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Match report Ipswich Town 2 Brentford 0

Defeat for Brentford in East Anglia

19 August 2017

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Brentford failed to make the most of a dominant first half performance as they were beaten by Ipswich Town. The Bees had the better of almost all the opening 45 minutes but trailed at the break as they failed to convert their chances and were punished for a small mistake. The hosts then built on that goal – scored by Martyn Waghorn – and doubled their lead after the break through Joe Garner. Their eventual 2-0 win never really looked in doubt once they had that advantage.

Ipswich started the match with an incredibly attacking line-up. They had a front three with David McGoldrick in behind and forward-thinking Grant Ward as one of their central midfield pair. The home side wanted to get forward at every opportunity, they regularly had multiple players beyond the ball and looked to find them quickly. But Brentford were aware of their task and set about stopping Ipswich getting forward, The Bees dominated possession and territory in the early stages and could have been a couple of goals ahead in the first quarter of the match. That they weren’t, probably cost them the win.

The visitors almost went ahead within 80 seconds – a half cleared corner dropped to Kamohelo Mokotjo 20 yards out and his shot fizzed past the post before Bartosz Bialkowski in the Ipswich goal had even moved. The goalkeeper would have got nowhere near the shot if it had been inside the post. When a free kick was half cleared soon after a Neal Maupay shot failed to trouble Bialkowski and the Ipswich goalkeeper then saved at the feet of Florian Jozefzoon when Ollie Watkins had tried to play him in.

Nico Yennaris had a great opportunity when, after a move on the left, Romaine Sawyers let a Maxime Colin pass run to him but he took a little too long and when the shot came in it was deflected away. Watkins then saw a shot blocked before Maupay failed to get a full connection on a Yennaris cross and his acrobatic effort was saved. Yoann Barbet could only flick a deep cross wide soon after when well-placed before Watkins, who delivered that ball, brought a good low save out of Bialkowski with a fizzing 20-yard shot.

Ipswich had spent almost all the first 20 minutes in their own half. Brentford’s dominance of the ball had not given the hosts a sniff but they had a solid foundation and had kept The Bees out. They almost struck on the counter attack when Freddie Sears broke the offside trap but Barbet got back to make a recovery tackle. There were, however, signs that Ipswich were weathering the storm. Brentford were having more and more possession in the central third and playing in front of the hosts, who appeared to have found a more defensive mindset. It was, however, grossly against the run of play when Ipswich took the lead.

The goal came when Brentford overcommitted men forward and lost the ball in midfield, McGoldrick got a run at the heart of the defence and when Yennaris made a tackle the ball broke to Waghorn to poke home. The goal owed something to fortune, the ball falling to the only Ipswich player up in support, but Brentford lost the ball in their own half and were made to pay.

McGoldrick could have doubled the lead soon after when he wriggled free and let fly with a fierce shot but Daniel Bentley saved. And the goal didn’t really change the pattern of the game. After a brief lull, Brentford regained the momentum as half time approached and pushed Ipswich back. Maupay’s all-action style was causing the hosts problems, and riling the home fans, but he was not winning the free kicks he felt he should and was getting frustrated, so much so he was booked for dissent at the end of the half.

Maupay was, however, Brentford’s most likely route to an equaliser. Bialkowski punched clear when he tried to get on to a Sawyers pass and the French striker may have levelled it if Harlee Dean had not taken a Colin cross off his toes, Jozefzoon’s shot was then deflected over. Watkins saw a shot blocked after a one-two with Maupay before a spell that saw Bialkowski saved superbly from Sawyers, Yennaris fire against the crossbar and Barbet see an effort blocked.

Bialkowski saved again from a Jozefzoon header late in the half – but probably shouldn’t have been given the chance given the effort was from around ten yards – and Henrik Dalsgaard saw a shot blocked as Ipswich held on to lead at the break. But the second half was a different affair. Ipswich had a more solid shape and scoring a second goal within six minutes of the re-start meant Brentford were unable to gain any momentum.

The goal came from a Waghorn corner, Garner rose to head powerfully towards goal from 14 yards and referee Oliver Langford signalled that Yennaris’ efforts to clear off the line had been unsuccessful. The referee pointed to his watch – telling the world that the EFL’s Hawkeye system had confirmed the goal – and Ipswich’s celebrations started.

The Bees had actually started the second period on the front foot. Dominic Iorfa put a Colin cross just past his own post and, from the short corner, Yennaris sliced a shot wide. But the second goal appeared to knock the stuffing out of Brentford a little. A Cole Skuse shot deflected just wide as Ipswich looked for a third and it took a superb recovery tackle from Barbet to stop Garner firing home after he burst on to a ball over the top.

Brentford tried to respond and it took an important clearance from Myles Kenlock to stop Jozefzoon getting on to a deep cross. Mokotjo then forced a save from Bialkowski with a low shot and Lasse Vibe did likewise with an audacious lofted effort. Unfortunately for Brentford, the Danish attacker had to limp off 12 minutes after replacing Maupay, handing a professional debut to Theo Archibald.

Jozefzoon and Sawyers had shots blocked as Brentford continued to press but Ipswich had settled to hold what they had. They were defending deeper and deeper, making it difficult for Brentford to play through or behind them and they dealt with balls in to the box relatively comfortably. When Bialkowski did make a mistake, failing to properly connect with a punch as a Watkins shot looped up, the ball dribbled wide with Jozefzoon unable to pounce. In many ways, it summed up Brentford’s afternoon.

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Iorfa, Spence, Knudsen, Kenlock; Ward, Skuse; McGoldrick (sub Nydam 84 mins); Waghorn (sub Downes 69 mins), Garner, Sears (sub Rowe 89 mins)

Subs (not used): Gerken, Celina, McDonnell, Woolfenden

Bookings: Kenlock (80 mins)

Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Dean, Barbet, Colin; Mokotjo; Jozefzoon (sub Clarke 78 mins), Sawyers, Yennaris, Watkins; Maupay (sub Vibe 62 mins (sub Archibald 74 mins))

Subs (not used): Daniels, Egan, Bjelland, Westbrooke

Bookings: Sawyers (40 mins) (second of season), Maupay (45 mins)

Attendance: 15,348


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