Ipswich Town 2-1 Accrington Stanley: Blues fight back to beat scrappy visitors
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town came from behind as they got back to winning ways with victory over Accrington Stanley this afternoon.
The Blues, looking to bounce back from last weekend’s loss at Bolton, fell behind when Ethan Hamilton (15) fired the visitors in front with a driven effort from outside the box.
But they responded well, with Wes Burns converting a superb Bersant Celina pass (23) to level matters, before a clever quick free-kick from Sam Morsy laid the groundwork for what proved to be the winner, as Conor Chaplin fired home with 25 minutes remaining.
Town needed to rise above a physical, scrappy Accrington side who made things difficult for Kieran McKenna’s men, but they ultimately managed that to secure an important victory.
In wasn’t the prettiest, but Town deserve for finding their way to a win which moves them up to ninth in the table and leaves them eight points from the final play-off place.
Next up is a trip to AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night.
McKenna made three changes to his Ipswich Town side, having previously selected the same 10 outfield players in each of his first three matches, before being forced into a fourth as Lee Evans dropped out in the warm-up through injury. New signing Tyreeq Bakinson took his place on the bench.
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Matt Penney, Sone Aluko and James Norwood all dropped out, with Kane Vincent-Young, Bersant Celina and Conor Chaplin replacing them.
Accrington enjoyed the better of the opening 10 minutes, as Stanley penned Ipswich into dangerous positions without threatening goal, before Town’s first real attack of the game saw Sam Morsy chopped down in the middle of the pitch as he looked to break past the final Accrington man.
Michael Nottingham was eventually booked for bringing him down, after lengthy protests, before Jay Rich-Baghuelou headed wide as the visitors threatened the Town goal for the first time.
They were soon ahead, too, deservedly so after a sluggish Ipswich start. The opener, scored by Ethan Hamilton, was born from a throw on the right flank which, after a contested heading battle, fell nicely to the Stanley man on the edge of the box. The finish was excellent and the visitors led.
The Blues looked to respond, with an excellent Carroll ball freeing Chaplin in the box, with the attacker twisting and turning to make room to cross but not quite being able to find Wes Burns with his drive.
Celina send goalkeeper Toby Savin scrambling with a free-kick from 30-yards, which flew wide, before home goalkeeper Christian Walton got a stunning fingertip on Matt Butcher’s shot to push it onto the crossbar and save an Accrington second.
It was a crucial intervention and, within a minute or two, the Blues were level as Celina picked on outstanding pass to free Burns, who did the rest by lifting the ball over Savin’s dive and into the back of the net. Excellent composure from both players.
The rest of the first half descended into something of a scrap, with Accrington happy for that to happen and Ipswich looking to play on the limited occasions it was possible.
The Blues ended the half with Celina skidding in a shot from 25 yards, which Savin pushed away, before the second began with Burns blazing his shot over the top of the bar after being fed the ball by Bonne while in space on the right.
Midfielder Carroll was the next to try his luck, taking aim from outside the box and forcing Savin to push the ball away, before Town did eventually find their second goal in clever fashion.
Skipper Sam Morsy made it, winning a free-kick on the right flank before taking it quickly himself, giving Donacien the space to pull the ball back and then allowing Chaplin to send his vicious drive into the back of the net.
The first change of the afternoon saw Carroll replaced by Bakinson, making a surprise Town debut, before Norwood came on for Bonne as the Blues assumed control of a contest they had worked hard to fight back into.
There was a late scare, when a free-kick given away on the edge of the box by George Edmundson was flashed wide by Hamilton, but the Blues hung on to claim three big points.
Ipswich Town (3-4-3): Walton; Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson; Burns, Vincent-Young, Morsy, Carroll (Bakinson, 73); Chaplin (Jackson, 90), Celina; Bonne (Norwood, 76)
Subs: Holy, Burgess, Edwards, Jackson, Pigott
Accrington Stanley (4-1-4-1): Savin, Clark, Nottingham, Rich-Baghuelou, Amankwah; Butcher, Hamilton, Pell (Morgan, 76); O'Sullivan (Mansell, 79), McConville (Longelo, 73); Bishop
Subs: Isherwood, Rodgers, Proctor, Mansel, Nolan, Morgan
Att: 20,126 (131 Accrington fans)