Town fall to second successive defeat

IPSWICH Town were left soundly beaten by Millwall this afternoon – the impressive hosts scoring twice in each half to seal a 4-1 victory.

With the rapidly-improving Lions quicker to the loose ball and showing far more imagination and movement once in possession, strike duo Jay Simpson and Darius Henderson both netted rebound goals inside the opening 10 minutes.

Town – lacklustre for the third match in a row – pulled one back against the run of play when Jimmy Bullard grabbed a fine solo goal in the 66th minute, his first since rejoining the club.

It only served to fire up the Lions more though and they killed the game off with two goals in as many minutes soon afterwards – Liam Feeney and Simpson getting their side’s third and fourth.

Ipswich – who created precious little going forward – also lost two players to injury. Lee Bowyer and Ibrahima Sonko both limped off in the first half, with manager Paul Jewell forced into changing his system multiple times throughout the game.

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The home side broke the deadlock in the sixth minute, eventually finding the back of the net following two super saves from Blues keeper David Stockdale.

After winger Liam Feeney had got past marker Mark Kennedy to cross, Town’s on-loan custodian did brilliantly to block Simpson’s header from close-range before throwing his body in the way of Henderson’s follow up effort.

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There was nothing he could do to prevent Simpson slamming home at the third attempt though.

Less than three minutes later the lead was doubled, with former Ipswich homegrown player Liam Trotter the creator in chief.

After eating up the ground with a powerful central run from midfield, he slipped the ball left to the on-running Simpson whose angled shot was batted away by Stockdale.

Once again it was the hosts who were quickest to the loose ball and Henderson slammed home the rebound.

Ipswich just about managed to see off the storm as the confident hosts pushed for a quick third, but suffered their first injury set-back in the 18th minute when Bowyer walked from the pitch with what seemed an ankle problem.

With right-back Reece Wabara replacing him, Jewell switched around his system. Changing to a flat 4-4-2 formation, Grant Leadbitter moved to the left wing and Carlos Edwards pushed forward to the opposite flank.

Ipswich created just one meaningful goalscoring chance in the opening 45 minutes, but it was a good one. After keeper David Forde raced out of his box to head away a long Mark Kennedy ball over the top, Jason Scotland quickly chipped a shot back towards goal – only to see it drop narrowly wide.

Then came Town’s second injury set-back. With 31 minutes on the clock, Sonko limped off holding his problematic left hamstring and was replaced by Ivar Ingimarsson.

Only a world class save from Stockdale prevented the hosts extending their lead in the 57th minute, the England keeper somehow keeping out Brian Howard’s fierce far post volley after Simpson’s shot had come back off the post.

The Blues halved the deficit out of nowhere in the 66th minute thanks to a moment of magic from Bullard. The midfielder – who had done little all game – played a deep ball up to Jason Scotland’s feet, ran on and collected the return pass, beat a man by dropping his shoulder and then cooly curled a shot home from inside the box.

The Lions came roaring back though and killed off the game with goals in the 73rd and 75th minutes.

Ipswich gifted them the crucial third, Danny Collins and Bullard getting in each others way to allow Simpson to slip in Feeney to score.

The fourth was then a great piece of individual skill from Simpson who dribbled in from the left before drilling home a low shot.

– Reaction to follow.

MILLWALL: Forde; Dunne, Robinson (cpt), Ward, Smith; Feeney (N’Guessan 90), Abdou, Howard (Henry 89), Trotter; Henderson, Simpson (Mkandawire 86).

Subs: Mildenhall, ,Agyemang.

IPSWICH: Stockdale; Edwards (Emmanuel-Thomas 61), Sonko (Ingimarsson 31), Collins, Kennedy; Bullard, Andrews, Bowyer (Wabara 18), Leadbitter (cpt); Scotland, Chopra.

Subs: Lee-Barrett, Ellington.

Attendance: 12,464 (1,608 away)

Referee: Mr Graham Salisbury

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