Ipswich comeback floors Plymouth in five-goal thriller

28 October 2023 0 By Total Football News

High-flying Ipswich came from a goal down to stretch their unbeaten run in the Sky Bet Championship to nine games with a 3-2 victory over Plymouth.

Morgan Whittaker scored a stunning opener for the visitors after seven minutes but Town equalised with time running out in the first half following an own goal by former Norwich full-back Bali Mumba and George Hirst gave Town the lead just after the break.

Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky came to the rescue as Argyle pressed during the closing stages, but Marcus Harness struck in the 86th minute to put the game beyond Argyle, despite a late reply from Joe Edwards.

The result keeps Ipswich nine points ahead of third-placed Leeds and five points behind leaders Leicester.

The Tractor Boys almost took the lead after three minutes when Conor Chaplin played in Hirst who prodded the ball goalwards but Plymouth goalkeeper Michael Cooper managed to grab the ball on the goal-line.

Argyle struck first through Whittaker. He collected the ball on the right and strode forward before unleashing a terrific shot from 20 yards which flew past Hladky and into the top-left corner of the goal.

Sierra Leone international Mustapha Bundu, who was brought on in the 19th minute for Argyle’s Ryan Hardie, found himself in acres of space on the right and as he progressed into the Ipswich penalty area, George Edmundson managed to make a last-ditch tackle just outside the box, despite appeals for a free-kick from the visitors.

That was the impetus Town needed to get back into the game and they equalised in the 47th minute through an own goal from Mumba.

It came following Ipswich’s ninth corner of the game. Adam Randall headed the ball across the penalty area and Massimo Luongo back-heeled the ball towards goal, striking Mumba and trickling past Cooper into the goal.

Town took the lead in the 54th minute through Hirst. Leif Davis played a sumptuous ball forward and the Ipswich striker raced clear to fire the ball beyond the despairing Cooper from just inside the penalty area.

Ipswich came close to scoring a third when Omari Hutchinson’s turn and shot inside the penalty area was deflected behind and Town keeper Hladky proved to be the saviour when he first produced a wonderful save from a Dan Scarr header and used his feet to deny Joe Edwards.

The home side confirmed their victory when a low cross from Davis found Harness whose first shot was blocked but he made no mistake at the second attempt.

However, they had to see out a nervous final few minutes when Edwards squeezed a shot past Hladky in the first minute of stoppage time.

The managers

Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna:

“Both teams showed why they had such good seasons last season. Two fully committed teams, lots of good players on the pitch and a really tough game. The tone was set when they score, we have a good chance after a few minutes, don’t take it and then they score an absolute worldie really, it’s a wonderful goal. Full credit to the boys for coming back and getting the three goals.

“We were good value for the goals and had enough chances in the game, but having said that we know defensively we weren’t happy with the performance and things we know we need to do better, but we are early in the season. A good game, a good win, hard-fought and one that we’ll learn from. We knew it was going to be a tough second half…we got two goals and that’s a big positive. Good quality for the goals, we created plenty of chances, so there’s lots to be positive about.”

Plymouth’s Steven Schumacher:

“I thought the lads played unbelievably well and I just said to them I’m proud of them, the effort they put in, the way that we stuck to the plan today. We knew coming to Ipswich Town they have been the best team in the league with Leicester and we knew we were going to have spells where we had to stick together and defend. But we did that. In the first half we defended really well and counter-attacked with purpose…our goal was outstanding.

“Morgan (Whittaker) scores a brilliant goal but I’m fuming over how we didn’t get a free-kick right on the edge of their box at a really pivotal moment in the game, because what happened next Ipswich went down the other end and scored from it. It was a refereeing decision I can’t get my head around. We watched it back at half-time and Mustapha said he (Edmundson) clipped his ankle. I spoke to Gavin (Ward) and the linesman and they said they couldn’t see it. I think they were the only two people in the ground that couldn’t see it.”

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