zenduck.me: Ipswich Town 20 Bristol Rovers Match Report Ipswich Town News

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Ipswich Town 2-0 Bristol Rovers – Match Report
Wednesday, 9th Aug 2023 21:47

Town secured their place in round two of the Carabao Cup for the first time in three years after goals from Jack Taylor, on his debut, and Sone Aluko saw them to a 2-0 victory over Bristol Rovers at Portman Road. Taylor gave the Blues the lead in the 12th minute, then sub Aluko added the second on 76 as Town dominated the latter stages and might have scored more.

Boss Kieran McKenna changed his entire XI with Cieran Slicker making his Town debut in goal with Dom Ball at right-back, Greg Leigh at left-back and George Edmundson and Elkan Baggott the centre-halves.

Lee Evans skippered in central midfield alongside Taylor, while Kayden Jackson was wide on the right, full debutant Omari Hutchinson in the middle and Marcus Harness on the left behind central striker Freddie Ladapo.

Conor Chaplin and George Hirst were the only starters from Saturday included in the 20-man squad, while Harry Clarke was also among the subs.

The sub keeper was Nick Hayes, while youngsters Zak Bradshaw, Ryan Carr and Leon Ayinde are also on the bench.

Bristol Rovers made three changes from the team which draw 1-1 at Portsmouth on Saturday with Scott Sinclair, Connor Taylor and Tristan Crama coming into the side. Former

Former Blues midfielder Grant Ward and one-time Town loanee Luke Thomas were also in the XI. Manager Joey Barton wasn’t on the touchline as he’s serving a three-match stadium.

On Portman Road’s billiard table-like new pitch, the visitors struck the game’s first shot in the sixth minute, Jevani Brown scuffing from just outside the area through to Slicker, who claimed with ease.

Town began to dominate the ball and in the 12th minute, following a long spell of Town possession, they took the lead.

Evans passed to Jackson, who crossed from the right. Hutchinson cleverly flicked and Taylor turned a debut goal into the net from eight yards.

The Blues continued to control the game but didn’t create another chance until the 24th minute when Jackson lifted the ball into the area and Ladapo rose high but sent his header over the bar.

On 32, Pirates keeper Matthew Cox got into a mess on the ball on the edge of his area, not for the first time, and lost out to Ladapo, who played back to Taylor, who looped towards goal but Crama was back on the line to nod clear.

Four minutes later, former Blue Ward forced Slicker’s first serious save in Town colours, the keeper getting down to his left to bat away the midfielder’s deflected low 25-yard strike.

But it was still virtually all Town and in the 40th minute Harness burst away on the left of the box before being halted, then a minute later Hutchinson wafted a cross over from the right but too far in front of his teammates.

The half – with only one minute of added-on time – ended with the Blues winning a corner on the right which was flicked away for what would have been another flag-kick but for referee David Rock’s whistle.

Having started a little slowly, Town quickly gained firm control of the game and had the visitors pinned in their own area when Taylor netted his first goal for the club after a very lengthy spell of possession.

From there, it was virtually all the Blues, aside from Ward’s shot which Slicker saved, but with few chances to add to their lead.

The League One side swapped Sinclair for striker John Marquis ahead of the second half.

Having defended a corner following a mix-up between Slicker and Edmundson, Town threatened for the first time since the restart in the 51st minute.

Harness broke forward and played a ball into the path of Ladapo, who was breaking towards the left from the centre. The former Rotherham man battled through two defenders and managed to get in a shot which Cox palmed wide at his right post.

Hutchinson was booked in the 55th minute for a frustrated kick at Crama after losing the ball having cut in from the right.

As the game moved towards the hour, Marquis claimed a penalty after he and Evans tangled following a quickly-taken Brown throw. Referee Rock showed no interest and it looked a racing incident rather than a foul in either direction.

A minute later, Ladapo lifted a shot over the bar from just inside the box before Rovers made another change, James Connolly replacing Taylor.

Slicker was forced into an even better save than his first-half stop in the 63rd minute after Brown had been sent away on the left by Thomas. The former Exeter forward cut back and Aaron Collins hit a low shot which took a deflection and Slicker did well to save with an outstretched toe having been wrong-footed.

The West Countrymen made another change on 65, Antony Evans for skipper Sam Finley, before the Blues made two switches of personnel, Sone Aluko taking over from Hutchinson, who again had showed his new fans more than a few glimpses of his skills, and Cameron Humphreys replacing Taylor, who has settled quickly into the Town midfield and took his goal sharply.

The Blues might have made it 2-0 in the 67th minute when Leigh crossed from the left and the ball fell to Evans, whose scuffed effort was diverted away from goal. The loose ball ran to Jackson on the right of the area but his shot was blocked.

A minute later, Town had another opportunity, Leigh knocking back a cross from the right to Harness, whose first-time strike was saved by Cox.

The Blues weren’t having it all their own way, however, with the match increasingly open but with Rovers attacks, up to now, having been snuffed out once they got to the Town box.

Perhaps in order to add some impetus and kill off the game, in the 73rd minute Blues boss McKenna brought on Chaplin, Hirst and Clarke for Harness, Ladapo and Ball.

And three minutes after the changes, the match was indeed settled. Hirst made a darting run across the area from the centre to the left chasing an excellent Baggott pass and cut back across the area to Aluko, who shot low into the corner of the net, the veteran forward’s first goal since October 2021.

Town, revitalised by their substitutions, went looking for more goals, Hirst turning over a cross from the left on 79, then a minute later Jackson was played in on the right of the box and his cross was returned from the left by Leigh but with no Town player able to get a touch.

The Blues continued to threaten, Chaplin battling to find space to cross from the left of the area towards Hirst, who looked to be beaten to the ball by a defender, who turned it over the bar but referee Rock gave a goalkick.

Town almost made it 3-0 in the 89th minute, Aluko twisting and turning and finding himself space before hitting a shot which was blocked by a defender. The ball fell to Jackson with the goal gaping but got caught under his feet and the chance was quickly cleared.

That was the last of the action and after a comparatively conservative five additional minutes, referee Rock’s whistle confirmed Town’s place in round two.

The Blues began the second half much as they’d ended the first and had one or two chances without putting the visitors under significant pressure and with the match becoming more open – Slicker was forced to make a fine stop on a solid debut – as it moved towards the final 20 minutes.

Town’s subs upped the tempo, scored the goal which sealed what overall was a routine victory and might well have added more as they dominated the latter minutes.

The Blues, who are now unbeaten in 19 games, will find out who they will play in the second round draw which takes place at around 10.15pm this evening live on Sky. They are ball number 23.

Town: Slicker, Ball (Clarke 73), Edmundson, Baggott, Leigh, Evans (c), Taylor (Humphreys 66), Jackson, Hutchinson (Aluko 66), Harness (Chaplin 73), Ladapo (Hirst 73). Unused: Hayes, Bradshaw, Carr, Ayinde.

Bristol Rovers: Cox, Gordon, Finley (c) (Evans 65), Sinclair (Marquis 46), Ward, Collins, Thomas, Taylor (Connolly 61), Brown (McCormick 77), Crama, Hoole. Unused: Belshaw, Grant, Loft, Lawrence, Jones. Referee: David Rock (Hertfordshire). Att: 15,047 (Rovers: 123).

Photo: Matchday Images

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BarryKnightsRedcard added 21:52 – Aug 9

Great start to the season. A good cup run could really be a good thing this season

Flamencaman added 21:58 – Aug 9

Cup run what are they wouldn’t that be good

blueboy1981 added 22:03 – Aug 9

Good Win with a completely changed Team from Sunday – the Cup Competitions should always be important to any Club, and not before time we need a good Cup Run.
Let’s make it this Season.

itfckenty added 22:07 – Aug 9

Plenty of positives after that for the lads. Few standout players from what is essentially the B team. Hutchinson, Humphreys, Taylor, Baggot all showing some promise and slicker had a great debut. But.. also some players unfortunately demonstrating how I don’t believe they are up to the crack for the championship. I had doubts on Ladapo and he just isn’t going to be good enough moving forward, few good moments but overall struggling to get near a target. Jackson played well too. I still think we need a few players but definitely looking bright.

Hatman2 added 22:15 – Aug 9

Brilliant to get a solid victory and clean sheet with a fresh 11, and Humphreys and Aluko getting on for good spells, and Clarke getting on too. 25 different players seeing competitive match action across the 2 games. We need the depth, and the sense from the whole group that they are being included and are important to our season.

Fat_Boy_Tim added 22:38 – Aug 9

Itfckenny – Ladapo, our only player with a decent Championship record. Don’t be too hasty.

Nomore4 added 22:43 – Aug 9

Hopefully start our 1st choice 10 on field Saturday……can only feel sorry for Stoke.

Nomore4 added 22:47 – Aug 9

And a great debut and performance from Slicker who will be no1 sooner than many realise.

blues1 added 22:54 – Aug 9

Itfckenny. What are you on about? Ladapo played well tonight. Held the ball up well , and feneral play was good. Didnt really have any real chances come his way. He’ll be fine. Do still l need one more striker, as 2 not enough.

Rimsy added 23:38 – Aug 9

Baggot and Humphries showed they are good enough for the squad with no need to loan them out.

JewellintheTown added 06:32 – Aug 10

Good result from our mostly B team & some promising performances, however don’t forget that while were in the Championship, this was a league one team with many B team players we faced. Little comparison between our full strength A squad in the Championship vs Ex-prem teams away to home L1 B teams so no point guessing if those players will/ won’t do well in league match day squads.
Good run out for KM to assess his final additions & departures for Championship & future Premiership aspiring squad.
Good showcase match for KM / MA to move fringe & surplus players out.
In KM we trust.

BurleysGloryDays added 07:13 – Aug 10

Harness was pretty poor, Ladapo held up but quality was missing.

When both went off the game changed completely because we stopped losing the ball.

Slicker looked absolutely brilliant, superb prospect. Passing was better than Vaz and Walton.

Evans started well but faded.

Baggott looked very comfortable supported by two strong full backs.

Pitch looked gorgeous.

All praise McKenna!

grubbyoik added 07:48 – Aug 10

We’re was Edwards?… he trained the day before

itfckenty added 07:51 – Aug 10

For the comments on Ladapo, I could be being too hasty! He is a good player for sure, last season he was fantastic. But.. a strikers role is to create chances, not just hold the ball up well. While he has proven championship experience, the championship has changed over the years and is much more difficult than it used to be. Hopefully he proves me wrong as I do like the guy!

dirtydingusmagee added 08:31 – Aug 10

IMO, Harness is disappointing , he showed a lot of promise on his arrival but even given injuriies have not helped he has not shown enough. Again, only my opinion i would let him go, . Whilst i have not been a great fan of Jackson, he has improved and now not regarded as a hitman he is a useful member of squad/team so i would give him another season .

Brazils_Hair added 09:07 – Aug 10

I thought we played really well. The pitch looked great and the lads kept the ball on the ground for 90% of the time and passed it to someone wearing the colour clothes as them. That’s all I ask.
Very impressed with Baggot and Slicker. If they get some first team experience under their belts I think they will be around for the long term. Possible Premiership players.
Looking forward to Saturday. More of the same please.

EatonBlue added 11:09 – Aug 10

Good result after making 11 changes. It has to be remembered that games in the early rounds of this cup competition are mainly about developing a strong reserve or B team. That has been the case for about the last 20 years.

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