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Highlights and reaction as Ipswich Town bounce back with narrow home win against Gillingham at Portman Road




Ipswich Town assistant manager Stuart Taylor described last night's 1-0 Sky Bet League One victory over Gillingham at Portman Road as a 'professional performance'.

The Blues returned to winning ways thanks to Teddy Bishop's fine 86th-minute strike, writes Jacob Henderson.

The clean sheet also means Town – who move up a place to third in the table and three points off leaders Lincoln City – are still yet to concede a goal at home in the league this season, now a run of four games.

"I thought the lads did really well tonight," said Taylor, who was stepping in to manage the side in place of Paul Lambert who is awaiting Covid-19 test results, told iFollow Ipswich.

"We could have been three nil up by half-time but we had to wait for the breakthrough. I'm pleased the lads stuck to the game plan and eventually got the breakthrough.

"It was a fantastic goal from Bish - one worthy of winning any game. He's doing really well and he took that one superbly.

"I'd say it was a professional performance. Another clean sheet is obviously good for us and going forward I thought there was nice movement off the ball and we looked dangerous when attacking."

Meanwhile, Mark McGuinness is eyeing further minutes with Town after making his Blues bow in the 1-0 victory over Gillingham, writes Mikey Hale.

The on-loan Arsenal defender was one of three changes to the side, Luke Woolfenden and Freddie Sears also coming into the starting XI.

Having impressed in the heart of the defence with a clean sheet, Mark doesn't want to let go of his place in the team anytime soon.

"It was great to be out on the grass and playing football," he told iFollow Ipswich. "At the end of the day, that's why I'm here.

"We had a lot of the ball but they were quite direct and it was challenging for me and Woolfy (Woolfenden). Me and him worked well together. The clean sheet says it all.

"Hopefully, we can build on this and I can be involved again. As I've said, it's all about playing games and getting on the pitch so hopefully I can get another 90 minutes on Saturday."

* watch the full interviews with Taylor and McGuiness on the club'spremium content iFollow subscription service .

Jack Lankester in action for Ipswich Town in the 1-0 home win against GillinghamPicture: ITFC (42889741)
Jack Lankester in action for Ipswich Town in the 1-0 home win against GillinghamPicture: ITFC (42889741)

MATCH REPORT

Blues left it late to claim a 1-0 victory over Gillingham at Portman Road this evening.

Teddy Bishop scored his fourth goal of the season five minutes from time to ensure Town got back to winning ways following successive defeats.

On the day that marked two years since Paul Lambert took charge at Town, the Blues boss was not in attendance at tonight’s game as he awaits the result of a Covid-19 test after showing symptoms this morning.

Asistant manager Stuart Taylor was in charge in the dugout with Paul Lambert serving a touchline ban and isolating while awaiting a coronavirus test resultPicture: ITFC (42889743)
Asistant manager Stuart Taylor was in charge in the dugout with Paul Lambert serving a touchline ban and isolating while awaiting a coronavirus test resultPicture: ITFC (42889743)

Blues made three changes to the defeat at Lincoln. Mark McGuinness was handed his Town debut, meanwhile Luke Woolfenden and Freddie Sears were both back in the starting XI.

Sears had the first real chance of the game, after picking up the ball in the visitors half and driving at the Gills back four, but his strike from the edge of the D took a deflection and narrowly missed the target.

Sears won a free-kick 25 yards out from goal, which Andre Dozzell took and almost gave Town the lead from after his curling effort had Jack Bonham scrambling to his right.

With 20 minutes played, Town had the ball in the back of the net through Sears, but it was chalked off after Sears was deemed to have shoved Bonham who collided with Zech Medley and fell awkwardly.

Town continued to create chances and four minutes later, Jack Lankester saw his right-footed strike from six-yards out crash off the crossbar after Luke Chambers had nodded the ball down to him from a Stephen Ward cross.

Bonham was replaced by Joe Walsh in the Gills net and the 'keeper's first touch was to pick up a back pass which led to an indirect free-kick just inside the penalty area, which Sears dragged wide of the mark.

Five minutes before the break, Sears almost broke the deadlock. The ball fell kindly to him in the middle of the box and his snapshot took a double deflection off two Gillingham defenders and somehow missed the target, going behind for a corner.

The visitors had the first opening of the second-half, as John Akinde skipped past challenges from McGuinness and Ward, before squaring to former Town loanee Dominic Samuel, whose effort from inside the six-yard box was blocked by Tomas Holy.

Three minutes later, Gills should've been ahead through Alex Macdonald. Samuel's low cross from the right-hand side found Macdonald unmarked at the far post, but his effort was well blocked by Luke Chambers who was sliding in.

Gillingham were beginning to get a foothold in the game, this time Jordan Graham's deep cross was met at the far post by Jack Tucker whose thumping header was well held by Holy.

It was Town's turn to try and break the deadlock, Dozzell's quick thinking from a free-kick found Bishop, who tried his luck from distance, which Walsh tipped over the crossbar.

Woolfenden then came close a minute later, firing his shot from the middle of the box just inches wide of the mark.

Somehow the deadlock was yet to be broken and Gillingham had Ryan Jackson to thank on 68 minutes, Oli Hawkins' purposeful run led to a low cross, which Gwion Edwards looked destined to tap into the back of the net, but Jackson's recovery challenge was timed to perfection.

On 75 minutes, McGuinness rose highest to meet Dozzell's outswinging corner, but his header crept over Walsh's crossbar.

Town were beginning to think it wasn't going to be their night, but with five minutes of the 90 left, Bishop curled home a delightful left-footed effort from 20 yards out leaving Walsh with no chance to give Town the lead.

Gillingham almost equalised in injury time, Vadaine Oliver's back post header crashed against the foot of the post and eventually Holy gathered the ball.

Town: Holy, Chambers (C), McGuinness, Woolfenden, Ward, Dozzell, Bishop (Bennetts 90), Lankester (Huws 76), Edwards, Hawkins, Sears (Dobra 68).

Subs: Cornell, Nsiala, Kenlock, Simpson.

Gillingham: Bonham (Walsh 33), Jackson, Tucker, Medley, Dempsey (C), Samuel, Graham, McKenzie, Akinde, Macdonald, Maghoma.

Subs: Willock, Coyle, Eccles, Oliver, Robertson, Woods.

Booked: Macdonald, Dozzell, Bishop, Steve Evans

READ MORE: Lambert left fuming at costly decisions in Lincoln defeat