Search

Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town’s 2-0 home win against Wigan

PUBLISHED: 17:03 13 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:23 13 September 2020

Teddy Bishop heads Town into an early lead.  
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.com

Teddy Bishop heads Town into an early lead. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Archant

Ipswich Town got their 2020/21 League One season off to a good start with a 2-0 home win against Wigan Athletic this afternoon. STUART WATSON gives his thoughts.

Gwion Edwards celebrates after scoring Towns second to make it 2-0.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comGwion Edwards celebrates after scoring Towns second to make it 2-0. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

SHARING THE GOALS

How refreshing it’s been to see the goals shared around.

There was a time during Mick McCarthy’s reign that centre-backs regularly got on the score sheet, but those badly dried up.

Meanwhile, goals from midfield have been rarer than hen’s teeth for a number of years.

Towns early goal scorer Teddy Bishop is congratulated by teammate Alan Judge.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comTowns early goal scorer Teddy Bishop is congratulated by teammate Alan Judge. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

With this new commitment to a 4-3-3 system, it’s vital that the central striker’s supporting cast all chip in. And they have been so far.

Freddie Sears (2) and Luke Chambers bagged against Bristol Rovers in the Carabao Cup, then Jon Nolan netted against Arsenal’s kids in the EFL trophy.

Today, it was the turn of Teddy Bishop and Gwion Edwards.

MORE: ‘I don’t know if he wanted to play’ – Lambert on leaving Downes out again

Bishop arrived in the right place at the right time to emphatically head home a half-cleared cross on the run in the 12th minute. That, remarkably, was the injury-plagued midfielder’s first senior goal in almost six years following on from his finish at Bournemouth back in November 2014.

The 24-year-old was denied a second when keeper Jamie Jones produced a breathtaking finger-tip save to turn a well-struck shot onto the post.

Striker Aaron Drinan, right-back Chambers and right-winger Alan Judge all had good headed chances, while left-winger Sears was also denied by the keeper.

Then winger Edwards stepped off the bench in the 74th minute to help turn the tide back in Town’s favour.

Sky Sports man of the match Teddy Bishop tries to escape the grasp of Emeka Obi to get a shot in.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comSky Sports man of the match Teddy Bishop tries to escape the grasp of Emeka Obi to get a shot in. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

The Welshman rammed home the much-needed killer second from close-range, then stung the hands of Jones at the death after cutting inside from the left.

PATTERNS OF PLAY

Town’s new-look way of playing is still bedding in, but the signs are highly encouraging.

Aaron Drinan (hidden) heads over the bar.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comAaron Drinan (hidden) heads over the bar. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

When the Blues move the ball quickly and purposefully, they are hard to stop. Had Sears finished off a super move that included a Dozzell switch and Judge back heel then we’d have been talking about an early goal of the season contender.

Dozzell once again pulled the strings at the base of midfield in the first half, but found it difficult to have the same impact after the restart thanks to a man-marking job.

Bishop’s driving runs carried Town 10-20 yards up the field, but he faded a little after the break. Positively, Emyr Huws provided some fresh forward thrust when replacing him.

The star of this midfield show though, over the 90 minutes, was Nolan. Don’t underestimate how important his constant movement and composed passing was to disorientating the opposition.

Freddie Sears with a strike which that hit the Wigan keeper and went out for a corner.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comFreddie Sears with a strike which that hit the Wigan keeper and went out for a corner. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

MORE: Lambert ‘really happy’ with opening day win against Wigan

The former Shrewsbury man got Chambers out of jail with a perfectly-timed sliding tackle in his own box, was involved in the move that led to Bishop hitting the post and played a big part in the build-up ahead of Edwards’ killer second. He’s really taking his chance in the absence of the wantaway Flynn Downes.

There are still kinks to iron out. Judge’s movement can be both a blessing and a curse. Moving about all over the pitch looks as likely to lead to a chance being conceded as it does one being created. Wigan were threatening down his side until Edwards came on and Judge moved across to the left.

Town certainly benefitted from having a bit more pace on the field late on, with Wigan having to suddenly be more mindful of a counter threat.

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans and Towns general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill watch on.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comIpswich Town owner Marcus Evans and Towns general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill watch on. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

RIDING THEIR LUCK

Now on to a few negatives. This was far from plain sailing.

Ipswich, without first-choice defenders Kane Vincent-Young and Luke Woolfenden, switched off several times at set-pieces and crosses.

Jon Nolan on the ball.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comJon Nolan on the ball. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Emeka Obi twice got free in the box to head golden chances wide in the opening 15 minutes. Often the danger came in the Chambers-Toto Nsiala right-sided defensive corridor.

The typically rumbustious Joe Garner put an audacious acrobatic kick against the bar and also headed a decent chance over after James Wilson misjudged the flight of a ball.

MORE: ‘Decent performance... Dozzell & Bishop can run games’ - Town fans react to Wigan win

Having nullified Town’s threat at the start of the second period, Wigan – who still have a fairly experienced team despite this summer’s mass exodus – were beginning to get on top. Alex Perry saw a fine chest and volley attempt dip just over the bar and the Latics were getting more and more joy down their left.

Ipswich Town's Gwion Edwards (left) celebrates with Luke Chambers after scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Sky Bet League One match at Portman Road, Ipswich. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 13, 2020. See PA story SOCCER Ipswich. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or Ipswich Town's Gwion Edwards (left) celebrates with Luke Chambers after scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Sky Bet League One match at Portman Road, Ipswich. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 13, 2020. See PA story SOCCER Ipswich. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Town’s killer second came against the run of play really.

Credit to Lambert for getting Edwards on that side of the field to force the dangerous Viv Solomon-Otabor back.

LEFT SIDE LINK-UP

Kal Naismith and Alan Judge battle for the ball.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comKal Naismith and Alan Judge battle for the ball. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

What an astute signing Stephen Ward looks. The Irishman oozes experience.

The 35-year-old knows when to attack and when to defend. Everything he does is measured. And he’s already struck a good on-field relationship with clever left-winger Sears.

Time and time again the duo combined. Take a look back at all those chances described earlier and Ward was involved in a large number of them.

Talking of link-up play, Drinan once again played the role of central facilitator really well. His back-to-goal work and disciplined positional play act as an important pivot for others to feed off.

Gwion Edwards scores Towns second in the 2-0 victory over Wigan.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comGwion Edwards scores Towns second in the 2-0 victory over Wigan. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

MORE: Ipswich Town 2-0 Wigan Athletic: Blues begin campaign with win after Bishop and Edwards strikes

The Irishman came off with a knock at the break and was replaced by James Norwood. He plays the role differently, running here, there and everywhere. At one point he had the ball at centre-half. It might disrupt the opposition, but it also gives Town less of a focal point too.

Norwood, to be fair, is still getting up to speed after long-term groin issues though and was becoming a handful towards the end. This new competition for striker spots will hopefully inspire him to take his game up a level this season. He certainly looks like a man desperate to impress.

FREE-KICK DUTY

Interestingly, Sears was the man on direct dead ball duty.

Twice Town won free-kicks in dangerous positions just outside of the box and twice Sears’ attempts lacked conviction as the shot went over the bar.

Judge might just be putting himself forwards for the next one.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

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.

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times