Ipswich Town 0-2 Charlton Athletic: Flat Blues slump to another home loss as Addicks take points

Liam Gibbs in action during the game against Charlton Athletic.
Picture: Steve Waller
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Liam Gibbs in action during the game against Charlton Athletic. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town suffered another defeat against a League One promotion contender this afternoon as they were beaten by Charlton Athletic at Portman Road.

Albie Morgan (left of frame) wheels away after giving the visitors a first half lead.
Picture: Steve Waller...

Albie Morgan (left of frame) wheels away after giving the visitors a first half lead. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

In a week where the pressure has increased on manager Paul Lambert, with a fans group calling for his exit by fixing a banner to the gates of the club’s training ground, the Scot’s side again failed to mix it with a side at the top end of the division.

There was a slight improvement from the 3-0 loss to Hull on Tuesday night but they still posed little goal threat and never truly looked like coming from behind once the Addicks took the lead through Albie Morgan in the first half. They once again dominated possession but, as has been the case in recent weeks, little of it came in threatening areas.

Omar Bogle added the second of the game to effectively kill it off on an afternoon where the Blues suffered yet more injuries, with James Norwood and Toto Nsiala limping out of the contest.

With the vast majority of League One not in action due to the FA Cup second round, the defeat sees Town drop to sixth ahead of Tuesday night’s visit to Oxford United.

Charlton Athletic keeper Ben Amos saves from an Alan Judge header, following a first half free kick from Andre Dozzell.
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Charlton Athletic keeper Ben Amos saves from an Alan Judge header, following a first half free kick from Andre Dozzell. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Lambert made four changes to the side which lost to Hull on Tuesday evening, with the most notable in midfield as Andre Dozzell returned alongside Liam Gibbs, with the 17-year-old given a league debut.

The pair lined up alongside Brett McGavin, while there was also a change in goal as David Cornell made a league debut in place of Tomas Holy. Toto Nsiala replaced Mark McGuinness in the middle of defence, with Emyr Huws and Freddie Sears dropping out.

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Both sides showed an early desire to keep the ball, with Town forcing the first opening as McGavin won the ball in a dangerous area and freed Keanan Bennetts for a shot which bounced away, seemingly off of Darren Pratley’s arm. The referee waved penalty appeals away, though.

Captain Luke Chambers was the next to try his luck, cutting inside onto Alan Judge’s pass and seeing his shot, with the outside of his right foot, deflected just wide before Nsiala headed the resulting corner wide of the post.

Next it was Norwood’s turn as he latched onto an excellent through-ball from Dozzell, before battling with Darren Pratley and having to stretch to just toe-poke his shot over the top of the bar.

A familiar face in the Charlton ranks – serial Town loanee Jonny Williams – fashioned the Addicks’ first opening as he looked to wriggle away from Nsiala inside the box before poking the ball towards goal. Cornell pushed it away, with Williams appealing for a penalty while on the floor but rightly being told to get up.

Charlton were growing into this game and were soon rewarded as Albie Morgan thumped the visitors into the lead after Luke Woolfenden lost possession on the edge of the area, allowing the Addicks to sweep the ball inside for the winger to lash past Cornell.

Town were struggling with powerful striker Chuks Aneke and soon lost their own central striker as James Norwood hobbled to the dressing room with what looked like a hamstring injury. Aaron Drinan was the man chosen to replace him ahead of Kayden Jackson and Oli Hawkins.

Town appealed for an early penalty after Keanan Bennetts shot appeared to hit the hand of Darren Pratley.
Picture...

Town appealed for an early penalty after Keanan Bennetts shot appeared to hit the hand of Darren Pratley. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The Irish striker was quickly involved, winning the ball back off of Pratley for Judge to have a wild shot deflected over the top, having angled an excellent header towards the corner just a minute earlier, only for Ben Amos to make a superb save.

Lambert’s men were behind at the break but had some good spells of possession after the interval without being able to create anything of note.

Jackson replaced Gibbs just past the hour mark but it was a Charton substitute who made the next big impact, with Omar Bogle given far too much space at the far post to thump home and double the visitors’ lead.

That was ultimately enough for them to claim three points from the final behind-closed-doors game at Portman Road, with 2,000 supporters permitted for the visit of Portsmouth in December 12.

James Norwood holds his hamstring ahead of leaving the pitch with an injury.
Picture: Steve Waller...

James Norwood holds his hamstring ahead of leaving the pitch with an injury. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town: Cornell; Chambers, Woolfenden, Nsiala (McGuinness 71), Ward; Dozzell, McGavin (Lankester, 71), Gibbs (Jackson, 64); Judge, Bennetts, Norwood (Drinan, 35)

Subs: Holy, Kenlock, Hawkins

Charlton Athletic: Amos, Matthews, Pratley, Gunter, Maatsen; Shinnie, Williams (Gilbey, 54), Watson, Morgan, Smyth (Bogle, 66), Aneke (Purrington, 72)

Subs: Maynard-Brewer, Pearce, Maddison

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