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Ipswich Town 3-0 QPR - Match Report
Saturday, 26th Nov 2016 17:23

Goals from Grant Ward, Luke Varney and Tom Lawrence saw Town to a 3-0 victory over QPR at Portman Road. Ward put the Blues ahead via a scuffed effort on 13, then Varney benefited from an error by visitors’ keeper Alex Smithies nine minutes after the break, before Lawrence sealed the win - which in the end could have been even more comfortable - on 61.

Varney, Jonathan Douglas and Adam Webster came into the Town team for Freddie Sears, Josh Emmanuel and Teddy Bishop, who all dropped to the bench.

Douglas rejoined Cole Skuse in the centre of midfield, while Varney, who was making the first start of his third spell with the Blues, was up front with David McGoldrick.

Webster took up his usual central defensive role with skipper Luke Chambers returning to right-back.

Neither side had threatened before the Blues took the lead in the 14th minute. Tom Lawrence was fouled out wide on the left and sent over the freekick himself.

QPR keeper Alex Smithies punched weakly to the edge of the box to Grant Ward. The winger’s first effort was blocked but the former Spurs man regained possession, took the ball on a stride before scuffing a shot across the wrong-footed Smithies and into the corner of the net to claim his fifth goal of the season.

The visitors weren’t far away from grabbing an almost immediate equaliser after a sharp Tjaronn Chery break down the right but Cole Skuse did well to get back and outmuscle Conor Washington as the ball came in and Bartosz Bialkowski was able to claim.

QPR’s James Perch picked up the game’s first yellow card in the 25th minute when he needlessly slid in two-footed on Bialkowski with the keeper already having claimed the ball.

Perch protested but there seemed little doubt a card was warranted with some referees perhaps seeing the challenge as worthy more than a yellow.

Two minutes later, with chances remaining rare at both ends, Chery shot over from distance for Rangers.

Town should have doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when Lawrence whipped in an excellent freekick from the right. Berra reached it first but headed the wrong side of Smithes’ left post. The Scot will feel he should have been celebrating his first goal of the campaign.

QPR will similarly feel they ought to have scored in the 35th minute from their first serious chance of the game. Washington was found by a ball in from the right as he broke towards the six-yard box but Bialkowski was off his line quickly to block from the Northern Irishman.

The visitors were enjoying a spell on top and two minutes later Rangers skipper Nedum Onuoha scraped a low shot through to Bialkowski, who was untroubled.

QPR were lucky to end the half with 11 men after the already-booked Perch left Jonas Knudsen in a heap on the touchline. Referee Andy Woolmer opted not to issue a second yellow card, despite plenty of Town players reminding him about the former Forest and Newcastle man’s earlier caution.

Woolmer ended what had been a largely scrappy half of few chances moments later to boos, aimed in his direction for his leniency towards Perch rather than towards Town manager Mick McCarthy on this occasion.

Having gained their lead, perhaps fortuitously with Ward appearing to scuff his shot, the Blues ought to have increased their advantage when Berra headed wide.

QPR, who were playing the better football and putting the Blues under pressure in the final quarter of a hour with Town forced to defend in depth, went closest when Washington was denied by Bialkowski.

Three minutes after the restart, Jordan Cousins struck the first shot of the second half from distance through to an untroubled Bialkowski.

The Blues threatened a minute later when a Lawrence freekick from the right was headed into the air by a defender. After Douglas had seen a shot on the turn blocked, the ball fell for Webster, whose shot deflected behind off a Town player.

But in the 54th minute Town were gifted a second goal by QPR keeper Smithies, an incident which would prove to be the game’s pivotal moment.

Varney chased Douglas’s long ball over the top and the former England U21 international rushed out of his area but mis-headed his clearance behind him, allowing the Town striker to stroke into an empty net before celebrating his second goal of his latest spell with the Blues in front of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.

Two minutes later Skuse smashed a 25-yard strike into Smithies’ midriff, before the visitors made a double substitution with Sandro and Idrissa Sylla replacing Sebastian Polter and Perch.

But on 61 the Blues increased their lead further. Skuse struck a low shot from 25 yards, which only reached Lawrence just inside the area. The on-loan Leicester man deftly took the pace out of the ball before turning and slamming a low strike to Smithies’ left and into the corner of the net.

After Bialkowski had saved Chery’s well-struck effort from just outside the area, the visitors made their final change with Yeni Ngbakoto taking over from Cousins.

Shortly afterwards the very Varney, lively throughout, was replaced by Sears with the goalscorer warmly applauded off by the Town support.

On 71 Lawrence and Chery were booked for a clash, then seconds later the QPR midfielder left Skuse in a heap and was again spoken to by referee Woolmer.

The Blues were inches away from a fourth two minutes later when Lawrence sent over another excellent freekick from the left which just avoided Berra’s head and narrowly flew the wrong side of the far post.

McGoldrick curled well wide on 75, then a minute later Rangers went close to pulling one back when Sandro powerfully headed Chery’s right-sided corner against the near post.

As the game entered its final scheduled 10 minutes the Blues replaced Lawrence with Leon Best and continued looking for goals, largely on the counter-attack.

McGoldrick shot wide, then forced Smithies to palm a strike from a tight angle on the right wide. From the corner, the ball was cleared to Skuse, whose low shot was deflected into the net but with referee Woolmer having already blown his whistle.

Ward should have made it 4-0 when fed through one-on-one with Smithies in the 83rd minute but the keeper got down to his right to push the ball past the post. From the corner Douglas sent his header high and wide.

In the final minute of regular time Sears shot low to Smithies, then in injury time McGoldrick spurned another chance to make it 4-0 when his lob was pawed away by the keeper after he had been played in on goal by sub Best.

Moments later, Sears was sent through on goal but again was thwarted by Smithies, who had made an admirable recovery from his embarrassing earlier error.

Just before the final whistle, QPR sub Ngbakoto’s freekick from the edge of the area was saved at his right post by Bialkowski.

Having rather ground their way to their half-time 1-0 lead, in the end the Blues could have won much more comfortably than 3-0.

Smithies’ catastrophic error which led to Varney’s goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors with Town’s confidence conversely being given a huge boost.

Lawrence, whose set pieces were a danger throughout, took his goal clinically, while one or two of his team-mates will feel they ought to have got their names on the scoresheet via one of several late chances.

Town's last win by three goals or more was the 3-0 victory at Charlton in November last year - earlier that month the Blues won 5-2 at Rotherham - while the last win by three goals at home was another 3-0 victory over the Addicks in December 2014.

The win, much-needed after last week’s defeat to Nottingham Forest, sees the Blues climb to 14th, five points off the play-offs following Leeds' victory at Rotherham — three behind Norwich who lost 1-0 at Derby — and six from the bottom three. Town travel to Bristol City, who lost 2-1 at Reading today, next Saturday.

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers (c), Webster, Berra, Knudsen, Skuse, Douglas, Ward, Lawrence (Best 80), Varney (Sears 68), McGoldrick. Unused: Gerken, Emmanuel, Bru, Bishop, Williams.

QPR: Smithies, Perch (Sylla 59), Bidwell, Lynch, Hall, Onuoha (c), Cousins (Ngbakoto 67), Henry, Chery, Washington, Polter (Sandro 59). Unused: Ingram, Wszolek, El Khayati, Shodipoo. Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire). Att: 16,510 (QPR: 1,225).

Photo: TWTD

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cartman1972 added 17:26 - Nov 26
Damnation, that means he'll still be In a job.

ollie_smith2001 added 17:29 - Nov 26
Delighted. On days like today I look past our current challenges and shortcomings to enjoy 3 points. COYB!

carlo88 added 17:29 - Nov 26
Football's a bit mad, you put out the most defensive team you can and win 3-0. Does sound a bit like QPR self-imploded today though.

Kirbmeister added 17:30 - Nov 26
Can't think I'll see many positive comments. I dare say most will be very disappointed with a 3-0 win.

martin587 added 17:30 - Nov 26
Welcome 3points,could have had more than 3goals,but then again so could QPR.
Remains to be seen if we can keep the momentum again at Bristol next Saturday.
Nice to drive home happy for a change.!!

TimmyH added 17:34 - Nov 26
As much as I'm glad we've won (and at last comfortably) I'm still not 'buying' it, if you look at McCarthy's record since 2015 he generally loses 1 draws 1 and wins 1 and in times of need gets that win when most desperately needed.

It's all about consistency which we just haven't seen and reverting back to his plan A today won't win me over, c'mon two 34 year olds replacing 2 players which were the future 2 seasons ago will only get us so far. Good win today saying that but won't hold my breath that we'll go on a good run.

blueboy1981 added 17:34 - Nov 26
Definitely a team selected NOT to lose - how else can anyone explain such selection ?? - BUT heyho a happy Saturday evening with a serious win, and 3 points in the bag.

Maybe the Dino should be renamed Houdini ..... ?? - yet another escape I guess.

Well Done All - after all said and done - GOOD WIN.


SamWhiteUK added 17:36 - Nov 26
What the hell has gone on today....?

Bluetone added 17:36 - Nov 26
Well done lads to say that was unexpected would be a gross understatement.

chepstowblue added 17:38 - Nov 26
Hardly surprising that a fine 3-0 win should coincide with Dougie's return !

cromwellblue added 17:43 - Nov 26
At the risk of incurring the wrath of this site, I think you need to get over this Douglas thing. I'd wager he gets in the box more than Bishop has. Bish has been hailed as the messiah on this site but not really had the impact you promised us to expect.

Now it's all about bring in Joniesta, a man who in all his spells here has scored how many?

We won, 3-0 take the night off and enjoy FFS


Mick_Mills_Tache added 17:46 - Nov 26
Aye and we'll go get beat at Bristol and then get beat by Cardiff after that - Everyone will call for Micks head, he'll scrape a win at Birmingham and he's suddenly the new Messiah. One swallow doesn't make a summer. #MickOut

Been a strange day of results. Blackburn beat Newcastle at St. James' Park. The scum lose again (5 straight league defeats 😂). Swansea win 5-4 by scoring 2 goals in injury time and Ipswich score 3 goals at home whilst playing one of the most defensive lineups once again.

Good news - 3 goals, 3 points and only 3 points off the budgies.
Bad news - Mick eases some pressure on him. Mick will stick two fingers up to us fans and Skuglas will start again next week 👎🏻

MicksZzzTactics added 17:49 - Nov 26
Oh dear oh dear!!!! Football really can be beyond strange and whimsical I dare say! Alas the most unwarranted-laden starting lineup we've seen for quite a while..... and not only didn't they not really disappoint in any particular way whatsoever but hey!!! they actually wind up winning by a more than a comfortable margin (and this despite having considerable less of the possession at a homegame btw)!!! Niiiice one lads. Real niiiice indeed!!!
And hence "common sense" must naturally dictate that the dreaded Dino known as Mick McCarthy simply MUST BE a football genius after all! Period end of story! ..... And oh may he not only solely on that now completely outdebated basis stay happily here at ITFC as 'Gaffer Extraordinaire'(and as arrogant & fan-disrespectful as he darn well fancy btw) all the way until the Apocalypse & the Rapture comes around, but also deservingly so be knighted by the Queen looong before that!!! :-) :-) :-) :-)

COYB!!!!!! .... and now I better make room on the TWTD server queue for all them MM-worshipping and also even Dougie the Snooze loving "muppets" meep meep lol who are eagerly waiting to post here, on this probably their fineste "field day" of the month! l

PS1: Sincerely hope TWTD member @Guentchev was there today, you know the fan of ours who holds the unofficial world-record for unintentionally picking to watch his team in person for the most combined minutes this year without being rewarded with just a tiny single ITFC goal! Cheers @Guentchev!

PS2: As for yours truly, ahhhh well just downvote this here post to yours hearts desire dear "muppets", cause not only couldn't I basically care less but today I'm seriously thinking of heading straight home now and simply drown myself in the bathtub -- in utter hyper ecstatic Master Mick-like 'Gung-Ho'aberration style -- no not in mere water but by pouring it full of my best bottles of "saved for a special occasion" cases of champagne! COYB!!!!!!!!!!!


jas0999 added 17:50 - Nov 26
No doubt this is a miles better result and performance, particularly the second half. Although I'm afraid I'm still unlikely to ever be convinced that Douglas/Skuse is a good option particularly at home I though Dougie did okay today. Equally, Varney isn't ever likely to be prolific nor is he a long term option, but his hustle and bustle made a real difference and shows what we lacked by selling Murphy with no replacement.

This result doesn't change what has still been a disappointing season and 2016 to date, but it is still a very welcome and to an extent unexpected result. I still don't like the team selection, but you can't deny that 3-0 is a great outcome. Whether we can build on it remains to be seen, but nonetheless a pleasing today. Well done all.

cornishblu added 17:53 - Nov 26
Cromwell blue....mist on the site want either Douglas or skuse...but not both ....delighted with win ....lets see how he sets up at Bristol next week ...my fear is this unexpected win reaffirms his stubbornness and does nothing to weaken his arrogance ...... please let me be wrong #itsalwaysabouttheclub COYB

blueboy1981 added 17:54 - Nov 26
........ cue for a return of those, as opposed to posting recently, decided to hibernate rather early.... !!!

Where are ya .... ??

blueboy1981 added 17:58 - Nov 26
....... Elto, Bohslegend, Swn98 (essex57) etc. etc; ........ their maestro has worked wonders on their behalf today.

DurhamTownFan added 18:01 - Nov 26
Great to see us score theee goals and win, but please Mick don't come out slagging off the fans and talking about how you don't care what we say. if you were that good then we'd win every week! Next week we might lose and then you'll need some good will

ShropshireBluenago09 added 18:02 - Nov 26
Much needed win. It does go to show how much Webster is missed.
Maybe Mick is listening to us fans a bit more. Dropping Sears is unusual. Although a very hard worker, is usually one of Micks un-dropables.
MM is un-sackable and Evans doenst give a Sh*t, so hopefully its the players that are selected can continue to perform. Only 4 pts off the playoffs and with a bit more consistency we might yet turn our season around.

carlo88 added 18:04 - Nov 26
What perhaps may be relevant is how Mick's teams respond in a crisis, or when the chips are really down. They seem to respond, and sort themselves out for the next few games.

I wonder if any new manager coming in may have the experience or nous to replicate this, the alternative is going into a tailspin and being in real danger of relegation, which we've never been under MM.

There's no money available, so we may as well accept we're dependent on sound management.

Just thought it was worth mentioning.

grumpyoldman added 18:04 - Nov 26
Good win, but as usual I will not get carried away on the basis of one result, it has happened previously and MM supporters use one result to justify their allegiance. Please remember it is one league match and therefore is a small part of the whole season, celebrate the victory but don't go over the top in your praise.

Tony88 added 18:06 - Nov 26
Now let's think last week we played the team most people wanted played a passing game with very little hoof ball and lost 0-2.
This week we played the team nobody wanted and won 3-0. I think MM has made a fool of all the moaners and the people who decided not to go today must be pig sick but of cause they will say they will not go again until MM leaves. After today the leaving date may the end of this season.

therein61 added 18:07 - Nov 26
A well needed 3 points and we played well at times and as usual put ourselves under the cosh inviting trouble which we were lucky to get away with, but again a needed 3 points, now wait for Mr arrogant(we won with the great Dougie on the park!!) to give us all a sarcastic side swipe for our moaning this season as we know eff all, well big man over to you to keep it going and not return to abject performances and the usual old excuses we've fortunately papered over a few cracks today just prove you have the ability to keep it going

hancockingoal added 18:14 - Nov 26
We won comfortably in the end which will for a week keep the Big Mick detractors quiet and justify his supporters! In reality we reached the dizzy heights of average. QPR in my opinion were the worst side I have seen at Portman Rd for years! They still brought 2 good saves from Bart and also hit the post. All three of our goals had an element of good fortune, so I will not be getting carried away with this result! Let's hope that this result can breed some confidence and we can improve our performances? I am not actually going to hold my breath!

Bert added 18:15 - Nov 26
Sad to hear some on here disappointed with a win. Are they true supporters ?

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