REPORT: Wanderers v Ipswich Town

Second-half strikes from Kieran Lee and super-sub Dapo Afolayan got Wanderers up and moving again with a superb win over in-form Ipswich.

Lee and Afolayan hit the target inside a huge eight-minute spell that could revive Wanderers’ campaign as they earned a first victory in six league games.

It was no more than the Whites deserved as they ended a five-game losing run in impressive style to half Town’s climb towards the play-off places.

Ian Evatt’s men had to be patient in their wait for the crucial breakthrough, which didn’t come until the 74th-minute.

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But their most complete performance for a number of weeks always suggested the three points might come on a big afternoon which also brought a first clean sheet since the last league win for new signing James Trafford.

Midfield man Aaron Morley also impressed on his debut and with Evatt having the luxury of being able to introduce the added firepower of Afolayan from the bench in a far-stronger looking match-day squad, the omens look good.

The introductions of Morley and Trafford in goal were two of four changes to the side that had lost in mid-week to Wycombe to see the Whites’ six-match unbeaten home run come to an end.

George Johnston and Gethin Jones also returned to the starting line-up which showed a change to the formation with Marlon Fossey and Declan John playing in wing-back roles.

And after a cagey opening Wanderers certainly asked questions of a Town side unbeaten under new boss Kieran McKenna.

Ipswich had the first effort on goal, with Sone Aluko giving Trafford an early test.

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But the best chances before the break came Wanderers’ way.

Dion Charles was again a lively presence as he went hunting for his first Wanderers’ goal, heading a Lee cross just wide of the near post 20 minutes in.

Johnston – one of the goalscorers in Wanderers’ 5-2 win at Portman Road in September – nodded wide a cross from Morley, who instantly looked at home on his Bolton bow.

And with just over half an hour gone, an excellent link-up between John and the excellent Lee released Charles for a strike that produced a superb finger-tip save from Christian Walton.

Amadou Bakayoko was then only inches away from giving Ian Evatt’s men a half-time lead as he tried to reach John’s low cross as the destiny of the opening goal again felt crucial.

Against the run of play Ipswich nearly grabbed it five minutes into the second half as Aluko curled an effort just beyond the top corner to spark a spell of pressure from the visitors.

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Fossey looked to relieve it as he burst into life on Wanderers’ right flank in an electric spell that re-energised the crowd with dangerous balls into the penalty area that almost led to an opening for Morley and Charles.

And when Morley did get a sight of goal he helped create the opening which saw Wanderers finally got their noses in front with just over a quarter of an hour to go.

A slick move ended with John’s pass into Morley and when Walton couldn’t hold his well-struck shot, Lee pounced on the follow-up to drill home the loose ball.

It could still have been a tense finish as Ipswich looked to hit back with Trafford having to grab a close-range header from Luke Woolfenden.

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But Wanderers stood firm and with six minutes to go earned themselves breathing space as Afolayan doubled the lead.

Wanderers’ top scorer had struck twice in the win at Ipswich and made sure of a first double of the season as he punished a mistake from Town defender George Edmundson with an excellent finish, driving the ball past Walton from a narrow angle to move into double figures for the season.

Wanderers: Trafford; Jones (Aimson 90), Santos, Johnston; Williams; Fossey, Morley, Lee, John; Bakayoko (Delfouneso 90), Charles (Afolayan 70). Substitutes: Dixon, Thomason, Baptiste, Gordon.

Booked: Williams, Santos

Ipswich Town: Walton; Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Penney (Vincent-Young 70); Evans, Morsy; Burns, Aluko (Chaplin 82), Bonne; Norwood (Celina 70). Substitutes: Hladky, Pigott, Chaplin, Carroll, Burgess.

Booked: Walton, Norwood, Burns

Referee: Robert Madley

Attendance: 14,020 (Ipswich 1,054)

Read Time: 4 mins