|Ipswich Town 3 v 0 Leeds United|
Saturday, 30th March 2013 Kick-off 15:00
Town 3-0 Leeds United
Saturday, 30th Mar 2013 17:01
David McGoldrick scored twice and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas once as Town beat 10-man Leeds 3-0 at Portman Road. The visitors had been on top until defender Tom Lees was red-carded for a reckless challenge on Jay Tabb just after the half hour, McGoldrick netting either side of the break and sub Emmanuel-Thomas completing the scoring.
Scott Loach was back in the Town side in goal in place of departed loanee Stephen Henderson in a team otherwise unchanged from the 1-0 home victory over Bolton a fortnight ago.
Frank Nouble and Elliott Hewitt were back on the bench after recovering from hamstring and hip injuries respectively as was Guirane N’Daw, who missed the victory over the Trotters after his arrest. The Whites included former Blues skipper David Norris in midfield.
The game came to a lengthy halt before it had really got going, Leeds defender Tom Lees requiring lengthy treatment for a nosebleed after an aerial clash with David McGoldrick inside his team’s area.
Leeds almost went ahead in the 12th minute when a Stephen Warnock corner from the right appeared to get caught on the wind, struck the post and fell to Paul Green on the edge of the six-yard box. The Irishman found space for a shot but Andy Drury cleared off the line.
It was the visitors who were making the early headway and a minute later Loach saved a low Norris shot. Soon after, the Blues keeper again blocked from Green, pushing the ball out to the right, then seconds later stopped another Norris effort from the edge of the box, although not overly convincingly, and Luke Chambers stabbed the loose ball wide.
On 19 Daryl Murphy hit Town’s first shot but the ball struck McGoldrick in an offside position and the flag was raised.
Varney volleyed wide from right-back Sam Byram in the 25th minute, then two minutes later Loach got down to his right to save from the former Charlton man. From the corner, the Blues keeper was in action again, saving from Steve Morison. Soon after, Chambers blocked from Michael Tonge.
The visitors continued to put on the pressure and in the 31st minute Michael Brown sent a flicked header over Loach’s bar from Warnock’s freekick on the right.
A minute later, Leeds were reduced to 10 men for their fourth match in a row at Portman Road. Jay Tabb took the ball past Lees, who sent him flying with a reckless, high challenge midway inside the Whites’ half. After a lengthy protest, while Tabb underwent treatment, the defender finally made his way to the touchline and then the tunnel. Previously Kevin Nicholls, Alex Bruce and Aidy White had made the same early walk.
Town quickly created an opportunity, Murphy finding McGoldrick on the edge of the box but the on-loan Forest man’s shot was too close to Leeds keeper Paddy Kenny. On 38 skipper Carlos Edwards shot wide from distance with the numerically-advantaged Blues starting to get on top.
However, in the 43rd minute the visitors should have gone in front. Varney crossed low from the left and turned the ball over the bar from close range when he ought to have done much better.
Tabb, who was being booed by the Leeds support, looked to be tripped by Green inside the area as the game moved into injury time but referee James Adcock waved away the protests as the Blues midfielder regained his footing and cut it back to McGoldrick, who was unable to get in a shot.
Varney picked up the game’s first booking for a foul moments before the Blues went in front. Edwards floated a cross in from the right, Hyam rose highest to head against the angle of bar and post and McGoldrick reacted quickest to nod home from a few feet.
There was just time for McGoldrick to hit a low shot which Keny saved down to his right before the whistle was blown, to boos from the visiting supporters, aimed squarely at the referee.
The scoreline was very harsh on the visitors on the balance of the first half with Leeds having had the better of it for the most part and having created enough chances – the best of them ex-Canary Morison’s – before the sending off.
The red card – the first for a Town playing against Town this season - looked well-deserved with the challenge high as well as uncontrolled and dangerous. Inevitably, Lees’s dismissal handed the impetus to the Blues who then took an opportunity when it came and almost certainly should also have been awarded a penalty.
Leeds boss Neil Warnock replaced Green with centre-half Jason Pearce, a one-time Town target, at the break.
Within three minutes of the restart it was 2-0. Hyam cut in from the left wing and cut the ball back to McGoldrick, whose shot on the half-turn from 12 yards deflected off a defender on its way past Kenny for his fourth goal of his spell with the Blues.
Despite their lack of numbers, the visitors were still threatening on occasion and in the 50th minute Morison struck a shot against Varney when in a promising position inside the area.
On 56 Drury threaded a clever ball through to McGoldrick but his strike was blocked. Two minutes later, Chambers was booked for a foul on Varney not far outside the Blues area on the Leeds left. From the freekick, the ball fell to Byram at the far post, Loach doing well to save sharply down to his right.
The Whites continued to threaten and on 61 Byram, this time a header from a corner from the left hit Leeds midfielder Michael Brown. Moments later, Morison scuffed a good chance wide after a half-cleared corner was returned into the box. Not long after, Cresswell was booked for a foul on Brown.
Murphy’s 66th minute shot was blocked, then two minutes later Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who had replaced Edwards on the right of midfield, made it 3-0. Cresswell struck a right-footed effort from the left, which deflected to the former Arsenal man eight yards from goal. Emmanuel-Thomas found himself space before cutting the ball past Kenny and into the net for his second goal of the season.
His third almost came in the 71st minute when he brilliantly flicked the ball up and volleyed just over the bar from the edge of the box.
On 75 a sublime chipped pass from Emmanuel-Thomas played in Tabb, who took the ball past Kenny but the loanee was thwarted by the keeper who got back to claim as he looked to tap home.
Michael Chopra and Frank Nouble replaced McGoldrick and Murphy for the final 12 minutes with the game already won.
Leeds sub Aidy White, sent off in this fixture last year, was booked for a foul on Emmanuel-Thomas, who was rampant every time Town broke.
On 87 Warnock blocked from Chopra after good work from Nouble down the left, then Pearce stopped a subsequent Richard Stearman effort from 25 yards.
In injury time, ex-Town skipper Norris was booked for a foul on Nouble as the Blues broke as they went looking for a fourth in vain.
Once the second goal went in just after the break, aside from a brief spell, Town were largely comfortable as they recorded back to back victories for the first time this year and their third home win on the trot. Emmanuel-Thomas was an added threat when he came on with the visitors continuing to look to get back into the game.
However, Leeds will feel that at 11 against 11 they were the better side with the red card – which looked the right decision - changing things.
But Mick McCarthy is unlikely to be as concerned about the way in which the result came about as the accumulation of another three points in the continued battle against relegation.
The result moves the Blues up to 16th on 49 but still only four points from the bottom three with Huddersfield having lost 1-0 at home to Hull in the early evening game.
Town: Loach, Stearman, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards (Emmanuel-Thomas 64), Hyam, Drury, Tabb, Murphy (Nouble 78), McGoldrick (Chopra 78). Unused: Lee-Barrett, Brown, Hewitt, N’Daw.
Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Lees, Peltier, Warnock, Brown, Tonge (White 70), Norris, Green (Pearce 46), Morison, Varney (McCormack 70). Unused: Ashdown, Habibou, Austin, Dawson. Referee: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire). Att 20,402 (Leeds: 1,823)
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