Plymouth Argyle 1-2 Ipswich Town: Lambert’s men turn things around to secure three much-needed points
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Ipswich Town turned things around with two goals in little more than a minute as they camer from behind to beat Plymouth this afternoon.
After five-and-a-half hours without a goal, the Blues scored twice in little over a minute to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, thanks to strikes from Jon Nolan and Kayden Jackson to end a run of three games without a goal or a win.
Town’s two strikes came just a few minutes after former Ipswich target Danny Mayor had been shown a second yellow card for a cynical trip on Armando Dobra, having earlier been booked for time-wasting, with the Blues quickly making the most of their numerical advantage.
The win came on front of 1,800 supporters at Home Park, as the Blues played in front of a crowd for the first time since March, and sees Paul Lambert’s men move up to third in the League One table.
Victory also ends a difficult week for the Blues on a high, following a defeat to Charlton, a draw at Oxford which was followed by an angry Lambert press conference and then a statement from owner Marcus Evans which angered some sections of the Town support.
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Next up for Town is the visit of Portsmouth next weekend, when 2,000 fans will return to Portman Road for a game between two sides chasing promotion.
The teams’ warm-ups felt that little bit more normal as the 1,800 supporters clapped the players onto the pitch for the first time since March, before the Ipswich line-up was offered a smattering of boos when read out by the PA announcer.
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Lambert made three changes to his side, with Brett McGavin replacing suspended midfielder Andre Dozzell, Alan Judge coming in for Keanan Bennetts and Kayden Jackson replacing Aaron Drinan, who is the latest victim of hamstring trouble.
Luke Woolfenden was in the thick of the action early, blocking shots from Luke Jephcott and Frank Nouble, either side of penalty appeals after Jack Lankester was knocked to the floor under Jerome Opoku’s tackle. The Town player was incensed as he was adjudged to have dived, which was certainly not the case.
Town were soon behind, though, with Plymouth fans soon on their feet as they witnessed a first goal in nine months. It was an excellent one, too, which saw former Town target Danny Mayor start a move which went through former Blues Frank Nouble and Conor Grant, who sent in a low, skidding cross which was stabbed in off the underside of the crossbar by Luke Jephcott.
Ipswich looked to respond, with Lankester playing a teasing through-ball which got through Opoku to set Jackson away, but Will Aimson did well to get back to block the striker’s shot as he shaped to shoot.
Captain Luke Chambers took aim from 25 yards and sent a low shot wide, before Mayor flashed an effort just wide of David Cornell’s post after skipping away from Chambers on an overlap.
The half ended with Cornell needing to be sharp off his line to meet Nouble’s flick-on ahead of Jephcott, before Dobra sent a tame effort along the floor and into the grateful arms of Michael Cooper in the Plymouth goal.
The same 11 Ipswich players emerged for the second period, with McGavin involved early as he tested Cooper first directly from a corner, which the keeper had to turn over his own bar, before the Town midfielder fired a driven effort straight down his throat.
Cornell held Opoku’s effort well as it dipped in front of him before Ward and Judge worked the ball down the line at the other end, allowing Dobra to cross a ball which was just cut out ahead of reaching Jackson’s foot.
Oli Hawkins and Keanan Bennetts replaced McGavin and Lankester, before Plymouth were reduced to 10 men when Mayor, who had earlier been booked for time-wasting at a corner, was second yellow card for a cynical trip on Dobra.
That sparked Ipswich into life.
The equaliser followed soon after, as Ward’s ball into the box dropped for Nolan to pick his spot and guide a volley into the far corner. Irishman Ward was charging around the Town players, urging them to push for a second which, partially down to him again, soon arrived.
Little more than a minute later, the ball was in the net again as Ward delivered into the box for Hawkins to chest into the path of Jackson, who picked his spot and fired low into the corner with his left foot.
Plymouth pushed for an equaliser but, ultimately, Town stood firm to secure three valuable points.
Plymouth Argyle: Cooper, Opuku, Aimson, Watts; Edwards (Moore, 78), Grant, Fornah (Telford, 90), Camara, Mayor (SENT OFF), Jephcott (Hardie, 68), Nouble (Moore, 78)
Subs: McCormick, Wootton, Canavan, Reeves
Ipswich Town: Cornell; Chambers, Woolfenden, McGuinness, Ward; McGavin (Bennetts, 65), Nolan, Lankester (Hawkins, 65), Dobra, Judge, Jackson
Subs: Holy, Nsiala, Ndaba, Huws, Gibbs