|Ipswich Town 3 v 1 Nottingham Forest|
Tuesday, 27th November 2012 Kick-off 19:45
Town 3-1 Nottingham Forest
Tuesday, 27th Nov 2012 21:59
Guirane N’Daw, Luke Hyam and Daryl Murphy were on target as Town climbed out of the bottom three by beating Nottingham Forest 3-1 at Portman Road. Forest keeper Lee Camp should already have been sent off before he and ex-Blues loanee Danny Collins failed to deal with a long ball and N’Daw netted his first goal for Town. Blackstock equalised for the visitors after the break but Hyam slammed in his first for the Blues after Campbell’s penalty had been saved and Murphy added the third late on.
Boss Mick McCarthy handed Tyrone Barnett his Blues debut and recalled ex-Forest man Luke Chambers and Hyam. The injured Nigel Reo-Coker, Michael Chopra and Danny Higginbotham, the latter pair loanees at the City Ground at one time, drop out.
The Forest starting line-up included ex-Blues Collins, who wore the captain’s armband, and Dan Harding, as well as one-time Town target Billy Sharp.
Town started the brighter of the two sides and both Aaron Cresswell and Guirane N’Daw, who was wearing a bandage around his head, had shots blocked inside the first three minutes.
After a scrappy spell, the Blues created the game’s first serious chance. After debutant Barnett had been fouled on the Town left, a Martin freekick was returned to the winger, who sent in a right-footed cross, which Tommy Smith headed powerfully goalwards but too close to Forest keeper Lee Camp, who claimed.
The Northern Irish international glovesman’s night might have been over in the 16th minute when DJ Campbell chased a long ball over the top from N’Daw. Camp rushed off his line handled the ball outside the area and clattered into the on-loan QPR man as he looked to take the ball past him with the goal gaping.
Referee Andy D’Urso, an official with a reputation for having given the Blues little over the years, took an age to make a decision on which colour card to show and in the end it was a particularly lenient yellow, to inevitable boos. Cresswell hammered the freekick into the wall to more boos from the crowd aimed at D’Urso.
Town continued to have the better of the half against their more fancied opponents, new boy Barnett hitting a 17th minute shot into the sidenetting.
Forest’s first chance of the game came on 25 when Dexter Blackstock seized on some loose passing just inside the Town half and brought the ball into the area before hitting a low shot across Stephen Henderson, which the Blues keeper saved to his left. Blackstock might have seen that Sharp was well placed in space to his right had he looked up.
But it was still mainly Town and moments later the lively Martin, who spent time on loan at the City Ground when a Manchester United player, brought the ball forward to the edge of the area and hit a shot which was blocked.
Carlos Edwards’s rebound met the same fate before the Blues won a corner, from which the ball was cleared to Hyam, whose powerful 25-yard strike flew narrowly over. Soon after at the other end, Henderson saved comfortably to his left from Elliott Ward after a Forest freekick.
The goal which Town’s excellent first half display had deserved came on the half hour mark after a catastrophic mix-up between skipper Collins and keeper Camp. Both ended leaving Campbell’s long ball down the middle for one another allowing N’Daw to take it into the area unchallenged before lashing home from a few feet out, playground style. It was the Senegalese international’s first goal for the Blues.
Town going ahead was a signal for the visitors to show more attacking endeavour than previously and on 34 Adlene Guedioura’s low 25-yard freekick was saved by Henderson, who pushed it away from goal but only to Sharp. The on-loan Southampton man found Ward at the far post and Smith blocked his shot from a tight angle.
A minute later Guedioura, the scorer of the winning goal against his former club Wolves at the weekend, saw a powerful volley blocked Hyam on the edge of the area.
Forest came close to getting back on terms in the 42nd minute when Chambers, who had been booed by his old fans, and Bradley Orr failed to clear, allowing Sharp a shot at goal from the edge of the box.
The former Doncaster man seemed set to add to his already impressive total of goals at Portman Road but Henderson did superbly to tip the ball onto the bar and over, with Chambers perhaps also having got a touch on the way through.
From the resultant corner, the visitors threatened again, Barnett blocking a low strike from former Norwich loanee Henri Lansbury in the six-yard area.
For once Town were deservedly cheered off at the break, having dominated the half and having created enough to be further in front.
Keeper Camp, who was hugely fortunate to still be on the pitch, and his backline had got into trouble with balls down the middle time and time again and it was little surprise that the Blues’ goal came via that route.
Sharp’s late effort, well-saved by the increasingly confident-looking Henderson, warned that the visitors were a danger, even if their overall first half performance hadn’t been up to much.
In order to address that, Forest manager Sean O’Driscoll switched Lansbury and Simon Gillett for another one-time Town target James Coppinger and Ireland international Andy Reid at the break.
Orr went just wide from the edge of the box early in the second half, then Cresswell screwed an effort past the post from 30 yards.
However, the visitors began to dominate play with sub Reid making an early impact. On 55 the former Spurs man tried to catch Henderson out with a low shot from distance after a throw on the right but the keeper was equal to it.
Daryl Murphy replaced debutant Barnett in the 56th minute and almost immediately was involved in a move which was close to adding to Town’s lead. The Irishman crossed from the left, the ball was cleared to N’Daw, who hit a wayward shot which Campbell diverted toward goal only for Camp to superbly push it past the post.
But two minutes later, the visitors were on terms. Sharp exchanged passes with Reid on the left as he broke into the area and cut the ball back to Blackstock, who diverted home from a few feet. It was a well-worked goal and the Midlands team had, Campbell’s chance moments earlier aside, been on top for the most part since the break.
But the lead wasn’t to last for long. Right on the hour, N’Daw sent Campbell away into the area, the striker initially losing control but regained it before cutting inside Collins, who fouled him. Referee D’Urso pointed straight to the spot.
Campbell took the kick himself but Camp pushed it out only for Hyam to slam in his first senior goal from eight yards before celebrating in front of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.
Campbell failed to significantly test Camp with a shot from the edge of the box with the Blues looking to increase their lead, then on 69 Orr was booked for a foul on the breaking Sharp, the striker joining him in D’Urso’s book for his reaction to the challenge and Hyam for his reaction to that.
There was a scare for the Blues on 80 when, after Hyam had given the ball away in the centre circle, Chris Cohen sent a low ball across the Town six-yard box which no one got a touch to before it slipped past Henderson’s post.
In the 82nd minute Murphy chased an Orr pass down the right, held off Ward all too easily, cut in and hit a shot from 10 yards which Collins blocked. Town were still good for their lead and looking the more threatening team for the most part.
Hyam was swapped for Andy Drury for the final seven minutes, the hometown boy going off to a standing ovation.
Cresswell made an important interception as Blackstock chased a ball into the area before Michael Chopra replaced Campbell in the Town attack for the final couple of minutes.
In the final minute of normal time Daryl Murphy sealed the result. The on-loan Celtic man caught fellow Irishman Reid in possession on the Blues left and brought the ball in on goal before beating Camp for his third goal of the season.
Referee D’Urso’s whistle signalled the end soon after and Mick McCarthy’s second three-point haul in his three, still unbeaten, home games in charge.
It was by far Town’s best display of the McCarthy era with Hyam, N’Daw and Henderson probably the stand-out performers, although it’s a touch churlish to pick out individuals from what was an excellent team display.
With Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday both losing, the result takes the Blues out of a relegation zone they have occupied for most of the season so far.
Town: Henderson, Orr, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards (c), Hyam, N'Daw, Martin, Campbell (Chopra 88), Barnett (Murphy 56). Unused: Loach, Hewitt, Higginbotham, Drury, Emmanuel-Thomas.
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Hutton, Ward, Collins (c), Harding (McGugan 78), Gillett (Reid 46), Cohen, Guedioura, Lansbury (Coppinger 46), Blackstock, Sharp. Unused: Darlow, Moussi, Moloney, Ayala. Referee: Andy D’Urso (Billericay). Att: 16,200 (Forest: 787)
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