An agonising defeat for Shrewsbury Town as they once again concede a late goal and end up leaving Suffolk with nothing to show for their endeavours.
Unfortunately, a pattern is emerging for Shrewsbury Town. Sam Ricketts’ side were once again guilty of dropping far too deep in the second half and they were duly punished.
For large portions of the contest, Town showed a different side to their mentality with the visitors nullifying Ipswich’s attacking threat.
However, another defensive error gave Paul Lambert’s outfit a route back into the contest with an own goal cancelling out Ollie Norburn’s early opener.
Shrewsbury did deserve something from the match, but invited pressure and Jack Lancaster nodded home in the 97th minute to give promotion chasing Ipswich all three points.
Sam Ricketts elected to name the same eleven that drew 3-3 with Swindon last weekend and it appeared to be a wise move early on.
Shrewsbury were looking to avoid defeat at Portman Road for the first time since 1954 – and made an ideal start to achieving that feat. Shaun Whalley latched onto Ollie Norburn’s sweeping pass and hit the deck after receiving slight contact from Mark McGuinness. Ollie Norburn took the responsibility and despite Thomas Holy getting a glove to it the effort was powerful enough to beat the Czech stopper.
Ipswich were keen to respond after conceding their first home league goal of the campaign. Former Accrington striker Kayden Jackson cut inside into the area, but his final effort was comfortably gathered by Harry Burgoyne.
Those of an Ipswich persuasion will certainly feel that Tim Robinson’s decision to award a 3rd minute penalty was harsh. However, the home side did get the rub of the green later on. Charlie Daniels found Marc Pugh and he cut back onto his right foot. McGuinness appeared to upend Pugh but the referee controversially waved play on.
Former Shrewsbury midfielder Jon Nolan would have been keen to haunt his former employers, but he lasted just 22 minutes due to injury. His teammates tried to locate an equaliser in his absence. Ex Brentford man Alan Judge produced a clever flick into the direction of Kayden Jackson. Harry Burgoyne came rushing off his line to make a crucial intervention.
Ipswich may feel aggrieved that they were not awarded a spot-kick of their own. Pugh miskicked his clearance from McGavin’s corner and the ball struck the hand of the midfielder – the referee decided not to even the scores on the penalty front.
Paul Lambert’s side were forced into taking pot shots as Shrewsbury defended admirably. Judge dragged an attempt well wide of the target.
The visitors were content trying to launch counter attacks. Marc Pugh’s header found Shaun Whalley, but the winger’s half volley was straight at Thomas Holy.
Ipswich left it late in the first period to threaten and only divine intervention kept Town in the lead. Kayden Jackson cut the ball back to Brett McGavin; the youngster was thwarted by Ethan Ebanks-Landell. The ball fell kindly for ex West Ham striker Freddie Sears and his shot appeared to be heading for the top corner, but Matt Millar diverted behind.
The home side began the second half on the front foot. Former Nottingham Forest defender Luke Chambers’ put up field was met by Kayden Jackson. Harry Burgoyne left his post to put Jackson under the cosh, the latter made a connection, but the ball ricocheted behind.
The game became a rather dull affair with neither side threatening their opposing keepers. A rare venture forward from Sears saw the forward jink into the box. He slid the ball across the middle and Judge met it with Irishman striking the woodwork.
At the other end, Daniels found Marc Pugh. The ex-Bournemouth man struck a powerful effort which was well held by Holy. Shrewsbury tried to double their advantage through Pugh, but Chambers arrived on the scene to provide a timely challenge.
Shrewsbury were comfortable, but soon proved to be the architects of their own downfall. Kenneth Bennetts, whose parent club is Champions League participants Borussia Monchengladbach, crossed into the danger area. Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s concentration was not up to par as he diverted the delivery beyond his own goalkeeper.
Both sides were beginning to make errors. Careless goalkeeping from Thomas Holy was seized upon by Shrewsbury. Ryan Barnett slipped Daniel Udoh through, but Ipswich managed to clear their lines. Ipswich began to move it up a gear. Lankaster’s corner was powered over by Luke Chambers.
The introduction of seven minutes of injury time will have been greeted with dread by the Town bench. But it was Shrewsbury that troubled the hosts when Ryan Barnett bulldozed forward. Ex-Shrewsbury defender Toto Nsiala arrived on the scene to produce a crucial tackle.
Yet there was a sense of inevitably that Town would concede late on; and so it proved to be the case. Alan Judge’s strike was parried by Harry Burgoyne, and Lankaster was on had to nod home from close range. Shrewsbury did have a chance cleared off the line late on, but this latest defeat piles further pressure on Sam Ricketts’ shoulder.
Shrewsbury travel to MK Dons on Tuesday evening, whilst Ipswich welcome league leaders Hull City.
Team Line Ups
1. Holy, 4. Chambers, 22. Nsiala, 2. McGuinness, 3. Ward, 42. McGavin, 11. Nolan (22), 15. Bishop (50), 18, Judge, 9. Jackson (65), 20. Sears (65)
Subs: 6. Woolfenden, 10. Norwood (65), 14. Lankaster (22), 17. Bennetts (65), 28. Cornell, 30. Kenlock, 44. Huws (50)
Subs Not Used: 6. Woolfenden, 28. Cornell, 30. Kenlock
1. Burgoyne, 14. Millar, 5. Williams, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 2. Pierre, 15. C. Daniels, 4. Edwards, 8. Norburn (76), 7. Whalley (79), 20. Tracey (79), 27. Pugh (92)
Subs: 10. Vela (76), 16. Walker (92), 18. Barnett (79), 23. Udoh (79), 25. High, 33, Iliev, 35. Cummings
Subs Not Used: 25. High, 33. Iliev, 35. Cummings
Other League One Results
Accrington 0 – 0 Lincoln
Burton 1 – 3 Northampton
Doncaster 1 – 1 Sunderland
Fleetwood 5 – 1 Plymouth
Gillingham 1 – 1 Charlton
MK Dons 1 – 3 Hull
Peterborough 1 – 2 Blackpool
Portsmouth 4 – 1 Crewe
Rochdale 0 – 1 AFC Wimbledon
Swindon 1 – 0 Bristol Rovers
Wigan 1 – 2 Oxford