REPORT: Wanderers v Ipswich Town

Wanderers saw their long unbeaten home run come to an end as Ipswich extended their hot streak to enhance their automatic promotion prospects.

A missed penalty from Dion Charles just after half-time when the Whites trailed 1-0 proved costly as Ian Evatt’s men lost at the University of Bolton Stadium for the first time in 13 games.

Ipswich then doubled their lead when Cameron Burgess headed home from a corner with just over 20 minutes to go and with Wanderers unable to pierce a defence hunting a club record sixth successive clean sheet, it was too great a hurdle to overcome.

The defeat saw Wanderers slip a place to sixth in the table but with nine games to go they maintain a six-point cushion inside the top six and very much still in the play-off hunt.

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Wanderers brought back Gethin Jones and fit-again striker Victor Adeboyejo into their starting line-up as they looked to make it seven successive home wins.

Ipswich had won their last four fixtures and having not conceded a goal in their last five were looking to set a new club best for clean sheets.

That prospect came under threat with just over 10 minutes gone in a bright start from Wanderers.

Aaron Morley released Conor Bradley and the wing-back’s superb run was only ended by a sharp save from Christian Walton, who stuck out a strong arm to block at his near post.

Adeboyejo, Charles and Shola Shortire looked as though they might unlock the Town defence as the Whites looked to press.

But Ipswich gradually felt their way into the contest and enjoyed spells on top without testing James Trafford - Ricardo Almeida Santos making one excellent block from Harry Clarke to sum up the Whites’ desire to keep the visitors at arm’s length.

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The stalemate looked set to extend to the break but two minutes before half-time, Ipswich struck in devastating fashion to grab the lead.

Wanderers conceded possession not far away from Town’s penalty area and were then caught out on the break as Wes Burns raced clear and crossed for George Hirst to volley home with a top-class finish giving the on-loan striker his first league goal of the season.

The Whites needed a response and within six minutes of the re-start they had the chance to deliver it.

Another surge from the outstanding Bradley into the penalty area caused the visitors problems and when he was tripped after combining with Charles, referee Neil Hair pointed to the spot after Walton had blocked Shoretire’s effort.

Charles took responsibility but the Whites’ top scorer was unable to extend his 100 per cent record in league football from the penalty spot as Walton got down low to his left to save.

With Adeboyejo proving a handful, Wanderers looked to get over the disappointment and maintain their momentum in a bid to end Town’s mean streak.

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But half way through the second half their task was suddenly made twice as difficult as Ipswich doubled their lead.

Again, the Whites were guilty of giving the ball away and allowing the visitors to break.

The initial threat from Nathan Broadhead was nullified but from the corner that followed Burgess climbed highest to power home a header and make it 2-0.

That looked to rattle the Whites and substitute Marcus Harness then missed a chance to make it three from a Burns’ pass.

With 20 minutes to go Evatt made changes to try and summon up a late fightback.

One of the substitutes, Cameron Jerome, came close to his first goal for the club with a header from Morley’s corner which Walton saved well.

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But on a day when the key moments slipped from Wanderers’ grasp, they must now re-group on the back of a three-game winless run for a trip to league leaders Sheffield Wednesday next Friday and the remainder of the play-off push.

Wanderers: Trafford; Toal, Almeida Santos, Mbete (R Williams 66) ; Bradley, Morley, Dempsey, Jones; Shoretire (Lee 73); Charles (Jerome 73), Adeboyejo. Substitutes: Sheehan, Nlundulu, Kachunga, Thomason.

Booked: Morley, Dempsey

Ipswich Town: Walton; Clarke (Donacien 62), Woolfenden, Burgess, David; Morsy, Luongo; Burns (Jackson 87), Chaplin (Harness 62), Broadhead (Edwards 87); Hirst (Ladapo 74). Substitutes: Hladky, Ball.

Booked: Luongo, Whalton, Woolfenden, Broadhead, Hirst

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 20,532 (Ipswich 2,163)

Read Time: 4 mins