Ipswich Town 0-1 Peterborough United: Toothless Town beaten as McGuinness own goal settles it

Mark McGuinness rises high to head the ball against Peterborough United.

Mark McGuinness rises high to head the ball against Peterborough United. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Mark McGuinness’s own goal proved the difference as Ipswich Town were beaten 1-0 at home by Peterborough United this afternoon. 

The Arsenal loanee, last week’s match-winner at Burton, sliced Dan Butler’s cross into his own net, mid-way through the second half, to settle a contest which lacked quality throughout. 

Peterborough should really have taken the lead in the first-half, only for Jonson Clarke-Harris to fire a Toto Nsiala-conceded penalty over the top of the bar, with Town never really looking like finding the net themselves during a game which ended in the snow. 

Teddy Bishop on the ball as Jack Taylor closes in.

Teddy Bishop on the ball as Jack Taylor closes in. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

It extends Town’s dreadful record against League One’s best sides, with the Blues losing seven and winning two of their games against this season’s top 10. They’ve failed to score in five of those games. 

Town now sit ninth in the third-tier table ahead of Tuesday’s televised clash with Sunderland. 

Manager Paul Lambert made one change to his side, an enforced one as Aaron Drinan started ahead of James Norwood, who missed out with a hamstring problem.  

While new loan signing Luke Thomas was named on the bench, Josh Harrop was absent after testing positive for Covid-19 and then needing to isolate for the next 10 days and also miss the games with Sunderland and Crewe. 

Gwion Edwards and Peterboroughs Sammie Szmodics.

Gwion Edwards and Peterboroughs Sammie Szmodics. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

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Town just about had the better of a scrappy opening 10 minutes, in which neither side were really able get the ball down and play, before the Blues began to work their way more and more into the contest without being able to threaten the Posh goal.  

The first real effort of the game saw Posh striker Jonson Clarke-Harris thunder a 30-yard free-kick over the top of Tomas Holy’s bar, before the big Czech goalkeeper got a touch as Siriki Dembele’s shot was tipped wide after Sammie Szmodics had out-foxed Andre Dozzell. 

Then the half’s big moment as, not for the first time, Toto Nsiala gave away a penalty as he brought down Dembele in the box, as the Posh man slid down the side of the Ipswich area. The referee didn’t give the penalty before his linesman flagged, prompting Ipswich protests. They mattered not, though, as Clarke-Harris blasted the spot kick over the top of the bar. 

Teddy Bishop battles with Idris Kanu.

Teddy Bishop battles with Idris Kanu. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

It was level at the break, with Town emerging strongly for the second half and seeing Aaron Drinan narrowly fail to make contact with an excellent Gwion Edwards cross.  

But from there the next 15 minutes were characterised by two sides who struggled to complete simple passes and allowed attacks to break down by giving the ball away.  

A Peterborough free-kick needed Holy to push Dan Butler’s low shot away, not particularly convincingly, before the game’s low standard was summed up by the opening goal of the game. Butler’s tame cross from the left was easy for McGuinness to clear, but the Arsenal loanee sliced the ball into the back of his own net as Town fell behind. 

Chambers lashed a shot wide as Town looked to respond, before Lambert turned to his bench to bring on Jon Nolan, Freddie Sears and debut-making Thomas. 

Nolan’s first touch saw him fire a shot which Christy Pym turned over the top before Thomas cut inside and skidding a ball across the box which ended with Edwards firing over the top of the bar. 

Town manager Paul Lambert (seated) and his assistant Stuart Taylor.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert (seated) and his assistant Stuart Taylor watch on during yesterday's 1-0 home defeat to Peterborough. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

That’s as good as it got for Ipswich, who were lucky not to fall further behind when Posh substitute Ethan Hamilton fired wide from inside the box.  

Holy went up for a corner in stoppage time, which ended with Nsiala hooking the ball into the net, but the whistle had already gone as the ball drifted out before Chambers was able to put it back into danger.

Ipswich Town: Holy; Chambers, Nsiala, McGuinness, Ward; Downes, Dozzell, Bishop (Nolan, 74); Judge (Thomas, 74), Edwards, Drinan (Sears, 74) 

Subs: Cornell, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Huws 

Peterborough United: Pym; Thompson, Beevers, Kent; Brown (Hamilton, 81), Kanu, Taylor, Butler; Szmodics (Jones, 84), Dembele (Mason, 88), Clarke-Harris 

Subs: Gyollai, Eisa, Broom, Burrows 

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