Tractor Boys spoil Campbell’s big day

Southend United 1 Ipswich Town 3

Despite suffering a second home reverse in five days, new incumbent, Sol Campbell should be proud of his new charges, after matching the run away league leaders for long periods in this Sky Bet League One clash on Saturday.

A James Norwood double either side of the break with Kayden Jackson’s clincher saw the Tractor Boys bounce back from two consecutive defeats. Youth product, Emile Acquah, hit the Blues’ late consolation.

The Shrimpers almost had the dream start when Rob Kiernan converted Isaac Hutchinson’s fourth minute free-kick – only to be disallowed for a very marginal offside. Where was VAR when you needed it?

Campbell’s supposed ‘dream’ start turned into a nightmare, barely four minutes later, when a long Kayden Jackson ball found Norwood, who netted with an angled drive past a static Mark Oxley.

But, his new charges didn’t give up and the enterprising Elvis Bwomono’s 15th minute cross was a cigarette paper’s width from making contact with fit-again, Tom Hooper and co-striker, Stephen Humphrys.

However, a minute later Southend’s defensive nervousness was again highlighted when Oxley was caught in no-man’s-land and his weak clearance on found Town’s Danny Rowe, but the schemer’s poor effort – with a gaping goal – trickled wide.

Oxley then redeemed himself, on 29 minutes with a fine double save from sub, Jon Nolan – on for the injured Cole Skuse – and Jackson, as the Tractor Boys sought to increase their hold on this contest.

In an increasingly physical encounter, Humphrys was lucky not to see red for a high, 37th minute challenge on Gwion Edwards.

Still a threat, Ipswich should have been going in at the interval with a two-goal lead. However, having received a knock-on from Luke Garbutt’s corner kick, skipper, Luke Chambers headed wide from a yard out.

After a relatively even start to the second period, with Shrimpers’ Simon Cox having a decent opportunity blocked, Ipswich profited from a defensive slip when Jackson was again provider, with twenty minutes remaining, and Norwood duly obliged with an assertive side-foot past Oxley’s despairing dive.

Ipswich further dampened Southend’s resolve after they failed to clear Garbutt’s 75th minute flag-kick. Nolan’s initial drive was well saved by Oxley, only for Jackson to ram home the follow-up, to send the 2,400 travelling supporters wild.

For once, the visiting defence took their eye off the ball, and sub, Acquah was in the right place at the right time to side-foot home Nathan Ralph’s 84th minute cross – his first senior goal.

In a late Southend flurry, sub., Jason Demetriou curled wide, to leave Southend further entrenched in the drop zone.

New boss, Campbell said after the game: “There are lots of positives we can take from today. We started off really well, we really should have had the goal – it was onside. That would have been a fantastic start. But, that’s the way things go when you’re at the bottom of the table.”

The former Tottenham defender added: “Once the lads get fitter, I’m hoping we can minimise mistakes – other teams will have to work harder to score goals. You can see the lads out there training now. We haven’t got a lot of time.”

With Sunderland away next Saturday (kick-off 3pm), Campbell concluded: “I love those [big] games. We’ll work towards that. It doesn’t matter who we are playing. We’re in a football club. We’re footballers! This is normality. It’s what these guys love. Week in, week out – the big games. Not only the big games – these games are points for me.”

Defender, Elvis Bwomono, said: “We can take a lot of positives from today’s performance – things just aren’t going our way. But, for quite some time we had quite a long of momentum and things like not scoring when we’re on top.”

He added: “I think I am a very good attacker and like to get the ball and drive forward. I’d like to think I can do that more often.”

Bwomono concluded: “There are plenty more points to play for. The games are coming thick and fast. We just need to prepare well and be ready.”

Victorious boss, Paul Lambert, said: “We showed great character today and we know we are in a strong position.”

Southend United: Mark Oxley, Elvis Bwomono, Rob Kiernan, Joe Shaughnessy, Timothee Dieng, Mark Milligan (capt) (Jason Demetriou 84), Isaac Hutchinson, Nathan Ralph, Simon Cox, Stephen Humphrys, Tom Hopper (Emile Acquah 71). Substitutes: Nathan Bishop, Brendan Goodship, Richard Taylor, Matt Rush.

Ipswich Town: Will Norris, Kane Vincent-Young (James Wilson 59), Luke Woolfenden, Luk Chambers (capt), Luke Garbutt, Danny Rowe (Alan Judge 68), Flynn Downes, Cole Skuse (Jon Nolan 28), Gwion Edwards, James Norwood, Kayden Jackson. Subs: Tomas Holy, Anthony Georgiou, Emyr Harris, Will Keane.

Referee: Andy Davies

Assistants: Darren Blunden, Adrian Waters

Fourth Official: Michael George

Attendance: 8,632.

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Rowland Lyons

Email: [email protected]