Ipswich Town (Away)

May 25, 2023 | 2023 A Season in Review

Portman Road Tuesday 13th September 2022

Ipswich Town 2

Chaplin (23), Evans (55)

Bristol Rovers 0

Referee: Alan Young Attendance: 22,209

As well as being a night for football, it was a night for nostalgia as well as Rovers and Ipswich fans paid tribute to our late Queen and also to Marcus Stewart who played for both clubs and has recently been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

A montage of goals shown on the big screen beforehand, of the goals Marcus scored for the Tractor Boys showed what a truly great striker he was. Both sets of players warmed up in T shirts bearing Stewart’s name on the back and there was a tremendous round of applause from all sides of the ground in the 11th minute (his Ipswich squad number).

As for the tribute to our late monarch, an impeccable one minute silence was observed, the national anthem was played and an image of Her Majesty displayed on the big screen prior to kick off.

The pre-match rituals seemed to inspire the home side more than Rovers and they were quickly out of the blocks and Luke Woolfenden saw his second minute header touched on to the bar by James Belshaw.

Freddie Ladapo, Wes Burns, Leif Davis and Woolfenden again all went close before Rovers’ defence was breached with 23 minutes on the clock. When Sam Morsy cut the ball back into the box from the left Conor Chaplin was on hand to sweep the ball past Belshaw and into the bottom corner of the net.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Ipswich went in search of a second goal and continued to create chances, the best of which fell to Burns but he was denied when Belshaw touched his header around the post.

Outstanding defending by Joe Barton’s side kept Ipswich at bay and in the final minutes of the half Rovers created two superb opportunities which might have seen them go into the break on level terms.

First off Antony Evans hit a curling long range effort which hit the woodwork and rebounded into play and then Trevor Clarke, played in by a clever Aaron Collins backheel, saw his shot touched behind by Christian Walton.

Four minutes into the second half Luca Hoole’s thundering drive was well saved by Walton and, as far as goalscoring opportunities were concerned, that was it for Barton’s side and it was game over in the 55th minute when Ipswich scored again.

A shot from Leigh Evans took a slight deflection on its way to goal, whch wrong footed Belshaw, and entered the net at the near post.

Ipswich remained in control in spite of a hard working and determined performance from a Rovers side lacking a cutting edge and the closing stages turned into disaster for Barton and his side.

Bobby Thomas was booked twice inside four minutes and departed the field of play in the 85th minute, while a 90th minute innocuous challenge by Alfie Kilgour on Chaplin was deemed worthy of a red card by referee Alan Young.

Thankfully Kilgour’s card was rescinded on appeal later in the week.

Ipswich Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Burgess (Ball, 62), Burns (Edwards, 82), Evans, Morsy, Davis (Leigh, 68), Chaplin, Harness (John-Jules, 68), Ladapo (Ahadme, 68).

Substitutes: Jackson, Hladky

Bristol Rovers: Belshaw, Hoole, Kilgour, Thomas, Gordon, McCormick (Coutts, 62),Finley, Evans ( Whelan, 78), Anderson (Saunders, 17), Collins (Jasper, 78), Clarke (Marquis, 62).

Substitutes: Westbrooke, Jaakkola


There were no former Rovers players in the Ipswich Town side

Yellow cards Luca Hoole, Bobby Thomas

Red cards Alfie Kilgour and Thomas – Kilgour’s red card rescinded on appeal

Sam Finley was skipper

Five substitutes used

Nine added minutes

(Photos courtesy of JMP)

Keith Brookman