Ipswich Town began the league season with a 2-0 victory against Wigan on Sunday afternoon.
The headline news prior to kick-off was the omission of Luke Woolfenden. Paul Lambert confirmed that the central defender, alongside Jack Lankester, picked up a knock in training on Friday.
Toto Nsiala regained his place after sitting out the midweek defeat against Arsenal U21s to partner James Wilson, who was deputising for Woolfenden.
Tomas Holy was given the nod ahead of David Cornell in goal, with Aaron Drinan continuing in the number nine role ahead of James Norwood and Oli Hawkins, who were both on the bench.
As expected, Flynn Downes was not included in the squad. The midfielder previously had a few days off to clear his head and Lambert stating on Friday that he is currently happy with the trio of Andre Dozzell, Jon Nolan and Teddy Bishop.
Wigan handed starts to debutants Dan Gardiner, Chris Merrie, Viv Solomon-Otabor, Adam Long and Emeka Obi. Former Blue Joe Garner captained the Latics, with Gary Roberts also starting for the visitors.
Friday’s signings Danny Fox and Josh Clarke were not included in the squad by new boss John Sheridan.
Town: Holy, Chambers (C), Wilson, Nsiala, Ward, Nolan, Dozzell, Bishop (Huws 76), Judge, Drinan (Norwood 45), Sears (Edwards 73).
Subs: Cornell, Donacien, Kenlock, Hawkins.
Wigan: Jones, Pearce, Naismith, Evans, Garner (C), Gardner (Perry 45), Soloman-Otabor, Roberts, Obi, Merrie, Long.
Subs: Evans, Crankshaw, Joseph, Jolley, Aasgaard, Webber.
It was the visitors who started the game more brightly and could have been ahead via Emeki Obi. The full-back met a Gary Roberts corner, but despite being unmarked he headed wide of Tomas Holy’s goal.
However, it was Town who took the lead. It was quick thinking from Stephen Ward who took a quick free-kick up the line to Freddie Sears. Sears’ crosses was half met by a Wigan defender, but the advancing Teddy Bishop header past Jones in the Wigan goal.
Bishop almost doubled his and Town’s lead just before the half hour mark. A Jon Nolan driving run towards the box found Drinan laying the ball back to Bishop who was denied by a brilliant combination of Jones and the post.
Moments later, former Blue Joe Garner nearly levelled for the Latics, but the striker’s overhead kick came back of the crossbar.
Town should have gone into the back with a two goal lead, with Freddie Sears denied by Jones just before the break. Another good move from Town with Dozzell fizzing the ball out wide, Sears then exchanged passes with Alan Judge, but Jones was there to again deny Town a second.
James Norwood was introduced at the break for Aaron Drinan and Town were soon close to doubling their lead. Wigan half cleared the corner, but the Blues worked the ball back to Dozzell who found Wilson six yards from goal with defender dragging his shot wide.
Wigan controlled a large part of the second half, however it was Paul Lambert’s side who got the second goal. Substitute Gwion Edwards clinched the game with an easy finish after some good work from Jon Nolan and Alan Judge down the left hand side.
Man of the Match
Images: Richard Calver / TOTT