Ipswich Town 2-1 Shrewsbury: Blues snatch three points in dramatic fashion after poor display
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town never got going this afternoon and were hugely fortunate to claim three points from their clash with Shrewsbury.
The Blues toiled for much of the afternoon, lacking spark, and needed Ethan Ebanks-Landell to turn Keanan Bennetts’ cross into his own net to rescue an equaliser after Oliver Norburn had given the visitors a fourth-minute lead from the spot.
Then, deep into seven minutes of added time, Jack Lankester popped up to head home after visiting goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne could only push Alan Judge’s shot up in the air.
The fact Ipswich ultimately secured the win masks an incredibly poor performance for the vast majority of this game, from an Ipswich side which never put their stamp on this contest.
There was no pace, no drive and a lack of real invention as the hosts failed to turn possession into any kind of dominance, inside a Portman Road ground feeling even more flat than usual in this age of behind-closed-doors football.
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The win sees Town stay third in the League One table, ahead of games with new leaders Hull and sixth-placed Charlton on Tuesday and Saturday respectively.
Manager Paul Lambert had revealed in the build-up to this game that his squad had picked up two new injuries, ruling the pair out of the game, so all eyes were on the team sheets at 2pm.
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The notable missing names were Gwion Edwards and Oli Hawkins, with the Town boss ultimately making three changes from the last time his side took to the field in League One at Sunderland.
Andre Dozzell’s suspension saw Brett McGavin come in for a second league start, while Jon Nolan replaced Jack Lankester in midfield as Freddie Sears returned to the wings in place of Edwards.
The first four minutes of this game were a nightmare for McGuinness, as he first required treatment after taking a tumble just 10 seconds in, before failing to deal with a ball over the top and then clipping Shaun Whalley’s heels inside the areas in a desperate attempt to recover.
Oliver Norburn converted from the spot, with Town’s Arsenal loanee then perhaps lucky to avoid a second set of penalty appeals 10 minutes later as Marc Pugh looked to twist round him and finish past Tomas Holy.
Town tried to respond, with most of their efforts falling flat, though Kayden Jackson and Teddy Bishop did both manage shots down the throat of Shrews keeper Harry Burgoyne.
Ipswich were the next to have penalty appeals waved away, as Marc Pugh played the ball up onto his own arm following McGavin’s corner, but the referee dismissed Town’s muted protests.
Further penalty appeals were to come, for a two-handed shove in the back on Nsiala inside the six-yard box, following a passage of play which saw Sears’ effort blocked behind for a corner after McGavin had superbly sprung Jackson away.
The Blues would have been booed off at the break had any supporters been here to fitness a poor first half in which they never got going, and the second half didn’t start much better as Teddy Bishop joined Jon Nolan in leaving the game injured, as he eventually succumbed to a heel injury suffered in the opening period.
Still Ipswich toiled, struggling to play inside the Shrewsbury third, but a big chance did come and go when Sears beat a man and found Jackson, who in turn worked the ball towards goal where Judge slid in to turn it against the post.
It didn’t look like it was going to happen for Town in this game until a fluke goal got them level, as substitute Bennetts’ cross from the right was clipped into his own net by Ebanks-Landell.
The Blues were lucky to cling onto parity after McGavin’s unfortunate slip let substitute Barnett charge towards goal before being chopped down by Nsiala’s desperate tackle. Shrewsbury certainly had claims for a penalty but, much to Town’s relief, the referee said no.
Town’s luck stretched further, with Lankester ultimately popping up with the leveller.
Ipswich Town: Holy; Chambers, Nsiala, McGuinness, Ward; McGavin, Nolan (Lankester, 22), Bishop (Huws, 50); Judge, Sears (Bennetts 66), Jackson (Norwood, 66)
Subs: Cornell, Woolfenden, Kenlock
Shrewsbury Town: Burgoyne; Ebanks-Landell, Williams, Pierre, Daniels; Norburn, Miller, Whalley (Udoh, 79), Pugh (Walker, 90); Edwards, Tracey (Barnett 79)
Subs: Iliev, Vela, High, Cummings