot from 20 yards deflected, the resultant corner hooked clear at the near post.
Twelve minutes in Gills’ John Akinde won a free-kick 30 yards out which Town cleared and Gwion Edwards broke at speed, but the attack came to nothing.
Andre Dozzell was seeing plenty of the ball, as Sears won a free-kick in a dangerous position 18 yards out and central. Dozzell took it and curled his shot just wide.
On 20 minutes Town had the ball in the net when a high-bouncing through ball saw Gills defender Jack Tucker collide with his keeper Jack Bonham with Sears in close attendance. The ball was spilled by Bonham as he fell and Sears tapped it home - but referee Antony Coggins gave a free-kick against the Town striker.
Four minutes later Town almost took the lead. A flowing move saw Sears play the ball out to Stephen Ward. His cross caused confusion and Lankester thumped against the bar eight yards out. It was the closest either side had come to opening the scoring.
Alex Macdonald was booked for a clattering challenge on Edwards and it was Ipswich who were enjoying plenty of possession.
Bonham was still struggling after his clash with Sears and Tucker and substitute ‘keeper Joe Walsh replaced him after 33 minutes. With his first touch Walsh made a mistake, picking up a back pass! It saw Town with an indirect free-kick just in the box that Sears fired wide.
Edwards’ deflected cross was cleared and two minutes later Edwards crossed again, Sears running in 12 yards out and shooting but the ball was narrowly deflected wide. Town were on top and knocking the ball around nicely but couldn’t apply that killer touch.
The half ended with Lankester shooting wide.
Gillingham had an early chance at the start of the second half as McGuinness gave away a free-kick 24 yards out and central, but former Town loanee Jordan Graham blazed over.
A rampaging run from Akinde down the left of the Town defence saw his low cross scrambled clear as Teddy Bishop’s run and shot was easily saved. Dozzell was booked for a heavy challenge on Dominic Samuel.
Gillingham were proving much more threatening in this half and Chambers came to Town’s rescue clearing off the six-yard line after Macdonald had a great chance all alone at the back post.
Graham put in two dangerous crosses in the space of 30 seconds, the second saw Tucker’s header saved easily by Tomas Holy in the home goal.
Bishop’s fierce drive from Dozzell’s quick free-kick won a corner after Walsh saved and it was Bishop once more whose driving run saw him tackled in the area, the ball falling to Woolfenden who put his effort just wide, nine yards out. It was a good chance for the Blues.
In the 67th minute Holy saved from Zech Medley as the game ebbed and flowed - with Sears then replaced by Armando Dobra.
Town looked destined to score minutes later as Hawkins got to the by-line and crossed to the on-rushing Edwards five yards out. But Ryan Jackson produced a wonderful covering tackle to smother the ball away. McGuinness headed over from a corner and Scott Robertson replaced Jackson, as Emyr Huws replaced Lankester.
Samuel broke clear but Town got back to cover as the game came to a frantic conclusion.
Edwards broke at speed but his cross evaded everyone and moments later Edwards’ shot brought a save from Walsh. Huws headed wide from a corner on 84 minutes
The game looked to be drifting to a draw before Chambers crossfield pass found Edwards, he played it to Ward who cut the ball back and Bishop supplied the finish.
There was still time for Gills’ substitute Vadaine Oliver to head Graham’s free kick against the Town post. But Town held firm.
Next up for Town is another home clash, with Crewe on Saturday at Portman Road.
Ipswich Town: Holy; Chambers, Woolfenden, McGuinness. Ward; Dozzell, Bishop (Bennetts, 90), Lankester (Huws, 76); Edwards, Sears (Dobra, 68), Hawkins
Subs: Cornell, Nsiala, Kenlock, Simpson
Gillingham: Bonham (Walsh, 33), Jackson (Robertson, 76), Tucker, Medley, Dempsey (Oliver, 90), Samuel, Graham, McKenzie, Akinde, Macdonald, Maghoma.
Subs: Willock, Coyle, Eccles, Woods