Winners and Losers: The humble header, silencing a critic and new leaders
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller - stephenw
Ipswich Town beat Shrewsbury 2-1 at Portman Road this weekend. Andy Warren looks at the winners and losers from another weekend of action.
The humble header
Rockets from 30 yards are great. As are curling set-pieces, dramatic scrambles, overhead kicks and comedy own goals. Stalking goalkeepers and benefiting from concentration lapses isn’t a bad way to score, either.
But this is a weekend to celebrate the art of the humble header.
Macauley Bonne’s effort, for what proved to be the winner in this game, was sublime. He made the run, rose highest, timed his run perfectly and angled expertly. It was a goal worthy of winning any game. And he didn’t even see it hit the back of the net.
Town have headed home some decent goals in recent years. Thinking off the top of my head, Martyn Waghorn’s angled effort against Sheffield Wednesday in 2017 comes to mind, as do Kayden Jackson’s flashed effort against Brentford in 2018 and Flynn Downes’ diving bullet against Shrewsbury in 2019. Luke Chambers scored some good ones in his time (if only that goal at Norwich had earned the victory it deserved), while Bonne’s effort against Lincoln last month wasn’t too bad either.
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This latest one ranks pretty highly among that particular bunch.
The leading scorer
Bonne features in this article every week at the moment. And so he should – his dream start to his Ipswich loan snowballs with every passing game.
This most recent goal takes the striker level at the top of the League One scoring charts with Cole Stockton, with both men on nine for the campaign.
The Ipswich man’s done it in a game fewer than his Morecambe rival, though, and he continues to average better than a goal every 84 minutes on the pitch.
Very impressive indeed.
Another excellent performance from Janoi Donacien, who was as solid as they come throughout this game.
He’s not flash, but Ipswich don’t need him to be. He heads it, kicks it and covers for his team-mates whenever he is needed to.
He’s not the kind of full-back Paul Cook traditionally prefers. He has usually wanted players to bomb forward, get passed the midfield and act as wingers. That’s not Donacien’s game, though.
But, at a time when Ipswich are looking to build and have struggled at times in the opening weeks of the season, Donacien’s steady head may be exactly what Paul Cook needs.
It’s been a good week for Toto Nsiala.
The big centre-half has been unlucky with the timing of injuries in recent seasons, suffering problems at inopportune moments and losing his place in the side as a result.
It happened at the start of Town’s first League One season, when a hamstring injury meant Town signed James Wilson and he struggled to get back in the side, And it happened this time around, too, with injury against Morecambe coming at a time when George Edmundson was injured and Cameron Burgess hadn’t been signed.
Both those players are starting ahead of him right now but, now Nsiala is back, his good display at Gillingham on Tuesday has him staking a claim.
League One has new leaders, with Plymouth Argyle top of the pile following their 2-1 victory over Burton.
Former Blue Wilson is an integral part of Ryan Lowe’s side, who have surpassed all expectations so far this season.
Town head to Home Park at the end of the month.
Goalkeepers who mess with Bonne during games don’t fare particularly well. Bailey Peacock-Farrell can attest to that.
And Shrewsbury No.1 Marko Marosi had a bit of an ongoing tussle with the Ipswich striker throughout this game, with the pair exchanging verbals after a couple of comings together on the pitch.
But, once again, the Ipswich man had the last laugh as he headed home the winner before putting his finger to his lips and ‘ssshhhing’ the goalkeeper on his way to celebrate his goal.
Twist and shout
Spare a thought for Shrewsbury’s Elliott Bennett, who was turned completely inside out by Kyle Edwards in the final minutes of this game.
The tricky Ipswich winger completely outfoxed the former Norwich man on the Cobbold Stand touchline, with his quick feet leading to a run into the box which ultimately resulted in unsuccessful penalty appeals.
Edwards will be hopeful of a start in the coming weeks following his return from injury.
One to forget
Sam Morsy could surely have done better in the build-up to Shaun Whalley’s equaliser.
The Town skipper did the hard work, getting his body between the Shrews attacker and the ball, but hit the deck too easily under little pressure and was left appealing for a free-kick which never came. Whalley then did the rest to fire past Vaclav Hladky.
The Egyptian, though, deserves real credit for the way he responded to the error, looking as comfortable as you like during a second half he strolled through.
Errors happen, but it’s the way you deal with them that really counts. Both Morsy and Ipswich responded well in this game.
It’s just not happening for Jon Nolan.
He’s barely trained under manager Cook since his arrival in March, suffering a knee injury in his first session back once his exile to the Under 23s was ended following the new manager’s arrival and never really getting back on the field since.
He’s had another setback in training and looks likely to be sidelined for several more weeks from this point, having also dealt with calf and groin problems of late.
The injury comes at a time when Sam Morsy, Lee Evans, Rekeem Harper, Tom Carroll and Idris El Mizouni all figure to be ahead of the former Shrewsbury man in the midfield pecking order.
He deserves a break.