Ipswich Town 4-1 Tranmere Rovers: Lambert’s men eventually cut loose to extend unbeaten start to 10

Luke Garbutt wheels away after giving Town a 1-0 lead against Tranmere. Picture: Steve Waller

Luke Garbutt wheels away after giving Town a 1-0 lead against Tranmere. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town extended their unbeaten start to 10 League One games as the table-toppers saw off Tranmere Rovers this afternoon.

Kane Vincent-Young beats Kieron Morris to head the ball in the first half. Picture: Steve Waller

Kane Vincent-Young beats Kieron Morris to head the ball in the first half. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Paul Lambert's men were far from their best for much of this game, with the first-half especially seeing the hosts toil and struggle to establish themselves in Tranmere territory.

But they ultimately cut loose after the break, before which Luke Garbutt's stunning free-kick opener had been cancelled out by a scrappy Stefan Payne equaliser.

Kayden Jackson tapped home the second just after half-time before Jon Nolan's headed third put the hosts in the clear. Kane Vincent-Young's second goal in as many games was the icing on the cake, as he came inside and fired home from outside the box with his left foot.

The win ensures Town remain top of the table heading into next weekend's visit to Fleetwood, with Wycombe two points back in second.

Tomas Holy rolls out the ball early in the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League one) match

Tomas Holy rolls out the ball early in the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League one) match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller


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Lambert made three changes to the side which won at Gillingham last weekend, with James Norwood returning to face his former club and Nolan and Garbutt both coming back into the side as wing backs were deployed once again. Cole Skuse started in the middle of three central defenders, as he did at MK Dons.

The game got off to something of a slow start as the two sides felt each other out, with the Blues edging the early exchanges and having plenty of the ball in their own territory.

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Norwood was the first to take aim, having a rocket of a shot blocked by Sid Nelson before the former Tranmere man took a big barge in the back from old sparring partner Manny Monthe.

The Blues continued to keep possession, without being able to fashion any further openings before Flynn Downes did well to chest an Alan Judge cut-back forward before pushing his shot over the top of the crossbar.

Town manager Paul Lambert pictured ahead of the Tranmere match. Picture: Steve Waller www.step

Town manager Paul Lambert pictured ahead of the Tranmere match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The ball was in the Ipswich net following a decent spell of away pressure, after Ollie Banks' driven effort was blocked into the path of Neil Danns to finish, but Stefan Payne was adjudged to have handled in the build-up and it was disallowed.

The Blues were continuing to struggle to move the ball forward through midfield, prompting Lambert to instruct Skuse to step out of the back line and into midfield. The hosts were ahead within two minutes.

It came from the boot of Garbutt but was made by Judge as he looked to juggle the ball past Paul Mullin on the edge of the penalty area, with the Tranmere man protesting heavily after he was adjudged to have handled. Garbutt stepped up and struck a stunning ball into the top right corner to give the Blues the lead.

Portman Road rose to acclaim one of the sweetest strikes its seen in recent years, but the famous old ground was groaning just a few minutes later when Town's long run without conceding was finally broken.

Jon Nolan heads forwards during the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League one) match. Pi

Jon Nolan heads forwards during the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League one) match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

It was an ugly way to miss out on a club-record clean-sheet run, too, as a horrible mistake saw Chambers miss-control a high ball out of the sky gave Tranmere possession high up the pitch before the ball was worked wide to Jake Caprice, whose low cross was misjudged by Wilson and Holy before Payne tapped home.

There were a few murmurs of discontent as the Blues headed back to their dressing room at the break but within minutes of the restart the hosts were back in front.

The second goal again involved a Garbutt free-kick as he ambitiously took aim from 35 yards after a foul by Payne, with the Everton loanee slipping as he struck the ball. But he still generated enough power to hit the target and force Davies into action, with the Tranmere keeper spilling the ball into the path of Jackson who gobbled up the rebound.

Ipswich tails were up but Tranmere still kept pushing, with Payne causing trouble in behind the Ipswich line and the Blues' best offensive work coming on the break. One such occasion saw Holy free Jackson, whose cross just evaded Judge, before the Irishman had a shot saved by Davies after being played in by Norwood. Downes but the rebound in the net, but the offside flag was up once again.

Luke Garbutt celebrates his goal. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Luke Garbutt celebrates his goal. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

There was no denying Nolan as he kept pace with an incisive Ipswich breakaway as Jackson turned through the middle, twisted past his man and had a shot saved by Davies which looped up nicely for the midfielder to head home.

It was 3-1 and surely the points were all Ipswich's.

All that was missing was a goal for Norwood, who of course was facing his former club, with the striker's best chances coming with 10 minutes remaining as first his dinked effort was saved well by former team-mate Davies. Davies then kept him out again as an excellent header from deep was clawed over the top of the bar.

But he'll tell you that three points, rather than personal accolades, are all that matters and that's exactly what the Blues were able to secure this afternoon.

All eyes on the ball for a Town corner in the first half. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwal

All eyes on the ball for a Town corner in the first half. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town: Holy; Vincent-Young, Chambers, Wilson, Garbutt, Skuse; Downes, Nolan, Judge (Rowe 74); Jackson, Norwood (Huws 87)

Subs: Norris, Woolfenden, Edwards, Dozzell, Georgiou

Tranmere Rovers: Davies; Caprice, Nelson, Monthe, Ridehalgh; Potter (Hepburn-Murphy 80), Danns, Banks; Morris (Jennings 69); Mullin (Blackett-Taylor, 69), Payne

Subs: Pilling, Gilmour, Walker-Rice, Ponticelli.

Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon takes a drink during the match. Picture: Steve Waller www

Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon takes a drink during the match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Att: 19,785 (621 away fans)

Kayden Jackson is congratulated by James Norwood and Luke Garbutt after restoring Town's lead with t

Kayden Jackson is congratulated by James Norwood and Luke Garbutt after restoring Town's lead with their second to take then 2-1 up. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Jon Nolan celebrates his goal in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers. Picture: Steve Waller w

Jon Nolan celebrates his goal in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Kane Vincent-Young celebrates with James Norwood after scoring to give Town their fourth in the 4-1

Kane Vincent-Young celebrates with James Norwood after scoring to give Town their fourth in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Kane Vincent-Young scores Town's fourth in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere. Picture: Steve Waller

Kane Vincent-Young scores Town's fourth in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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