Ipswich Town 6-0 Doncaster Rovers: Evans leads the way as ruthless Blues cut loose under the lights
- Credit: stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town cut loose at Portman Road as they ruthlessly hit Doncaster Rovers for six on a breathless night under the lights.
Paul Cook’s men were in full control of this game from start to finish, with goals from Macauley Bonne and Lee Evans putting the Blues two up at the break.
There seemed little way back for a visiting side which struggled to create anything of note but, just when Rovers began to show signs of life, the Blues stamped on the throats of their visitors with a stunning streak of four goals in 10 minutes to truly send out a statement.
Evans completed his hat-trick in that time while Bonne added his second, before George Edmundson scored his first goal in an Ipswich shirt to complete the rout.
This was Town’s first home win of the season, at the eighth attempt in all competitions, with the result meaning Cook’s men have now picked up seven points from their last three games.
The win moves Ipswich up to 19th in the table but, more importantly than their league position, continues to build the vital momentum Ipswich need as they bid to fight their way up the table and into the promotion places.
Next up is a trip to Accrington which the Blues should now approach with the utmost confidence.
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Cook made two changes to the side which drew 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, reuniting a midfield dup who played more than 80 games together during Cook’s time in charge of Wigan Athletic.
Sam Morsy took the captain’s armband as he made his first league start in Ipswich blue, while Evans returned from injury to partner him in the Town engine room. The front four of Bonne, Bersant Celina, Wes Burns and Scott Fraser continued in front of them, while a back four of Janoi Donacien, Edmundson, Cameron Burgess and Matt Penney operated behind the midfield. Vaclav Hladky remained in goal.
Both sides felt each other out in the early stages, with Town perhaps the better of the two, but they soon made their dominance count.
Town’s two most threatening players of the season so far made it happen, as Burns cleverly waited to latch onto a loose Kyle Knoyle pass, picking a gap to run into, charging into the area and rolling a perfectly angled cross into the path of Bonne. He did the rest to take his season’s tally to six.
The goal put a spring in Town’s step, with the hosts beginning to operate on the edge of the Doncaster box with increasing regularity, with Burns stretching play and causing trouble.
It took a set-piece for Town to deservedly double their dominance, though, with Fraser’s corner flicked on by a Doncaster defender and landing nicely for Evans, who made no mistake with a first-time finish at the back post.
Town were two up and cruising against a poor Doncaster side who offered, and were given, very little and had a tendency to leave big gaps for Ipswich to work in.
Celina tried his luck from range, skidding a low shot which forced Pontus Dahlberg to palm round the post, before Morsy fired over after the resulting corner was taken short.
Cook’s men continued to threaten before the half-time whistle blew, without stretching Dahlberg too much, but were in complete control as they headed to the dressing rooms at the break.
Doncaster boss Richie Wellens, a former Town loanee, changed shape at the break, switching to a back three, but it did nothing to stop Town’s dominance, even if their consistent spells of possession didn’t convert into chances.
A Donacien cross landed perfectly on the foot of Burns inside the box, with the Welshman’s thunderous volley striking Doncaster defender Tom Anderson square in the face from just a few yards away, leaving the centre-half needing treatment as the Ipswich players heading to the touchline for a breather.
Rovers, partially awoken from their slumber, began to string passes together and finally tested Hladky as Tiago Cukar’s shot forced the Czech into a smart save. But Town were soon out of sight.
Celina was the architect for two goals in a little over three minutes, firstly crossing teasingly for Evans to head home at the far post to make it 3-0, before another cross, this time after making it to the byline, allowed Bonne to swivel superbly and send a searingly shot back across himself and into the corner of the net.
The scoring wasn’t, though, and Evans completed his hat-trick as he rammed the ball home to complete a flowing Town move from left-to-right.
The goals kept coming, with Evans also finding time to deliver a dangerous free-kick for Edmundson to stab the ball into the back of the net at the near post. The Welshman was replaced soon after to a standing ovation.
His replacement, Rekeem Harper, came agonisingly close to adding a seventh as his shot clipped the outside of the post.
But it mattered little. Town had done their job in style.
Ipswich Town: Hladky; Donacien, Edmundson, Burgess, Penney; Morsy, Evans (Harper, 82); Burns (Aluko, 77), Celina (Chaplin, 77), Fraser; Bonne
Subs: Holy, Woolfenden, El Mizouni, Norwood
Doncaster Rovers: Dahlberg; Knoyle, Williams, Anderson, Rowe; Close, Gardner (Vilca, 46), Smith; Hiwula (Olowu, 46), Dodoo, Cukur (Barlow, 77)
Subs: Jones, Seaman, Horton, Hasani
Att: 18.111 (165 Doncaster fans)