|Ipswich Town 1 v 0 Bolton Wanderers|
Saturday, 16th March 2013 Kick-off 15:00
Town 1-0 Bolton Wanderers
Saturday, 16th Mar 2013 17:16
Skipper Carlos Edwards netted in the 88th minute to see the Blues to a crucial 1-0 victory over Bolton at Portman Road. Town should have been ahead in the first half, Andy Drury missing the best opportunity, while the visitors improved in the second half but rarely threatened Stephen Henderson’s goal.
Daryl Murphy, Richard Stearman and Edwards returned to the Town starting line-up with midfielder Guirane N’Daw missing out for personal reasons, while Elliott Hewitt was out with a hip problem, Frank Nouble a hamstring injury and Lee Martin as he was serving the second game of his three-match suspension.
Boss Mick McCarthy named only six substitutes with only five of the seven domestic loanees available. Byron Lawrence, who celebrated his 17th birthday this week, was named on the bench for the first time under McCarthy’s management, while Aaron Mclean and Reece Brown were the domestic loanees to miss out.
In cold and windy conditions, David McGoldrick scuffed an early shot through to Bolton keeper Andy Lonergan, a target of Jim Magilton during his time as Town boss.
On 11 Chris Eagles almost found Craig Davies with a clever pass on the Wanderers left but Henderson came out to claim ahead of the ex-Barnsley man.
Town were starting strongly and in the 13th minute skipper Edwards headed Andy Drury’s cross from the left only just wide at the far post.
The Blues again went close in the 16th minute when Drury sent McGoldrick away down the right. The striker crossed to the edge of the six-yard box to Drury, whose header was well saved by Lonergan, although the midfielder will feel he ought to have got more power and better direction on the ball.
At the other end, Eagles shot over from 20 yards, then Jay Tabb found McGoldrick on the right of the Bolton area but he scraped his shot wide.
The Blues continued to look the more likely scorers and in the 23rd minute a McGoldrick cross from the right was just too far in front of Murphy for the falling Irishman to get enough on the ball to get his shot on target.
Hyam blocked an Eagles shot inside the area on 24 after a mistake by Drury with the visitors looking dangerous when breaking.
Darren Pratley picked up the game’s first yellow card on the half hour for a late challenge on Drury in the centre circle, referee Stuart Attwell waving play on with Town in possession and issuing the caution the next time the ball went out.
As the period moved into its final 10 minutes, Marcos Alonso lashed high and wide with Bolton unable to seriously test Henderson.
On 38 Cresswell crossed from the left and found Murphy, but his first touch let him down and he lost the opportunity to shoot. His cross was eventually blocked.
Town claimed a penalty in the 42nd minute when Edwards’s cross after Hyam’s flicked header had flown well wide struck a defender on raised hands. Referee Attwell was unmoved despite Hyam’s protests, but another official might well have pointed to the spot.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy will have been pleased with his team’s performance in the first half, but not their continued failure to find the net.
Town had created the best opportunities – Drury’s the stand-out chance - but had either fluffed them or the ball hadn’t fallen kindly inside the box. At the other end, Bolton had created little and manager Dougie Freedman will probably have considered his side fortunate to still be on terms.
The Blues had another chance in the 51st minute when Knight played the ball straight to Murphy just inside the Bolton half. The Irishman took the ball on and hit a right-foot shot which keeper Lonergan looked to have got a touch to as it flew just over the bar despite referee Attwell awarding a goalkick. The unmarked McGoldrick felt the on-loan Celtic man should have squared the ball to him.
On the hour, Eagles was found in the box by Alonso, but the former Burnley man shot well wide when he should have done better. The visitors were looking more dangerous than they had before the break.
McGoldrick hit a powerful shot from distance across the face of goal on 61, then two minutes later Davies was booked for punching the ball past Henderson as the Blues keeper looked to claim. Soon after, the striker was replaced with Kevin Davies.
Drury shot wide from 20 yards for the Blues but Bolton had had most of the ball during the second half although without creating too much of note.
Match Gallery: 33 photos
On 72 Tabb made a vital challenge on Chung-Yong Lee inside the area, then Eagles diverted Alonso’s cross from the left well wide.
David Ngog headed Davies’s cross from the left wide on 76, moments before Jay Emmanuel-Thomas replaced McGoldrick. Three minutes later, Michael Chopra took over from Tabb.
With six minutes remaining, Edwards scuffed a shot to Lonergan from the edge of the box with the Blues looking more threatening since the substitutions.
And it was one of the subs who would create the goal which would win the game. Tommy Smith brought the ball forward on the left and found Cresswell, who fed Emmanuel-Thomas.
The former Arsenal man tricked his way past Sam Ricketts before sending in a low cross towards Edwards. The Trinidadian’s first effort was blocked by Alonso but his second nestled in the corner of the net for his first goal of the campaign.
Murphy might have made it 2-0 in the final minute of normal time when sent away on right by Stearman, but Lonergan did well to block.
The Blues saw out the final minutes comfortably to record their first double of the season, but more importantly a crucial three points with other teams at the bottom of the table also gaining points.
Town were the better side before the break when they should have got their noses in front. Bolton put them under more pressure in the second half but even so Henderson was hardly tested.
The victory plus results elsewhere see the Blues move up to 18th in the table – Derby having beaten Leicester 2-1 in the late game – but still four points from the relegation zone.
Town: Henderson, Stearman, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, Hyam, Drury, Tabb (Chopra 79), McGoldrick (Emmanuel-Thomas 76), Murphy. Unused: Loach, Kisnorbo, Mings, Lawrence.
Bolton: Lonergan, Ricketts, Knight, Dawson (Sordell 88), Alonso, Spearing, Pratley, Eagles, Chung-Yong, Ngog, C Davies (K Davies 66). Unused: Bogdan, Wheater, Holden, Kamara, Odelusi. Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire). Att: 17,034 (Bolton: 566)
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