28 October 2020 08:43
Two first-half Matty Lund strikes cancelled out Charlie Wyke's sixth of the season, and Bailey Wright's first goal for the club. Phil Parkinson made four changes for the midweek encounter, with Dion Sanderson coming in for his debut – George Dobson, Tom Flanagan and Conor McLaughlin also started the contest. Rochdale were not to settle down, and having forced the Black Cats into some organised defending, eventually notched the equaliser as Lund converted Alex Newby's cross from the right-hand side. But it was the Lads who proved clinical, as Max Power persisted well to win a free-kick on the right flank. Chris Maguire's crossed effort was picked up by Gooch, whose cross-shot deflected and looped onto the head of Wright – who made no mistake and opened his Sunderland account.
Parkinson's side came out of the traps strongly, Maguire firing an inviting cross-shot which couldn't be met by a teammate, before Sanderson suffered a blow to his knee whilst winning a challenge in the Rochdale half. Wyke then headed an effort into the arms of Bazunu, as well as a curling Gooch shot at the Dale goalkeeper, but for the most part, the majority of the second half saw little goalmouth action. A blistering attack from the Lads saw a great long ball from Wright find Conor McLaughlin, who sent an equally excellent first-time cross in for Wyke, whose header was kept out by Bazunu before Hume struck just wide. Skipper Power came by far the closest for the Black Cats, striking a stunning effort onto the underside of the crossbar, with substitute Danny Graham heading the rebound into the hands of the 'keeper. Ollie Rathbone's free kick from 30 yards which whistled just wide of Lee Burge's post was the closest the hosts came to claiming all three points, but it finished all-square in Greater Manchester as we look to return to winning ways at Gillingham at the weekend.
Sunderland AFC: Burge; Flanagan, Wright, Sanderson; McLaughlin, Gooch, Dobson, Power ©, Hume; Maguire (Scowen 75'), Wyke (Graham 80'). Andy's Angles: Five observations following Ipswich Town's 1-0 victory over Gillingham Ipswich Town beat Gilllingham last night to get back to winning ways. Town players celebrate with Teddy Bishop after his goal to secure victory. Picture: STEVE WALLER Town players celebrate with Teddy Bishop after his goal to secure victory. This game was drifting towards a goalless draw when a moment of brilliance from Teddy Bishop finally saw Ipswich unpick Gillingham's lock. In the 85 minutes before the midfielder curled the ball home with his left foot from the edge of the box, Town had dominated large spells of the game and had a succession of chances without being able convert. Jack Lankester hit the bar, Freddie Sears had a trio of openings snuffed out and Gwion Edwards would have tapped into an empty net had he arrived to meet Oli Hawkins' low cross a fraction of a second earlier than Ryan Jackson. Town players celebrate Teddy Bishops goal. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com Town players celebrate Teddy Bishops goal. As has been the case in the last two games, there were periods when Ipswich's possession didn't result in any kind of end product and others where the visitors posed a real danger, especially when breaking through Dominic Samuel, John Akinde and Jordan Graham. But a sturdy defensive effort maintained a clean sheet, meaning Ipswich ultimately only needed one big moment to take three big points. Town players celebrate Teddy Bishops goal in the 1-0 victory over Gillingham. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com Town players celebrate Teddy Bishops goal in the 1-0 victory over Gillingham. So, following government guidance, he watched the game from home like thousands of Town fans around the world. Also watching from home was first-team coach Matt Gill, who himself tested positive for the virus having also missed the weekend loss at Lincoln. Lambert was able to play a full part in the preparation for the game, picked the team and spoke to his players at full-time, all while remaining in communication with his bench throughout as assistant Stuart Taylor and goalkeeping coach Jimmy Walker led the side. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com Mark McGuinness heads. The duo were always going to play a bigger-than-usual role in this game, given Lambert was serving a touchline ban in any case following his red card at Sincil Bank. They will both be delighted to have come away with the win. Lambert made three changes to his side for this game, with the stand-out switches coming in the heart of defence as the absent Scot turned the page on a partnership which had served him well up until a week ago. Gone were Toto Nsiala and James Wilson – the former giving away penalties in two successive games and the latter likely feeling extrmely hard done by following a consistent start to the season – with Luke Woolfenden and Mark McGuinness coming in in their places. Luke Chambers fires a ball into the box but Oli Hawkins couldnt get on the end of it. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com Luke Chambers fires a ball into the box but Oli Hawkins couldnt get on the end of it. There were neat touches, clever challenges and good positional sense, while he also offered a real goal threat from set plays as he got his head on balls in the opposition box. Woolfenden, a nailed-on starter last season, also had up-and-down moments but the two young centre-halves were comfortable on the ball and were able to move possession into the midfield quicker than Ipswich have been able to in recent weeks. Sooner or later, Ipswich are going to need a goal from a central striker. Andre Dozzell with a first half free kick. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com Andre Dozzell with a first half free kick. That's 13 games now this season without one, at a time when Ipswich have, admittedly, had real injury troubles in that area thanks to the absences of James Norwood, Kayden Jackson and Aaron Drinan. Oli Hawkins is shouldering the burden at the moment, with no shortage of effort coming from the former Portsmouth man once again in this game. What he did do well, though, is occupy Gillingham defenders to enable the Town midfield room to work. But while that's admirable, if Ipswich are to move to the next level then they need a real, sustained threat to come from their centre-forward position. Freddie Sears with a first half free kick. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com Freddie Sears with a first half free kick. Jackon is the next player scheduled to return, having come back to training following his own positive virus test, and could potentially be involved on Saturday when Crewe visit. Victory moves Lambert's men back up the League One table, into third, and was certainly welcome given what had gone before. Two successive defeats had reopened the wounds of last season and had provoked fears of another slide down the table following a promising start. Gwion Edwards with a second half shot. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com Gwion Edwards with a second half shot. To grumble following three points and a clean sheet is perhaps a little ungrateful but there is definitely a feeling that Ipswich still need to do better, with three more points expected when Crewe visit at the weekend. Then it's a trip to Sunderland, a game in which we'll truly know where Town are at. Lambert's men couldn't beat promotion rivals last season and, if they are to do so in their first meeting with one this season, you feel they will need to move up a gear. But Ipswich will need to be more than decent as bigger tests come around if they are to seriously challenge for promotion. Ipswich keeper Tomas Holy palms away a Gillingham shot. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com Ipswich keeper Tomas Holy palms away a Gillingham shot. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com