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Town 3-1 Blackburn Rovers
Tuesday, 3rd Dec 2013 21:54

Luke Hyam, Carlos Edwards and Frank Nouble were on target as Town beat Blackburn Rovers 3-1 at Portman Road. Hyam netted in the fourth minute but Jordan Rhodes equalised on the half hour, however, Edwards scored three minutes after the break and Nouble added the third four minutes from the end.

Town boss Mick McCarthy made four changes to the team which beat Charlton on Saturday. Skipper Edwards came in at right midfield, Hyam into the centre, Stephen Hunt made his full debut on the left and Nouble joined David McGoldrick up front.

Paul Anderson, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Jay Tabb and Daryl Murphy all dropped to the bench, while Paul Taylor again missed out due to his shoulder injury.

Blackburn included ex-Blue Rhodes and former loanee DJ Campbell up front from the start with both players applauded by the home support when their names were announced.

Campbell struck the game’s first shot in the second minute, Blues keeper Dean Gerken saving his sharp strike on the turn and Hyam reacting quickest to stab behind.

But as in the games against Leicester and Charlton, Town would take an early lead, Hyam netting his first goal of the season and only the second of his career in the fourth minute.

Cole Skuse looped into the box from deep and Tommy Spurr under pressure from McGoldrick headed to Hyam on the edge of the area. The ball initially got caught under the midfielder’s feet but having set himself he struck a low shot to Rovers keeper Jake Kean’s right and into the net.

The Blues enjoyed most of the early possession but the visitors might have got back on terms in the 14th minute when Josh King broke away down the Blackburn left. The Norwegian international’s touch let him down and Tommy Smith was able to get across to make a superb saving challenge and Gerken grabbed the loose ball.

At the other end, McGoldrick hit a shot on the turn, which only just flew over Kean’s bar, then a minute later Hunt brought the ball forward on the left before crossing towards Edwards, but the Town captain couldn’t control his header.

After Skuse had failed to find McGoldrick with a 25th minute pass as the Blues broke, Campbell was booked for a foul on his former team-mate Aaron Cresswell. Following the resultant freekick, Smith laid the ball off to Edwards, who fired not far wide from the 18-yard line.

Blackburn levelled on the half hour and inevitably Rhodes was the man on target. Grant Hanley played a long ball down the middle which ought to easily have been defended, but the former Blues striker got to the ball ahead of the Town defence, went past the advancing and stranded Gerken and stroked his 11th goal of the season into the empty net with the Town keeper claiming offside.

The striker’s corner flag punching celebration in front of a Blues section of the Cobbold Stand failed to impress the home support with his subsequent contributions receiving boos.

Nouble sent across a dangerous low ball in the 34th minute but behind McGoldrick and ahead of Hunt. However, the visitors had had looked the more threatening side having equalised with the Blues backline the busier of the two defences.

As the half moved into its final minute Blackburn claimed a penalty when a clearance struck Hunt on the hand, however, referee Fred Graham waved away the protests for what would have been a very harsh spotkick.

Town were the side happiest to hear the half-time whistle, the visitors having been on top since netting their goal. The Blues had again started strongly and might have added to their lead before Sunday league defended led to them conceding what was a very poor goal.

From there, Blackburn were much the better side with Town giving the ball away all too easily and rarely threatening.

Within three minutes of the restart the Blues were back in front. Cresswell played the ball into Hunt’s feet just inside the area, the Irishman cleverly turned before finding his way to goal blocked. The ball was stabbed away but only as far as Edwards, who took a touch before calmly beating Kean from eight yards for his first goal of the season.

Berra picked up a yellow card for a foul on King some while after the incident, the referee having waved play on at the time and Gerken claiming a cross in from the Blackburn left. As the Blues central defender had his name taken Smith complained about what appeared to have been a studs-up challenge from Tom Cairney which went unpunished.

There was a scare for the Blues on 69 when Gerken needlessly cleared against Rhodes from inside his six-yard box but fortunately the ball ricocheted off the Town keeper and wide of goal.

On 72 Spurr crossed from the left to Rhodes but the striker’s stretching effort looped well past the post.

Todd Kane was booked for pulling back McGoldrick down the left two minutes later. Cresswell’s freekick was only cleared as far as Hunt just outside the box but the recent signing’s shot flew well over when he will feel he ought to have done better.

Ex-Blues loan man Campbell, who had made little impact, made way on 76 with on-loan Cardiff man Rudy Gestede taking over for the final 14 minutes with the visitors not looking particularly threatening with most of the game taking place in their half of the field.

Impressive full debutant Hunt was replaced to a rapturous applause in the 81st minute along with McGoldrick, Tyrone Mings and Daryl Murphy taking over. Mings slotted into a back three to the left of Smith and Berra.

Town continued to press Blackburn as the game moved towards its final five minutes with Nouble unlucky to lose his footing when found in the area by Cresswell.

But the lively striker wasn’t to be denied his second goal of the season. Mings played an 86th minute long ball forward, defender Scott Dann left it for keeper Kean who was caught in two minds as Nouble closed him down on the edge of the area. As he hesitated, the Town frontman seized on the ball and took it into the area before tapping into the empty net.

A minor bout of handbags broke out on 88 after Rhodes clattered into Gerken with the keeper having already claimed the ball, Chambers pushing the striker over and triggering a brief free for all which led to Nouble and Marshall being booked.

Rhodes turned a late strike to Gerken when he might have done better prior to the fourth official signalling seven minutes of injury time. But the Blues weren’t to be denied their first home win since the Brighton game in September.

The now familiar Chambers fist pump was followed by Rhodes applauding the home support before making his way off, presumably to apologise for what the Sir Bobby Robson Stand in particular saw as an overzealous celebration.

Having ended the first half in a disappointing manner, Town continued their recent habit of scoring goals early on in halves, Edwards taking his goal with great confidence after good work from the excellent Hunt.

Blackburn never got back on top and Nouble’s goal was the icing the cake, the striker receiving his reward for Shefki Kuqi-esque chasing throughout the game, forcing Dann and Kean into their error.

The victory moves the Blues up to eighth, two points off the play-offs with Huddersfield visiting Portman Road on Saturday.

Town: Gerken, Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, Hyam, Skuse (Tunnicliffe 90), Hunt (Mings 81), McGoldrick (Murphy 81), Nouble. Subs: Loach, Tabb, Anderson, Graham.

Blackburn: Kean, Kane, Dann, Hanley (Kilgallon 59), Spurr, Cairney, Williamson, Lowe, King (Marshall 66), Campbell (Gestede 77), Rhodes. Subs: Eastwood, Rochina, Judge, Henley. Referee: Fred Graham (Essex). Att: 14,953 (Blackburn: 302).

Photo: Action Images

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irishtim added 21:59 - Dec 3
Looks like the changes were correct. 3 of them score and by Phils report Hunt had a very good game. That's why MM is the manager. Things looking alot brighter.

blueboy1981 added 22:01 - Dec 3
Great 3 points - maybe a gamble that paid off - and a bit shaky at times , but who cares ?

Well done everyone.

linesyrules added 22:02 - Dec 3
4 changes and 3 of them scored!! Perfect management Mick, our brilliant manager is building a very good and solid team. Well done boys lets do it again on Saturday and we will be in a nice position for the Xmas fixtures. Love it!

LankHenners added 22:02 - Dec 3
Excellent result for Town! 2 points off 6th but Derby have a game in hand (come on Middlesborough, do us a favour!). Great to see Hyam's come back with a bang and Nouble's tactic of chasing the defence around all game seems to have paid off! Bring on Huddersfield!

brockleyblueboy added 22:03 - Dec 3
Wow wow wow

Get in. So happy right now. That is a great win.

Bring on Huddersfield

Michael11 added 22:05 - Dec 3
Great result. McCarthy deserves a huge amount of credit for the win. The changes he made raised a few eyebrows before the game but they were just what was needed. With Hunt and Edwards playing, we had the natural width which we've lacked a lot this season. 3 of them scored and Hunt did well with the assist. Now we're 8th in the table and the Play-Off places are within touching distance. Things are finally starting to look good again! Nice to see Jordan Rhodes applaud the SBR stand at Full Time too.

bluemikey100 added 22:06 - Dec 3
well done mick with team selection great town performance hyam edwards and nouble all scoring they seized their return to the line up and shut the critics up big time lol

Turkishblue added 22:07 - Dec 3
Well done Mick for freshening it up! Nice to see the Oldest Wingers in Town combine for the 2nd goal. Roll on Saturday

TimmyH added 22:08 - Dec 3
I know it's easy to say in hindsight but the changes Mick made in midfield are similar to that of his time last season with the natural wide men Hunt (left) and Edwards (right) with Hyam in roving position in the center. Incredible that all replacements bar Hunt score and viola! 2 from midfield.
Great back to back wins what we really needed and maybe just maybe that '3 game push' that Mick was talking about the other day might actually be on. Well done lads and maybe at last Mick might be getting somewhere with the midfield, never hurts to experiment.

muccletonjoe added 22:11 - Dec 3
Hyam a much better central player than tunnicliffe , thought him and edwards really made the difference tonight. Well done mm.

StuartBrett8 added 22:14 - Dec 3
Can we keep this run going? Hope so :)

warktheline added 22:15 - Dec 3
Come on bluefeast, post something positive.Reality check for the doubters?Me deluded,i think not.My top 8 finish appears to be on course.Cheers MM and TC.

stevelincsexile added 22:18 - Dec 3
I said in a previous blog that Hyam could get some goals and I admit MM got it right with his selection I eat humble pie, roll on Saturday I will look forward to the 300 mile round trip with renewed enthusiasm COYB.

kozmik added 22:19 - Dec 3
who was playing the viola?

TimmyH added 22:23 - Dec 3
* viola = french :)

Robbie12345 added 22:24 - Dec 3
If people like hunt, Hyam, Gerken, Nouble, and Edwards can keep playing like they did today, our squad will deserve to be premoted! Sounded a great game, glad we got the 3 points. Saturday will be interesting! I can't wait! May sneak into playoffs, COYB!

bohslegend added 22:27 - Dec 3
Fantastic result and a very clear indication of what some of us have been saying all along, give MM time and he will be a fantastic manager for us. It gives me no great pleasure to remind some of the vocal critics on here that we are doing fantastically well under both MM and TC (who deserves great praise for his work with players like Nouble) when you consider two things 1. No money to spend (that's right, we're in 8th having spent practically no money) and 2. We have had to start almost from scratch following a number of years of demolition management by MM's predecessors.

I'm still not certain we'll make the play offs, but you know what? Isn't it great that we are at least within touching distance?

Jimmy86 added 22:39 - Dec 3
A massive 3 points, which leaves us just 2 points off the play offs. Lets all hope that if we are still in the mix come jan ME loosens the purse strings and backs mccarthy with some cash for some decent signings. Was slightly suprised by the changes, bearing in mind we won at the weekend, but when 3 of those 4 changes get on the score sheet you have to say well done

warwickblue added 22:43 - Dec 3
Disappointed by Rhodes' antics after scoring. There is no-one amongst the supporters who holds anything against him. He was applauded at the beginning. Taking his feelings out on the wrong target does not do anything to enhance his professional standing. Besides which, apart from the goal, he had his usual fairly insignificant game didn't he...

renoble added 22:44 - Dec 3
A excellent result, confidence and momentum is so important in football. MM is building a decent squad without spending millions and he should be commended along with the players tonight. However, there are still defensive lessons to be learnt. Gerken trying to drip past a forward? Midfielders breaking forward and loosing position being caught on the break? If we are to become a top 6 team in a highly competitive and close division we need to not 'shut up shop' when we take the lead at home. Let's hope as the season progresses we can some lesson from the Barnsley home and Derby away.......still work to be done by MM and TC:)

Jimmy86 added 22:46 - Dec 3
I also thought bar the goal both berra and smith in particular kept rhodes fairly quiet. In my opinion his celebration was a bit over the top and a tad disrespectfull. When he applauded the fans afterwards i think it was to save face a little bit for what he'd done earlier. We certainly had the last laugh anyway

alexharban added 22:48 - Dec 3

MVBlue added 22:49 - Dec 3
This is great we are a solid team again. Mick McCarthy is a football genius. Haven't felt this good about Ipswich since Jim Magiltons days. Good to coincide with my return to the UK, looking forward to getting to see them.

ericclacton added 22:54 - Dec 3
Hunt Monster Monster.

carsey added 22:57 - Dec 3
Great night. Not Premiership football but we won 3 - 1 and showed some real fight and desire particularly in the second half. Nouble was like a different man, whatever MM said to him in the dressing room worked. He just needs to understand all the fans want to see is effort like he really wants to be wearing the shirt.
On the subject of Rhodes - he is an ordinary player who knocks in a few goals at this level. Is he really worth 8 million? If he were a premiership club would have had him by now. Whatever his feud with Keane he should show respect for the fans and club who gave him his chance. In the end he looked a complete cock with his celebration.

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