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Ipswich Town 4 v 0 Middlesbrough
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 2nd February 2013 Kick-off 15:00
Town 4-0 Middlesbrough
Saturday, 2nd Feb 2013 17:04

Tommy Smith scored twice and David McGoldrick and Aaron Mclean netted their first goals for the Blues as Town romped to a 4-0 victory over Middlesbrough at Portman Road. With boss Mick McCarthy missing the game due to illness, Smith headed home the first seven minutes before the break, McGoldrick lashed in the second soon after the restart, Mclean added the third just prior to the hour, before Smith nodded in the fourth late on.

In McCarthy’s absence, his assistant Terry Connor was the man in charge on the sidelines, however, the boss is understood to have picked the team.

Scott Loach kept his place in goal, Lee Martin was out with a hamstring injury and Richard Stearman made his debut at right-back. Aaron Mclean came into the side in place of Martin with Daryl Murphy switching to left midfield.

New loan signing Stephen Henderson and this week’s permanent addition Anthony Wordsworth were on the bench.

Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus’s Boro side included fellow former Blues Kieron Dyer – at left midfield - and Grant Leadbitter – in the centre.

Early on, Guirane N’Daw played through a pass for David McGoldrick to chase, one-time Town target George Friend eventually getting the ball away from the danger area.

On 13, Luke Chambers headed wide after a corner had somehow reached him through a crowd of players.

The Blues were looking the most threatening side and in the 17th minute McGoldrick chased ball down the right and beat Boro keeper Jason Steele to it, the former England U21 having rashly come a long way off his line. Fortunately for the visitors, McGoldrick was at a very tight angle and his cross was blocked by Andre Bikey.

Emmanuel Ledesma shot not too far over for Boro, then skipper Carlos Edwards sent a strike well wide at the other. Not long after, Murphy shot over after a neat interchange involving Edwards and McGoldrick.

Boro didn’t seriously threaten until the 24th minute when Lukas Jutkiewicz’s overhead kick almost reached Ledesma at the far post, but Aaron Cresswell got his head to the ball ahead of the Argentinian.

Stearman sent a dangerous ball across the Teessiders’ box in the 27th minute, having made a strong run forward as Edwards broke, but ahead of the Blues’ strikers.

Town weren’t far from going in front in the 19th minute when McGoldrick and Mclean exchanged passes, giving the on-loan Forest man a clear shot at goal from the edge of the six-yard box, however, Steele spread himself and blocked by Friend. A subsequent McGoldrick effort from a tight angle on the left was cleared to N’Daw on the edge of the area and his strike was deflected over.

The Blues continued to look the more dangerous side in what had been an entertaining half and on 31 Cresswell played a freekick down the left to Murphy, catching the visitors’ defence sleeping, but the Irishman shot into the sidenetting.

But Town’s persistence paid off in the 38th minute when Cresswell sent over a corner from the right and Tommy Smith got ahead of his marker Friend to powerfully head home his third goal of the season at the near post.

Boro had had spells of possession but without particularly threatening, however, shortly before the whistle, they broke after a Town attack and Leadbitter almost found Ledesma, who had made a clever run in behind, and Loach claimed gratefully.

Despite the visitors passing the ball well at times, Loach, who was wearing his pink boots, had been by far the least tested of the two keepers with the Blues creating most of the half’s opportunities.

McGoldrick in particular had been a thorn in the side of the Boro backline throughout, although he will be disappointed not to have opened his Town goals account when put through by Mclean. Smith’s goal was the epitome of a centre-half’s towering header.

Debutant Stearman had been solid at the back and had come forward when able, while for the visitors Dyer had been unable to make much of a mark on the game, all too often finding himself space but with his team-mates failing to spot him.

All in all, there had been plenty to cheer up the unwell and absent Mick McCarthy.

And, after Jutkiewicz had headed into the sidenetting for Boro soon after the restart, the Blues boss will have been even happier when his side increased their lead in the 47th minute.

McGoldrick out-battled Friend midway inside the Boro half, took the ball forward and lashed a 25-yard shot across Steele and into the net for his first goal for his new club, to add to his 17 for Coventry earlier in the campaign.

Soon after, former Town skipper Leadbitter shot low to Loach’s right, but the keeper claimed comfortably.

In the 56th minute it was 3-0. McGoldrick played a ball forward to Mclean on the left, the on-loan Hull man holding off Faris Haroun before cutting in and hitting a shot which deflected off Bikey and past Steele for the one-time Grays Athletic frontman’s first goal for the Blues and his fourth of the season overall.

Town were by now well on top and McGoldrick came close again when Boro failed to clear a corner but scraped his shot over. Soon after, Murphy sent a dangerous ball across the Teessiders’ box but with no one adding the final touch.

Steele blocked Edwards’s 30-yard strike with his chest on 64, Jonathan Woodgate, who moments later made way for Seb Hines, clearing the danger. Two minutes later, Hyam screwed a shot wide.

Frank Nouble took over from Mclean in the 61st minute, the crowd warmly applauding the scorer of the third goal as he left the field.

Skipper Rhys Williams shot wide for Boro in the 72nd minute after a cross from the left had reached him, but the visitors were showing few signs of getting back into the game, although Dyer was by now more and more involved for Tony Mowbray’s side.

Edwards forced Steele into a fine save to his right on 76, debutant Anthony Wordsworth replacing McGoldrick prior to the corner, to a standing ovation.

And from the flagkick, Town made it four. Edwards sent the corner to the far post and Smith powered home his second headed goal of the game, this time at the far post, off the underside of the bar, his fourth of the season.

N’Daw picked up the game’s first booking for a foul on Dyer as the game moved into its last 10 minutes, Bikey having made rather more fuss about the challenge than was warranted. As the game moved into its final four minutes and with rain now falling heavily, Andy Drury took over from Hyam.

Nouble won a couple of freekicks in dangerous areas in the final minutes and Wordsworth shot just over from distance but the scoreline remained at 4-0 when referee Craig Pawson blew his whistle.

Town were well worth their comfortable victory with Boro looking thoroughly out of sorts. Loach was rarely tested at one end, while man of the match McGoldrick, Mclean and latterly Nouble caused the visitors’ defence problems all afternoon.

Smith made the most of virtually non-existent Boro defending at set pieces, notching the first brace of his career, and in the end the Blues might have won by an even greater margin.

The result, Town's biggest win since the 5-1 victory over West Ham a year and two days ago, their first of 2013 and Terry Connor's first as a manager, will no doubt aid boss Mick McCarthy’s recovery from illness.

Town: Loach, Stearman, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, Hyam (Drury 86), N'Daw, Murphy, Mclean (Nouble 66), McGoldrick (Wordsworth 77). Unused: Henderson, Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Chopra.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Friend, Dyer, Bikey, Woodgate (Hines 65), Williams, Ledesma (McEachran 46), Leadbitter, Haroun, Emnes (Reach 62), Jutkiewicz. Unused: Ripley, Bailey, Carayol, Parnaby. Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire). Att: 16,389 (Boro: 685).

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neillrumsey added 18:04 - Feb 2
Great result and second half performance. Stearman looks a good aquisition far better imo than Orr. Defence were neat and tidy today and Smith was a colossis on set pieces.
McGoldrick works non -stop and fully deserved his fantastic goal. Both him and McClean dovetailed well together and both will benefit from scoring. Carlos Edwards who always seems to get slaughtered on here was excellent today and but for Steele's excellent keeping could have had a couple of goals.
No need for the bad press on Martin as he always works hard. Surely thoses at the match can say we didn't have Martin Murphy or N'Daw such was their contribution.
Two minor negatives who i'm sure will be moved on at the end of the season.
Hyam kept Leadboots quiet and Dyer only came into the game 2nd half.
Onwards and upwards
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Kikapu added 18:31 - Feb 2
How well did Wordsworth play?
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Bluetone added 18:33 - Feb 2
Kikapu Sheer poetry
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itfcbarmyarmy added 18:34 - Feb 2
Anyone know why mcgoldrick went running off down the tunnel after being subbed?
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chippyblue added 18:38 - Feb 2
Wordsworth looks good had a lovey shot on goal only just over " looks to have a good pass on him to !!! COYB
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bluefeast added 18:40 - Feb 2
Role on next week , Jordon Rhodes will try to hard against us and Tommy will let him out of his pocket at the end of the game. COYB
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fugliblue added 18:43 - Feb 2
proud as punch get in there
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StowTractorBoy added 18:45 - Feb 2
Absolutely delighted with this performance and result but we must not get too carried away as a defeat next week and we will quite possibly be one point from the bottom three. We have today though, dragged other teams into the mix and our back four looked more solid than we have seen for a long time. I cringed in the 1st minute of the second half when Middlesbrough should have equalised because Loach failed to come for the cross, but after that we went from strength to strength and I am so pleased for Terry Connor who in 13 attempts in charge of Wolves did not win a game. Well done to our strikers McClean and McGoldrick who will surely get better as they get fitter and good to see Edwards improving his game today. Much happier tonight after last week at Bristol City and hopefully this result will aid Mick McCarthy to a speedy recovery.
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ChestnutSe added 18:50 - Feb 2
Good performance all round today. The new right back looks a good addition to the team, very solid. N'Daw and Hyam were super in midfield and the 2 front guys linked really well. They carved out a really good move in the 1st half which their keeper did well to stop. Cresswell's delivery from corners was top quality today. When I heard Martin was out I said to my mate Town would win and even put money on it, sadly 2-1 so no cigar.
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ericclacton added 18:54 - Feb 2
Great display by Town Boro were dross.
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MrCool added 18:55 - Feb 2
Woo-Hoo!!!
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h32 added 19:39 - Feb 2
Don't agree that Boro were rubbish - just that we made them look VERY ordinary today.

Stearman - excellent debut. Edwards - back to his best. Smith - awesome.
In fact difficult to do anything other than praise allround - but still concerned about Loach's kicking (not good) and in fairness (although he scored) not at all sure about McLean (weight, sharpness, work rate ?)

This is what Saturday nights should be like - shame it was against the great 'Mogga' today - but we need the points !!

Happy Days / Nights again - long may it continue.
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hughesuk123 added 19:39 - Feb 2
well done terry and all the lads felt great walking away from portman road , fa once im looking forward the the football league show lol
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pinewoodblueboy added 19:41 - Feb 2
Gutted, missed 1st home game today due to long standing family commitment & Town put in a fantastic performance, but i,m chuffed to bits with the big 3 points & a chunk off the goal difference. COYB,s.
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essexboy added 19:42 - Feb 2
Who needs DJ.we don't .
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SamWhiteUK added 19:47 - Feb 2
Really pleased, just one thought.

Would like to see JET on the bench, as when we are 3-0 up with half an hour to go, it might be the perfect chance to give him game time. It doesn't matter if he tries some skill and it doesn't come off, and the fans won't get on his back. He is obviously a confidence player and that would have been what he needs.

Great performance by everybody though, special mention to McGoldrick and Smith, who I thought were outstanding.
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Wickets added 19:52 - Feb 2
Missed on the match report great work by McGoldrick to win a corner when there was nothing on,for first goal and Great run by Murphy that turn the defender away from McLean that allows him to shoot for his deflected goal. Great result.
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Dozzells_Bobblehat added 19:56 - Feb 2
Boro aren't rubbish, they actually typify the division IMO, a solid side,we just stopped them from playing today. The reason they are sixth and we are where we are is that they have been consistent.
I think in time MM will make us exactly that, a hard working, hard to beat side.
The back five were all good today, impressed with Stearman, Edwards was much better and Hyam and N'Daw (after a slow start) won the midfield battle. Up front McGoldrick worked really hard and deserved his goal.
Will have to be as good next week to stop Rhodes.
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IvorFeeling added 19:56 - Feb 2
theobald1985 - if you read my posts i am very rarely negative just offering how i see it. Lee Martin Is for all of his endeavour as a creative player, actually creates and scores very little. I see this with my eyes but Suprise suprise the stas back it up - It could well be a coincidence that we win 4-0 and Martin doesn't play and I accept that. IMO and that is what this forum is about, I don't believe that he will be part of the success under MM. Anyway, read my post again and it is not negative just offering one of many potential reasons why we won so readily!
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h32 added 19:59 - Feb 2
theobald1985 - that's a good truthful post - and I agree with you - it just proves how narrow visioned some posters are to knock Martin the way they do.

He works very hard and his abscence today had very little bearing on the result - his final ball etc; leaves much to be desired, and he should be scoring a few goals from midfield ( not sure Hyam will score too many either) as good as he is !! - so the moral of the story is - it should be possible to COACH his failings out of him - or accept they have failed themselves somewhat in terms of Martin.



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Dozzells_Bobblehat added 20:05 - Feb 2
Again i agree with h32, todays win had nothing to do with no Martin, we just played well as a team.
Stats can be made to say whatever you want them to. For example we beat West Ham last year 5-1 and a certain Lee Martin scored two of them.
His work rate is great, his pace is great, his end product is poor, as is his disciplinary record, but to blame our mini drop in form (before today) on one person is ridiculous.
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Fatcatevans added 20:09 - Feb 2
He can work as hard as he likes . The facts are he doesn't,t score and hasn't created anything of note all season. No amount of coaching I,m afraid is gonna change him. He is what he is hard working yes effective no
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h32 added 20:21 - Feb 2
Bobblehat - we're finding much 'common ground ' lately - scary !! LOL - long may it continue.

I'm sure you would also agree that the wording of some posts, prove beyond doubt, that some will NEVER truly understand the game they watch. But that's life i guess.
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Wickets added 20:32 - Feb 2
Lee Martin 28 starts just 6 assists! speaks for itself. He's gotta do better if he wants a new contract.
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Kikapu added 20:34 - Feb 2
Well, a much-needed home win, and just as important, a good performance at home. It sounded like the new players made a useful contribution and the defence seems more certain and secure. I don’t understand why we have difficulty (thrash, in the case of Middlesbrough) in defeating teams at the bottom of the league yet manage to do so much better against the teams further up the table.

I still think it is bizarre that half way through the season you can buy in a completely new team (like QPR) and rescue your team from relegation. A limit on transfers in must be fairer on the teams that have been beaten by said teams earlier in the season.
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