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Paul Lambert felt patience paid off as Ipswich Town overcome Rochdale with goals from Teddy Bishop and Gwion Edwards





Manager Paul Lambert said he was pleased that Ipswich Town stuck to their game plan and remained composed in today's 2-0 win over Rochdale at Portman Road.

The Blues had to remain patient this afternoon as the deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute by Teddy Bishop.

Gwion Edwards made sure of the three points approaching the hour mark, as Town ensured it was three wins from three to keep them top of the early Sky Bet League One table.

Ipswich Town goalscorers Teddy Bishop and Gwoin Edwards celebrate during the home win against Rochdale Picture: ITFC (42429850)
Ipswich Town goalscorers Teddy Bishop and Gwoin Edwards celebrate during the home win against Rochdale Picture: ITFC (42429850)

"We started slowly," the Blues boss said.

"Rochdale had one or two moments themselves in the first half and made it difficult for us. We were a bit sloppy but once we got going we moved the ball quicker and stepped up.

"Defensively we were very solid and the clean sheets are very encouraging. Toto [Nsiala] was outstanding.

Oli Hawkins battles for the ball during Ipswich Town's 2-0 home win against Rochdale Picture: ITFC (42429852)
Oli Hawkins battles for the ball during Ipswich Town's 2-0 home win against Rochdale Picture: ITFC (42429852)

"I'm pleased we stuck at it and got our reward in the second half. The first goal was brilliant and Oli [Hawkins] deserves a lot of credit for how he held the ball up and laid it off for Bish."

Hawkins himself thought Town deserved the three points.

"It was a great win for the boys," he said.

"That's three wins and three clean sheets in a row in the League. It's a brilliant start.

"In wet and windy conditions I thought it was a good performance. We were made to wait but we got the goals in the end.

"Obviously I'd have liked to have got on the scoresheet but the main thing is I'm getting in those areas and getting chances. It was a brilliant save by their 'keeper in the first half. I'm confident the goals will come."

MATCH REPORT:

It was a case of déjà vu for Blues at Portman Road this afternoon as Teddy Bishop and Gwion Edwards were on target in a 2-0 win for Paul Lambert's side.

The pair had both scored on the opening weekend of the 2020/21 League One campaign against Wigan at home, and were again the men that delivered against Rochdale this time around.

Lambert made just one change from last weekend's trip to Bristol Rovers, Oli Hawkins replacing James Norwood up front.

The visitors threatened early on through Aaron Morley. He went close to opening the scoring but his dipping drive from 20 yards out dropped a yard wide of Tomas Holy's right post.

A minute later Gavin Bazunu produced a stunning save for the visitors. A deft pass from Andre Dozzell found Bishop, with the latter then floating the ball to the edge of the six yard box. Hawkins leapt and met it well, but Bazunu, on loan from Manchester City for the season, clawed it away magnificently.

Hawkins was again involved for Blues in the 16th minute - his left-footed shot on the turn striking the outside of the post.

The Town frontman made his aerial presence felt again approaching the half-hour mark. This time a Stephen Ward cross found him - and once again he met it well - but his downward header was cleared off the line by Rochdale captain Eoghan O'Connell.

Rochdale then threatened but Oliver Rathbone's sweet strike from the edge of the box struck the stanchion.

Town went up the other end and produced a neat move that saw Jon Nolan go for goal from just outside the area, but the midfielder's effort was well held by Bazunu who got low to his right.

The visitors again produced a last-ditch clearance as the half-time whistle neared. Freddie Sears' cross dropped right under the bar but was smashed off the line by Jimmy Keohane.

The first chance after the interval came in the 51st minute. O'Connell hacked down Bishop about 25 yards out but Sears fired the resulting free-kick straight into The Dale wall.

The deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute. Hawkins collected a sharp Ward pass and teed up Bishop who was surging into the penalty area. The midfielder took the ball in his stride before clipping into the bottom corner.

And six minutes later Blues made sure of the three points when Edwards latched on to a loose ball in the box and fired underneath Bazunu with his left foot.

Chances were harder to come by in the final half an hour of the match, but Toto Nsiala was excellent for Town when the away side did look dangerous. On three occasions the centre-half put his body on the line as he blocked fierce strikes. He also produced a stunning slide tackle to prevent Holy being forced into action in the Blues net.

The hosts saw out the game fairly comfortably to maintain their 100 per cent start to the campaign.

Town: Holy, Chambers (C), Nsiala, Wilson, Ward, Dozzell, Nolan, Bishop (Downes 67'), Edwards, Hawkins (Norwood 75'), Sears (Lankester 76'). Subs not used: Cornell, Donacien, Kenlock, Huws.

Rochdale: Bazunu, McShane, O'Connell (C), Morley (Brierley 88'), Newby, Beesley (Tavares 88'), Keohane, Rathbone, Done, Ryan (Dooley 62'), Lund. Subs not used: Lynch, McNulty, Hopper, Dunne.

Booked: Ryan, O'Connell, Nolan.

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