It’s decision time for Evans PLUS full Town v Barnsley match stats

Ipswich Town 1 Barnsley 3

IPSWICH Town owner Marcus Evans had much to ponder as he sat through a 90 minute nightmare at Portman Road on Saturday.

Although weakened by the non-availability of three key players there was no excuse for such a pitiful display against a mid-table Barnsley side.

Ipswich were second best throughout with Town fans becoming increasingly agitated and on the form of the last two home matches the Blues will soon find themselves in the bottom section of the table.

Evans will not have liked what he saw with his club looking no further forward than when manager Roy Keane arrived 19 months ago.

This is the fourth home league defeat of the season, and although too early to write off the campaign completely the last five days have left huge question marks about Town’s ability to compete successfully at Championship level let along seriously seek a Premier League place.

Evans has a decision to make on his manager’s future with it vital to Keane that he keeps his team among the pace setters with two bad home defeats in a row doing those aims no good at all.

Most Read

Goran Lovre gave Barnsley the lead in the 21st minute when the Blues were undermanned at the back with Tom Eastman receiving treatment for a nose bleed. Six minutes later Marton Fulop conceded an own goal when Adam Hammill’s shot came back off the far post to enter the net off the keeper’s body.

Garry O’Connor added a third goal in the 50th minute with Town again found wanting at the back.

Ipswich restored some pride when Tommy Smith headed home a corner in the 81st minute.

Barnsley named four strikers on the bench with Birmingham City loanee O’Connor making his first start up front on his own with Lovre playing in front of a four-man midfield.

The Tykes have won just once at Portman Road (December 1998) but were in good cheer having beaten Preston at Deepdale on Tuesday.

Town made three changes with Leadbitter (suspended), McAuley (injured) and Wickham (dropped) dropping out and Townsend, Scotland and Kennedy returning.

Kennedy wore the captain’s armband, with his manager playing mind games on Friday when he insisted that the 34-year-old was not ready to start yet after a hamstring problem.

Smith moved to central defence to partner Delaney while Townsend was wide with Colback and Livermore filling the central midfield positions.

There was an Armistice Day tribute before kick-off to those who have lost their lives in battle, which was impeccably observed.

In the ninth minute and in front of what looked another small attendance figure, Barnsley attacked with three against one but Hammill took the ball a tad too close to Kennedy and the 34-year-old was able to get in a touch that saw the ball roll forward into the grateful hands of Fulop.

Five minutes later a hopeful ball forward by Eastman released Priskin, who tried his luck from 20 yards and Steele was forced into a good save – tipping the ball on to bar and away for a corner.

Town’s young and rather makeshift side had looked vulnerable to Barnsley’s slick counter attacks and it was no great surprise when the visitors took the lead in the 21st minute.

Town were down to 10 men with Eastman receiving attention for a bloody nose when Hammill crossed from the left.

Smith did well to get his head to ball as O’Connor threatened. The ball ran to the right by-line where O’Brien pulled it back to an unmarked Lovre to fire home accurately from 13 yards. Livermore might have been marking the scorer if not forced to be covering for the missing Eastman.

Two minutes later it should have been two for a side that had only scored three first half goals prior to today. O’Connor ran clear after a forward header from the half-way line and with only Fulop to beat the number 36 rolled his shot wide of the far post.

The let off was only temporary however with a Fulop own goal giving Barnsley a two-goal advantage in the 27th minute. Ipswich’s midfield was being over run, and when Hammill cut in unattended from the left in the 27th minute his low shot struck the far post.

The ball rebounded off the woodwork and off the body of the prone Fulop to roll gently over the goal line.

There were boos circulating around the ground and chants of ‘Keano, Keano sort it out’ as Ipswich floundered although a move involving Colback and the busy Townsend in the 35th minute resulted in Steele tipping over a stinging drive by Priskin.

Three minutes later after being set up by Edwards, Priskin turned well and missed the far post by a whisker. Just before the break, Priskin placed the ball into the net but was judged offside with the home side booed off the pitch at the interval.

Town fans were doing their best to raise the blue-shirted players after the break, but there was further misery in the 50th minute when Barnsley scored a third goal.

They created and finished the chance far too easily with Ipswich’s defence all over the place. Lovre went free down the left, and his simple pull back was touched into the net at the near post by O’Connor who was put under no pressure as he scored.

There were ironic cheers from Town fans with every Barnsley touch as frustrations were shown and sarcastic chants towards the players of ‘We’re supposed to be at home’.

Boos reached a crescendo on the hour when Wickham came on for Priskin. ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ rang out from the stands in disgust at the taking off of Town’s best player Priskin.

The game had long since died a lingering death by the time Smith rose to score with a bullet header from an Edwards 81st minute corner.

Substitute Hayes went close to a fourth Barnsley goal as the clocked clicked slowly down with young substitutes Hyam and Murray showing enough to give some cheer to Town’s frustrated fans.

Teams

Ipswich Town: Fulop; Eastman, Delaney, Smith, Kennedy; Edwards, Livermore, Colback, Townsend (Hyam 46); Scotland (Murray 46), Priskin (Wickham 60). Substitutes: Murphy, Brown, O’Dea, Peters.

Barnsley: Steele; Trippier, Shackell, Foster, Hassell; O’Brien, Colace, Doyle, Hamill (Butterfield 89); Lovre (Hayes 70); O’Connor. Substitutes: Preece, Neumann, Arismendi, Gray, Wood.

Referee: Mr P Tierney (Lancashire)

Attendance: 18,024 (256 Barnsley)

.

IPSWICH TOWN v BARNSLEY

MATCH RATINGS

Ipswich Town: Fulop 6; Eastman 5, Delaney 6, Smith 5, Kennedy 5; Edwards 6, Livermore 6, Colback 6, Townsend 5; Scotland 5, Priskin 7.

Barnsley: Steele 6; Trippier 6, Shackell 6, Foster 7, Hassell 6; O’Brien 7, Colace 7, Doyle 7, Hamill 8; Lovre 7; O’Connor 7.

MATCH STATS

Ipswich Town 1

Goals: Smith 81

Bookings: Colback 2, Livermore 57

Sent off: -

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 4

Woodwork: 1

Corners: 5

Free-kicks conceded (including off sides): 19

Barnsley 3

Goals: Lovre 21, Fulop og 27, O’Connor 50

Bookings: Doyle 15, Shackell 43, Colace 90

Sent off: -

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 7

Woodwork: -

Corners: 4

Free-kicks conceded (including off sides): 12

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter