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Match Reports


2 April 2021

Blues return to winning ways following early double

Two goals in the first 11 minutes saw Town beat Bristol Rovers 2-1 and climb to ninth in the League One table.

Paul Cook's side opened the scoring within a minute at Portman Road as Luke Leahy deflected the ball into his own net, with Alan Judge then doubling the advantage 10 minutes later.

Joey Barton's Rovers got themselves back in the game through Luke McCormick on 18, but Blues held on to secure an important three points and remain within touching distance of the top six. 

Town boss Paul Cook made two changes to the side that drew at Wigan six days ago, with Luke Woolfenden and Kayden Jackson coming in for Kane Vincent-Young and Freddie Sears.

Vincent-Young missed out with a hamstring injury, while Sears dropped to the bench.

Town went in front after just 48 seconds with a somewhat scrappy goal. Rovers' David Tutonda attempted to clear following an aerial challenge between Kayden Jackson and two defenders, but the ball smacked off the leg of Gwion Edwards and looped across the box before finding the bottom corner via the outstretched leg of Leahy followed by the foot of the post.

First goal vs Bristol Rovers (H).jpg

The hosts continued to press and in the 11th minute had a second. Judge's initial effort from about eight yards out was blocked, but the Irishman reacted well and fired low into the bottom corner at the second time of asking to notch his fourth goal of the season.

But within seven minutes it was game on again. The Gas pinched the ball from Andre Dozzell inside Town's half, with McCormick then producing a clever finish as he chipped the advancing Tomas Holy from just outside the area.

Six minutes later Barton and the visiting players felt aggrieved as Holy was only shown a yellow card following a collision with Jonah Ayunga. A long ball over the top of the Town defence was latched on to by Ayunga, with Holy then bumping into the Rovers forward just outside his penalty area.

Up the other end a low out-swinging free-kick from Judge was poked wide by James Norwood.

Seven minutes before half-time Zain Walker delivered a dangerous cross from the right side, but McCormick fired a first-time effort from the edge of the box wide of Holy's left post.

Cook made one change at half-time with Norwood making way for Aaron Drinan up front.

The visitors had a couple of half-chances early in the second half, but Holy dealt with efforts from Aynga and Ed Upson.

In the 55th minute Town saw a strike cleared off the line. Edwards collected a loose ball on the edge of the box before fizzing across goal, but George Williams was in the right place at the right time to save the visitors.

Troy Parrott, who earned his fourth Republic of Ireland cap in an international friendly with Qatar on Tuesday, then replaced Jackson 24 minutes from time.

Chances were few and far between for the remainder of the contest, although Luke Chambers did go close eight minutes from the end as he flicked a header on to the roof of the net from Dozzell's corner.

Josh Harrop and Armando Dobra both featured for Town in the dying stages as they replaced Teddy Bishop and Alan Judge respectively.

Today's victory was Paul Cook's second as Town boss following on from the home win against Plymouth last month.

Alan Judge celebration vs Bristol Rovers.png

Booked: Holy, Drinan, Oztumer.

Town: Holy, Woolfenden, Nsiala, Chambers, Edwards, Ward, Dozzell, Bishop (Harrop 88'), Judge (Dobra 89'), Jackson (Parrott 66'), Norwood (Drinan 45').

Subs: Cornell, McGuinness, Sears.

Bristol Rovers: Jaakkola, Leahy (C), Upson, Hanlan, McCormick, Tutonda (Westbrooke 59'), Baldwin, Walker (Oztumer 72'), Ayunga, Martinez, Williams.

Subs: Day, Little, Hare, Daly, Barrett.

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