14 Aug 2022

Kieran McKenna demands more from Ipswich despite victory at Forest Green

Kieran McKenna demands more from Ipswich despite victory at Forest Green

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna insisted he wants more from his side after they overcome plucky Sky Bet League One newcomers Forest Green.

Goals in the first half from Marcus Harness and Sam Morsy handed McKenna’s Tractor Boys their first win of the season.

Ian Burchnall’s Rovers improved after the break, substitute Josh March pulling a goal back in the 65th minute on a sun-kissed afternoon in the Cotswolds.

McKenna said: “We have to keep improving, because I thought we should have been more than two goals ahead, but it was good to get the three points and it was important as a group, especially with new players bedded in and it’s important you get that feeling of a win on the road.”

And the former Manchester United coach was pleased with the clinical first-half finishes from Harness and Morsy, adding: “Marcus (Harness) is really instinctive in the box, shoots off both feet with good power and Sam produced an outstanding finish.”

In their first-ever League One home game, Rovers started brightly enough, with Regan Hendry fizzing over.

Nonetheless, the Tractor Boys were quickly into their stride and Harness was picked out by Jai Donacien who induced a plunging save from Luke McGee.

Morsy found the gloves of McGee when directing his free header wide and then the goalkeeper’s spectacular palmed save stopped Freddie Lapado’s rocket from finding the top corner.

However, Ipswich nosed in front in the 37th minute as Harness fizzed in after a period of pinball in the box.

Deep into first-half stoppage Morsy was afforded space to bend a sumptuous strike over McGee from the edge of the box.

Rovers got back into the match with 25 minutes to go, March tucking the ball home after substitute Armani Little saw his strike blocked.

Christian Walton kept Ipswich’s noses in front as he parried a March volley and blocked substitute Sean Robertson’s follow-up.

March thought he had grabbed an equaliser for Rovers, but the offside flag spared Ipswich as Rovers looked for parity.

Rovers were baying for a red card when March was pulled back by Cameron Burgess, who was afforded a yellow in stoppage time as Ipswich negated the nine minutes of added time.

Forest Green boss Burchnall felt Burgess’ stoppage-time tug on March warranted a red card.

He said: “We didn’t get the decision and it was disappointing, but it looked it and a brave decision for the referee if he’s going to send him off, but he didn’t and I’m not sure he got it right.

“But look, we have to live with it.”

Burchnall heaped praise on his side after they went two goals down in the first half

“I think we matched them in many areas today and I’ll be very surprised if they’re not right at the very top of the league this season,” he added.

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