Wycombe Wanderers 1-4 Ipswich Town: Brilliant Blues send out a statement
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Ipswich Town produced the perfect response as they came from behind to win at Wycombe, ending the Chairboys’ recent domination on their own turf and sending out a statement to the rest of League One.
Town were slow out the blocks, conceding as David Wheeler turned home a Wycombe corner, but once Bersant Celina had fired home an equaliser, the Blues grew into the game, began to control it and then added the killer blows.
A smart Macauley Bonne finish and a Wes Burns rocket took the visitors into a 3-1 lead they never relinquished, despite renewed Wycombe pressure and the introduction of Adebayo Akinfenwa in the closing stages.
Indeed, they even managed to add to it as Celina scored his second of the night, removing his shirt to celebrate after running the ball into an empty net as the Blues countered a Wycombe corner in stoppage time.
Ipswich conceded goals at poor times in their loss at leaders Plymouth at the weekend but scored them when it mattered tonight, with Bonne’s strike, just six minutes after the interval, crucial to this victory at a side which started the night third in the League One table.
Wycombe had won their previous nine matches on home turf, with the Blues standing firm and producing an excellent display to end a run which stretches back to April.
Three points leaves Ipswich ninth in the table, heading into a 10-day break from League One action as Paul Cook’s men prepare for FA Cup and Papa John’s Trophy games with Oldham and Colchester.
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Cook made three changes to his side for the trip to Adams Park, following Saturday’s loss at Home Park.
Kane Vincent-Young returned at right back, with Janoi Donacien still unwell, while Hayden Coulson switched to the left side of defence as Matt Penney dropped out of the side.
Burns took Coulson’s place on the right wing, himself return from illness, with Celina the final man coming into this side as he took Conor Chaplin’s place at No.10.
Vincent-Young was in trouble early in this game, stumbling in possession and losing the ball not far from the edge of his own box, but was fortunate to see Toto Nsiala bail him out with a good tackle to stop Brandon Hanlan wriggling free.
Lee Evans had the game’s first shot, firing wide from outside the box after Bonne and Burns had combined well up the right.
Wycombe’s first opening was dangerous, as a deep Joe Jacobson cross into the box was nodded back into danger by Wheeler, freeing up Hanlan to shoot on the turn as the ball dropped inside the box. Thankfully for Town, Nsiala helped deflect his shot behind for a corner, which Walton claimed comfortably despite pressure.
Coulson, back in his more natural position, took an early whack and received treatment, before being declared fit to carry on, but soon after he returned, his side fell behind.
It came from a source of strength for the hosts, as Joe Jacobson whipped in a corner which Sam Vokes and Ryan Tafazolli combined to knock back into the path of Wheeler, who turned it past Walton.
Coulson ultimately did depart soon after, with Cameron Burgess taking his place.
Then, out of nothing, Ipswich found an equaliser having struggled to get going during the opening 25 minutes dominated by the hosts. Celina scored it as he was squared the ball by captain Sam Morsy, taking aim from outside the box and firing in a shot which beat former Ipswich keeper David Stockdale as it swerved in the air. The stopper got a hand to it but he couldn’t keep it out.
Ipswich tails were up, with Celina testing Stockdale again as the Wycombe keeper saved before Evans skewed the rebound wide, as the 1,800 traveling Town fans raised their already loud output to the next level in support of their team.
Cook’s men had the bit between their teeth, finding space where it wasn’t before, but couldn’t add to their lead as the two sides went in level at the break.
Town failed to weather the early storm at Plymouth on Saturday, conceding to the Pilgrims five minutes into the second period on that occasion, but the tables turned on this occasion as the Blues took just a few minutes to put themselves in front.
Morsy won the ball back and fed Celina who, in turn, slipped Edwards away. The winger’s cross teased Stockdale flung a hand out to turn it way from goal, where Bonne collected the ball, kept his cool, took the ball down and swept it into the back of the net in one fluid movement to send the away crowd wild.
A blue smoke bomb filled the air as Ipswich celebrated and it was in action again just a few minutes later, as Vincent-Young probed into the Wycombe box from the right flank before laying back to Burns to send a rocket of a shot into the top corner. It was as true a strike as you will see.
Ipswich had truly turned this game round but still had moment of concern at the back, as the Chairboys forced a game of pinball in the Town box which ended with Hanlan flashing a shot wide.
It sparked a period of intense home pressure, which also included a triple substitution and the introduction of Akinfenwa from the bench, but Town stood firm to secure three big points on the road.
The icing on the cake came in stoppage time as Celina collected substitute Rekeem Harper's pass, skipped around Stockdale on halfway as the keeper came out of his goal for a Wycombe corner and then ran the ball into an empty net to complete the job.
Wycombe Wanderers: Stockdale; Tafazolli, Stewart, Jacobson (Akinfenwa, 76); Gape (Horgan, 76), McCarthy, Scowen, Obita; Wheeler (Kaikai, 76), Hanlan, Vokes
Subs: Przybek, Grimmer, Thompson, Mehmeti
Ipswich Town: Walton; Vincent-Young (Harper, 76), Edmundson, Nsiala, Coulson (Burgess, 22); Morsy, Evans; Burns, Celina, Edwards (Aluko, 90); Bonne
Subs: Hladky, Fraser, Chaplin, Pigott