Ipswich Town 2 Millwall 3 – Lions produce second-half turnaround to earn first Championship away win of the season

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Millwall ended their wait for an away Championship win this season as they won 3-2 at Ipswich Town on New Year’s Day.

The Lions fought back from Jack Lankester’s early opener with three second-half goals in the space of 16 minutes.

Shane Ferguson converted from the spot before Jake Cooper put the South Londoners ahead.

Elliott took advantage of a weak backpass to make it 3-1 before Town substitute Kayden Jackson slammed in a spectacular strike to ensure a nervy finish.

Millwall suffered a double setback even before they headed to Suffolk with Lee Gregory and Shaun Hutchinson both ruled out.

Top-scorer Gregory was sidelined due to his calf problem sustained in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest. And centre-back Hutchinson, beginning to show the kind of form which made him last season’s Player of the Year, was also unavailable.

It saw Aiden O’Brien starting up top alongside Elliott with Murray Wallace partnering Cooper in the centre of the South London side’s backline.

And Ipswich did not take long to get their noses in front in East Anglia.

Referee Stephen Martin played advantage as Cooper caught Freddie Sears late and Lankester, 18, curled a lovely finish beyond Jordan Archer. The teenager was given too long to pick his spot.

The only bonus from the first half was that Ipswich had not put the contest to bed.

Archer had to stand strong to deny Sears from close range while Ellis Harrison’s volley struck the chest of Murray Wallace when it looked to be heading on target and at speed.

Ryan Tunnicliffe made a vital sliding block to divert away another Sears chance on 28 minutes as Ipswich found it too easy to carve open the Lions backline.

Millwall began to get more of a hold on proceedings after that but largely huffed and puffed in the final third.

Their best opportunity came as they defended a corner, Elliott releasing Jed Wallace for nigh-on a pitch-length gallop – the winger’s low angled shot blocked by Town number one Dean Gerken.

Boss Neil Harris made a change at the break with James Meredith replaced by Steve Morison. The Australian’s left-back berth was filled by Ferguson.

Ipswich pressed the self-destruct button for the first time on the hour mark. Cooper’s diagonal ball was nodded down by Morison and Luke Chambers brought down Elliott as he tried to make a connection. 

Ferguson took on penalty responsibilities in the absence of Gregory and cooly dispatched his kick.

Millwall went ahead soon after and once again their was a bad call by the hosts. Jordan Spence allowed the ball to run out of play expecting a goal-kick but it had clearly touched an Ipswich player last. Ferguson’s outswinging delivery was diverted back into the dangerzone by Murray Wallace for Steve Morison to send in a fine ball to the left post – Elliott’s header back across being forced home by Cooper.

Elliott added to his two assists with a goal of his own to kill off the contest. Matthew Pennington’s backpass on the right of the penalty area was undercooked and although Gerken managed to block the onrushing Elliott’s attempts to reach the ball first, the striker ended up being teed up by O’Brien’s backheel to finish.

It looked game over but Ipswich substitute Jackson gave the rock bottom Tractor Boys late hope with a spectacular strike from the edge of the box which went in via the left upright.

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