February 2, 2013
Four-star Town hammer Boro
Ipswich picked up their first win of 2013 and boosted their survival prospects with a thumping 4-0 win over play-off contenders Middlesbrough at Portman Road.
Town boss Mick McCarthy continued to be laid low with a virus, but would have had plenty to cheer about from his sickbed regardless as Tommy Smith netted just before half-time after a good spell of pressure countered Boro's attacking start to the game.
The afternoon only got better for the hosts as David McGoldrick fired in a screamer minutes after the restart and Aaron McLean made it 3-0 on 56 minutes, before Smith scored his second to seal Town's first home win since December.
Middlesbrough handed former England international Kieron Dyer his debut and they started positively, but both defences held tight and Andre Bikey's third-minute free-kick was caught easily by Scott Loach in the Ipswich goal.
Aaron Cresswell's corner in the 12th minute found Luke Chambers but the Town defender's header went wide, before Boro went on the attack and Grant Leadbitter shot from distance without reward.
Both sides exchanged further shots in quick succession, all coming from range, as Emmanuel Ledesma fired over for the visitors and Carlos Edwards' snap effort missed Steele's left-hand post.
Lukas Jutkiewicz's cross needed a superb headed clearance from Cresswell but the hosts had a succession of corners while Steele pulled off the game's first real save on 27 minutes to deny McGoldrick after he and McLean combined with some slick passing.
Ipswich were in some measure of control as Daryl Murphy shot into the sidenetting from a difficult angle, and the pressure finally paid off on 38 minutes as Cresswell's accurate corner found Smith and the centre-back cropped up at the near post to powerfully head in.
Boro boss Tony Mowbray brought on Mark Tyler for Ledesma at half-time, but they were no better for it as within two minutes of the restart McGoldrick won the ball in midfield before powering through and shooting from outside the box for Town's second.
It was all Ipswich thereafter as Cresswell looped the ball for McLean to chase and the latter shook off his man before curling home expertly from outside the box.
Edwards then took the long-range option but was denied by Steele while Luke Hyam saw a shot go just wide after good work from McLean, who was then replaced by Frank Nouble.
Ipswich looked content to hold possession but Smith had other ideas with 12 minutes left as he headed in another corner, this time delivered by Edwards, who was denied a goal from distance by Steele just moments later.
New Town arrival and substitute Anthony Wordsworth had time for another effort but could only fire well over the bar in stoppage time.
|1 Scott Loach||1 Jason Steele|
|4 Luke Chambers||39 Jonathan Woodgate|
|5 Richard Stearman||3 Andre Amougou|
|20 Tommy Smith||4 George Friend|
|3 Aaron Cresswell||14 Rhys Williams|
|7 Carlos Edwards||12 Kieron Courtney Dyer|
|8 Guiranne N'daw||7 Grant Leadbitter|
|19 Luke Hyam||38 Faris Haroun|
|25 Aaron Mclean||9 Marvin Emnes|
|27 Daryl Murphy||17 Lukas Jutkiewicz|
|16 David McGoldrick||11 Emanuele Ledesema|
|13 Stephen Henderson||Connor Ripley 31|
|6 Patrick Kisnorbo||Stuart Parnaby 21|
|2 Elliott Hewitt||Seb Hines 15|
|17 Andrew Drury||Adam Reach 25|
|14 Anthony Wordsworth||Nick Bailey 10|
|10 Michael Chopra||Joshua McEachran 16|
|35 Frank Nouble||Mustapha Carayol 19|
|Frank Nouble for Aaron Mclean (66)||Joshua McEachran for Emanuele Ledesema (46)|
|Anthony Wordsworth for David McGoldrick (77)||Adam Reach for Marvin Emnes (62)|
|Andrew Drury for Luke Hyam (86)||Seb Hines for Jonathan Woodgate (65)|
|Guiranne N'daw (80)|
|· Squads: Ipswich Town | Middlesbrough|