Ipswich Town 4-0 Gillingham: Blues in full control as Lambert’s men book place in knockout stage with comfortable win
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town ran out comfortable victors in the EFL Trophy this evening to book their place in the next round of the competition with a game to spare.
Emyr Huws and Jordan Roberts found the net in the first-half before Mikael Madron turned Idris El Mizouni's corner into his own net in the second, on a night where the Blues were rarely troubled.
Will Keane, making his first start of the season, added the final touch as he finished well for number four after being played through by substitute Armando Dobra.
Much of the build-up centred around a second clash in as many weeks between managers Paul Lambert and Steve Evans, after the Scots had exchanged words in the wake of Town's win at Priestfield. Evans refused to shake the Town boss's hand on that occasion and the two kept their distance this evening.
And it will be Lambert who left the pitch much the happier, as his side booked their spot in the knockout stages with the visit to Colchester United on November 12.
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The two managers made a total of 19 changes from their respective weekend wins, with Lambert making nine of those as only Luke Woolfenden and James Wilson kept their places from the success at Fleetwood.
Both sides felt each other out early on before the Blues took an early lead.
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Huws' last goal for the Blues was a memorable one, as he netted a superb effort in a memorable Easter Monday victory over Newcastle in 2017, and while this one 904 days later will not hold the same position in club folklore, it was another major marker ticked off for a player still working his way back to his best following his injury nightmare.
He had another pop a few minutes later but slipped as he let fly as he continued his strong start to the game and he was involved in the move which led to Town's second, too.
Keane chested a long ball down into the Welshman's path, allowing him to play a popped pass to release Idris El Mizouni to charge towards the Gillingham goal. The Tunisian's shot was blocked, but only fell to Roberts who lashed the ball home past Joe Walsh.
Ipswich had the better of the rest of the half, particularly in midfield where they were able to keep the ball well, while the Town backline were able to routinely deal with what was thrown at them by the visitors.
Ipswich were well in control heading into the break, where Dobra replaced Roberts, who was carrying a foot injury, and Gwion Edwards came on at right back in place of Janoi Donacien.
Dobra made an immediate impact, laying on efforts for Rowe and then El Mizouni, before Gillingham's first shot of the game came and went as Henry Woods dragged the ball wide.
Ipswich were soon three up, as El Mizouni's well-delivered corner bounced in off of Mikael Mandron, ending the game with as a contest.
There was a debut for the Blues in the final minutes, with versatile academy product Tommy Hughes coming off the bench for the final 10 minutes and equipping himself well in the middle of the field.
That came before Keane was able to add some gloss with a composed finish to complete the scoring.
Ipswich Town: Norris; Woolfenden, Nsiala, Wilson (Hughes, 80), Donacien (Edwards, 46), Kenlock; Huws, El Mizouni, Rowe; Keane, Roberts (Dobra, 46)
Subs: Wright, Clements, Hughes, McGavin, Simpson
Gillingham: Walsh, Hodson, Tucker, Ogilvie, Garmston, Pringle, Cisse, Woods, Marshall, Charles-Cook (Jakubiak, 69), Mandron (Lee, 69)
Subs: Bonham, O'Keefe, Ehmer, O'Connor, Ndjoli