Ipswich Town 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 03, 2015 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/2bd71

Bolton's troubles in front of goal continue to hit hard, as they crashed to a 2-0 defeat at Ipswich Town on Tuesday evening.

After firing a blank in Saturday's goalless draw at Preston North End, Wanderers failed to find the net once again as goals in each half from Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Brett Pitman gave the Tractor Boys a comfortable victory at Portman Road.

Neil Lennon made two changes to the Bolton side that started against Preston North End on Saturday, with Prince-Desir Gouano returning from suspension to take the place of Derik Osede, and Gary Madine returning to the starting line-up to fill the void left by the injured Shola Ameobi.

The visitors started brightly at Portman Road, with Darren Pratley and Madine combining well inside the opening three minutes to set up a chance for Max Clayton, whose header was well saved by Gerken.

Jose Manuel Casado received an early yellow card for pulling back Maitland-Niles, moments before Ipswich's first chance ended with Ben Amos diving low to his right to push away a header from Brett Pitman.

The home side took the lead with 13 minutes on the clock, however, as Maitland-Niles worked his way into a yard of space before sending a curling strike into the far corner of Amos' goal.

Pitman was next to try his luck for Ipswich, pouncing on a slip in the Bolton defence before running clean through on goal. With only Amos left to beat, the former Bournemouth forward got his angles wrong and could only succeed in lobbing the ball wide of the target.

He looked set to make amends at the midway point of the half, having found a way past Amos, but his goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Casado as Wanderers looked to keep themselves in the game.

Amos was alert to dive at the feet of Freddie Sears shortly afterwards, after the forward had broken free of the Bolton backline, while, at the other end, a weak effort from Madine was blocked and cleared to safety after Casado's low corner fell kindly at his feet.

Then, in similar circumstances to those at Deepdale at the weekend, Bolton were left to rue the decision of a match referee when Clayton was clipped on the edge of the box. On this occasion, Jonas Knudson appeared to be the last defender and, as was the case against Preston, he was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card to his name.

David Wheater took responsibility for the resulting free-kick, only to see his thundering strike deflect behind, moments before an unmarked Darren Pratley saw a half-volley blocked at the far post.

Madine and Clayton both came close to equalising as the half began to draw to a close, while Sears volleyed over at the other end after he gambled to get on the end of a knockdown from Pitman.

Two minutes of time were added for stoppages at the end of the half, during which Amos was on hand to claw away a curling shot from Sears, as the Wanderers goalkeeper ensured the scoreline remained at 1-0 going into the interval.

There was one change to the Bolton side that emerged for the start of the second period, as Osede came on to replace Gouano at right-back. Ipswich, meanwhile, remained unchanged, with the exception of Jonathan Douglas, who had been sent on for the injured Maitland-Niles in the closing moments of the first period.

Douglas was the thickness of a crossbar away from doubling the home side's advantage within five minutes of the restart, as he saw a long-range strike clip the top of the woodwork, moments before Wheater once again put his body on the line to keep out a goalbound header from Sears.

A well-worked free-kick involving Pratley and Jay Spearing carved out an opportunity for Josh Vela midway through the half, but his volley was subsequently charged down, while Wheater headed straight into the arms of Gerken after the ball was pumped back into Ipswich territory.

Then, after several minutes defending their lead, Town broke with ease and put the game to bed with a well-deserved second goal, as Pitman finished off a sweeping move by firing past a helpless Amos.

They were to be denied a third when Spearing headed off the line with 15 minutes remaining, before Sears dragged wide and forced Amos into an outstanding save from two separate attacks that followed.

Liam Feeney looked to make the most of a rush of blood from Gerken inside three minutes of stoppage time, as he attempted to chip the ball over a goalkeeper who had come bursting out of his area, but his shot clipped the top of the net as Ipswich preserved their clean sheet and consigned Wanderers to a defeat that leaves them with a record of just one win in their last 20 league outings - dating back to April.

Lennon's side remain 22nd in the Championship table, but, with results elsewhere going against them, Wanderers are now four points shy of their nearest rivals against the drop - Bristol City - who travel to Macron Stadium on Saturday.

Ipswich Town: Gerken, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Maitland-Niles (Douglas 44), Skuse, Bru, Sears, Murphy, Pitman (McGoldrick 89)
Subs Not Used: Parr, Oar, Coke, Malarczyk, Bialkowski
Booked: Knudsen, Chambers
Goals: Maitland-Niles 13, Pitman 70

Bolton Wanderers: Amos, Gouano (Osede 46), Dervite, Wheater, Casado, Spearing (Heskey 79), Vela, Pratley, Clayton (Woolery 73), Madine, Feeney
Subs Not Used: Rachubka, Danns, Dobbie, Twardzik
Booked: Casado, Madine

Referee: Darren Deadman
Attendance: 17,017

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Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Rotherham United 22 22
21 Reading 22 19
22 Millwall 22 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 22 18
24 Ipswich Town 22 14
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2017/18 Player of the Year?
53.85% Ben Alnwick
13.11% Sammy Ameobi
10.49% Karl Henry
8.39% Antonee Robinson
4.98% David Wheater
3.41% Mark Beevers
2.1% Mark Little
1.84% Josh Vela
1.57% Darren Pratley
0.26% Reece Burke