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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.

Match Gallery: 24 photos

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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marcus9 added 20:42 - Feb 2
you cannot COACH final ball or finishing to martin or anyone else at this level it is either there or its not and whith martin it is absent

Tomairyn added 20:43 - Feb 2
Gutted !! My missus had a ten pound free bet with Sky Bet. She did us to win 3 nil. Would have picked up £290. Never mind, what a fantastic result. Missed McGoldrick's goal too.
Have to agree that we will create more when Lee Martin does not play.

budgieplucker added 20:47 - Feb 2
Theobald 1985, H32 - I to do not like to see hard working ITFC players being made scapegoats. Would we though have scored 2 of our goals today had it not been for two excellent dead ball deliveries, something that we have been very poor at generally this season, arguably Cresswell wouldn't have taken these had we had the same starting eleven as last week.

Anyway great performance, we didn't give Middlesbrough an inch and everybody put in a top notch shift, Hyam and N'Daw particularly instrumental for me in winning the battle, but Steerman adds a touch of class at the back and Tommy Smith for me is growing into a real leader and regular captain material. Special note to Carlos - well done (like Lee he has had his knockers) I am pleased that he has shown that he is still a very good athlete for his age and some stinging shots from him today - I have no problem with his contract being extended.

hello66 added 21:13 - Feb 2
Great game, second goal, one of the best I seen ipswich player score for a while!

Tomairyn ....Sorry to hear you missed out on £290.........

I haven’t had a bet for 5-6 week, fancied a flutter today had £2 on Tommy to score first at 22-1 and a £1 on 4-0 at 80-1 .........
Had it been 3-0 or 5-0 ........i would not of worried the 3 points for our club means more to me that the money i won today ....thou it was nice to have both ! to Blackburn next week, 2-1 I feel with Hymn to score first may have a bet on that !

h32 added 21:19 - Feb 2
marcus9 - you're obviously NOT a Coach - and believe Coaches can only coach 'Fitness' - I guess.

Steelmonkey added 21:28 - Feb 2
Congratulations on a very solid performance,
Great to see some new names on the score sheet, and an excellent start by Stearman.
Anthony Wordsworth looks to have a good strike in him, Tommy Smith just seems to be getting better and better, was a time when I thought he was a liability and an accident waiting to happen - superb display today. That goes for all of them on the field.
We had eleven players working as a unit today, that was the difference in the two sides.
Lee Martin, can be a very hard working skilful individual, and in my opinion that's his biggest flaw, he tries too hard to do it all himself, he needs to place more effort into being a team player.
On this display it shows we have the bricks to build a good team, and it's MM and TC who are the mortor that will bind them together.
Well done lads.

howdonblue added 22:14 - Feb 2
I remember the game in 88 whoisjimmyjuan ....

That was some performance that day...

Elizabeth added 00:46 - Feb 3
Absolutely delighted that I have got 9 hits on my comments ! Not bad for a female who has supported the Blues for so long ! I love this club and can't wait until the glory days return ! Thank you to all of you !

R_LAMB3 added 01:08 - Feb 3
I am not a Martin fan but saying that he has got some talent but i think he has got a bit lazy and not caring but he might struggle to get back in the team now Town has so many optains up front.
Did many people notice how strong the bench was today Chopra. Wordsworth.
Nouble. Drury. Hewitt. Kisnorbo. and Henderson
I see Edwards won a few fans back today so it prove in football you are as good as your last game.
But the only one i am going to knock on here today is FRANCISB 123.
You have got to be a Norwich supporter mate or you dont know nothing about football.
It was a great result today and nobody should be knocking any of team after that display.
With the 11 who played and the 7 on the bench and we also have some good players who cant even get on the bench we seem to have competition for places and thats good news in it.
Onward and upward Town under our great new Management team.

bugledog123 added 01:26 - Feb 3
result! Up the town!

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 02:18 - Feb 3
This team should not be in a relegation battle.

muccletonjoe added 04:14 - Feb 3
Hyam was in a different class against boro and showed leadbitter how to play in midfield infact both hyam and smith were stars today and both academy players,, bring on byron lawrence mm

theobald1985 added 09:30 - Feb 3
it should be possible to coach finishing and ball delivery.just look at how gary penrise used to coach holloways strikers for him at bristol rovers. I also think a massive part of it is confidence but martin has the misfortune to be the lad a minority have chosen to pick on. It is a real shame as i think he is a good player.

bence added 10:19 - Feb 3
Think we've found the winning formula no Martin and mick has to stay at home well done tc great win

dirtydingusmagee added 10:28 - Feb 3
WOWSER ! Just what the doctor ordered for Big Mick .Great result.A solid performance throughout.Just seemed like everything came together at once .Impressed with Mc Goldrick and McLean,Nouble , on a day when everyone played well, Well done Tommy Smith .3 POINTS 4 GOALS and a clean sheet ,against a team in playoff contention .Just hope and pray we can keep it up now ,not go down the old ''one step forward two steps back'' road . WELL DONE BOYS and WELL DONE TERRY. COYB

bluemikey100 added 11:01 - Feb 3
TERRYS BLUE ARMY well done TOMMY whats our record for most goals scored by defender in a season ?

NSL added 11:09 - Feb 3
Where are all the Carlos Edwards moaners gone?

Thijssenstricks added 11:44 - Feb 3
I would just like to mention Luke Chambers. He did a bit of defending in the second half that was pure class.

Tommy Smith with two goals and a comical tumble towards the end, brilliant.

lonelyblue added 13:27 - Feb 3
Well done Steelmonkey, that was possibly the most intelligent post I've seen on here. Mine excluded, obv! Also thought Chambers was terrific. And very,very impressed with Stearman. In fact, didn't they all do well? Hurrah for soccer!

osborne1nil added 13:48 - Feb 3
Well done Town, a great result.
Many positives in this game as well as 4 - 0 score.
Stearman, IMO settled in really well and looks to be possibly even better than Orr.
Edwards finally had a good game with some effective strikes at goal.
Both our strikers scored, McGoldricks was top class.
Midfield were very solid, especially Hyam who was superb again. He does all the simple things really well.
Defence was very good and Tommy Smith was great, MOM IMO.
Loach was ok but was never really tested (testiment to how well the defense were) and his kicking was fair, but glad he held his place.
Think Martin may struggle to get back in on this performance, but may be more effective from the bench when defenders are more tied in second half. Needs to learn to pass more often when best option and distribute the ball quicker at times and when he gets the chance of scoring, to actually shoot between the posts. Lots of effort and if MM and TC can polish some of his issues out of his game could still be very effective.

osborne1nil added 13:50 - Feb 3
*tired not tied!

runaround added 17:10 - Feb 3
Excellent result and performance with everything falling into place for once. stearman looked class and helped the back 4 look really solid meaning Loach had little to do. Hyam & NDaw ran the centre of midfield, whilst Murphy, McGoldrick & McLean worked their socks off upfront and were a constant threat. I have been critical of Edwards recently but yesterday he put in his best performance of the season. 4 nil did not flatter us & their keeper kept the score down. There is cause for optimism for better times ahead as long as we stay up this year. More performances ilke yesterday will do the trick

ormey75 added 21:13 - Feb 3
Does mick only get the statutory sickpay of £72 this week???

itfcjc added 16:03 - Feb 4
@rlamb3 in what world is Chopra on a 'strong' bench?
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