|Ipswich Town 3 v 1 Newcastle United|
Monday, 17th April 2017 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 3-1 Newcastle United - Match Report
Monday, 17th Apr 2017 17:26
Goals from Freddie Sears, David McGoldrick and Emyr Huws saw the Blues to a famous 3-1 home victory over promotion-chasing Newcastle United. Sears put Town in front in the 42nd minute, former Blues striker Daryl Murphy netted an equaliser for the visitors in the 62nd minute, but McGoldrick made it 2-1 seven minutes later and Huws sealed the three points - and Town's first back-to-back wins of the season - in injury time.
Town named an unchanged side lining up in the same 4-3-3 system employed at the start of Friday’s 2-1 win at Burton, while ex-Blue Murphy began the game up front as the lone striker in a 4-4-1-1 system for the Magpies, one of five changes.
DeAndre Yedlin, Grant Hanley, Mohamed Diame and Christian Atsu also returned to the team, while ex-Town loanee Jack Colback was on the bench.
On Sir Bobby Robson Day, the game got under way with both sets of fans singing in tribute their legendary shared manager.
The Blues were first to threaten, winning a second-minute freekick which ultimately came to nothing
On six Myles Kenlock did well to win a tackle midway inside the Magpies’ half before feeding Freddie Sears to his left but the ex-Colchester man’s cross was grabbed by Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow.
Town were having most of the ball in the early stages with Newcastle looking to catch them on quick counter-attacks whenever they lost possession.
The Blues had the ball in the net in the 12th minute after a Tom Lawrence freekick from the left midway inside the visitors’ half beat everyone including Darlow. However, referee Tim Robinson had already blown his whistle for a foul by skipper Luke Chambers.
In the 17th minute Sears was sent away into the area by Huws but was crowded out. The loose ball fell to McGoldrick to his left but too close to Darlow, who claimed at his feet.
A minute later, Bartosz Bialkowski powerfully punched a Jonjo Shelvey freekick from the left clear, then Murphy, who was given a warm welcome back to Portman Road by his old fans, flicked a header wide off Chambers from Atsu’s right-wing cross.
From the resultant corner from the right, Paul Dummett shot powerfully wide of Bialkowski’s left post.
Soon after Magpies’ midfielder Isaac Hayden underwent treatment after suffering a knock and the rest of the players went to the sidelines for drinks on what was a very warm afternoon when in the sun.
The Blues, with their front three regularly switching roles, continued to look the more threatening side and on 25, after good work from McGoldrick, Lawrence sent over a cross from the right which wasn’t too far away from Sears and Huws.
Three minutes later, a Huws cross from the left was nodded out to McGoldrick on the edge of the box but with the ball slightly behind him the Irish international hit his shot well into the stand.
Newcastle began to look more dangerous just after the half hour, Jordan Spence cutting out a Murphy pass towards Atsu who had switched from right to left, before Bialkowski comfortably dealt with a Shelvey shot from distance.
The former Swansea and Liverpool man tried his luck again on 37 when Huws headed a cross following a corner clear to him not far outside the box, but Bialkowski did well to get down to his left to save his volley.
Although by no means dominant, the visitors were starting to create opportunities as half-time approached and on 41 they weren’t far away from going in front. Dummett crossed from the left and Ritchie arrived at the far post where he headed into the ground and over.
Almost immediately, Town took the lead. Kenlock won the ball on halfway and fed Lawrence, who brought it forward into the area unchallenged before laying it off to Sears to his left from where the striker lashed into the roof of the net off a defender to send Portman Road wild.
The Blues weren’t too far away from a second three minutes later when Huws diverted a Sears cross from the right to McGoldrick, whose shot was deflected over for a Town corner.
Town continued to press as half-time approached having grown in confidence after going in front but were unable to create another chance during two minutes of injury time.
The Portman Road crowd cheered their side off at the whistle after an impressive first 45 minutes from the Blues, who thoroughly deserved their lead.
Town had been on top for most of the half, but the visitors were just starting to look dangerous prior to the Blues’ goal with Ritchie having come close from Newcastle’s first real chance of the game.
Following the goal the momentum was very much back with Town in the final minutes and they might well have gone in having added to their advantage prior to the whistle.
Blues 11-goal top scorer Lawrence won a freekick on the left soon after the restart which Grant Ward whipped into the box and flicked well wide off Chambers.
Newcastle won a freekick on 50 when Cole Skuse tripped Mohamed Diame 10 yards outside the box. Shelvey smashed his shot powerfully into Huws’s face and referee Robinson stopped play so the Wales international could receive treatment - which ultimately he didn’t require - much to the annoyance of the visiting fans.
Two minutes later, Hayden was booked for dissent having been penalised for a foul on Huws.
Newcastle were having most of the ball in the second half but without looking particularly dangerous, while the Blues were looking more threatening on the break.
On 57, with the Sir Bobby Robson Stand by now in fine voice, Lawrence curled a freekick over the bar. Moments later McGoldrick was booked for showing his frustration after referee Robinson had given a decision against him as he challenged with Magpies skipper Jamaal Lascelles.
The visitors swapped Hayden for Yoan Gouffran in the 61st minute and a minute later they were on terms with the goalscorer perhaps inevitable.
Atsu crossed from the left, neither Christophe Berra nor Diame could get a touch on it at the front post and it reached Murphy, who tapped home from close range. The Irishman’s understated reaction to his goal, he merely shook hands with his team-mates, was appreciated by Blues fans who applauded.
Match Gallery: 19 photos
Lawrence picked up Town’s second yellow card of the afternoon for a foul on Yedlin on 65 with the game’s momentum having swung very much to the visitors following their equaliser, although with Bialkowski not having been tested further.
But in the 69th minute the Blues went back in front. Darlow’s under-hit kick was returned from halfway by Huws to McGoldrick on the left. The Town number 10 fed Lawrence, who played it inside to Ward, who then played in Sears on the left of the area. The Blues’ earlier goalscorer cut across goal and McGoldrick tapped in his fifth goal of the season at the far post.
On 77 Josh Emmanuel replaced Kenlock, who had had another impressive game but was perhaps feeling the pace of two games in four days.
Newcastle switched Yedlin for Jesus Gamez, then Aleksandar Mitrovic for Ritchie with a third Town goal looking more likely than an equaliser. In the 83rd minute Ward shot over from 25 yards.
A minute later, McGoldrick almost netted his second of the game with a deft chip from a Sears lay-back on the right which almost caught out his former Nottingham Forest team-mate Darlow, who reacted late to tip over the bar.
McGoldrick was substituted to a standing ovation moments afterwards following another man of the match display with the Blues reverting to a three-man backline, Tommy Smith having taken over.
After Chambers had used his strength to squeeze out Mitrovic as they battled for a ball on the left of the area, Brett Pitman replaced Lawrence.
Town comfortably saw out most of five minutes of injury time before Huws sealed the three points and the Blues’ result of the season with the third.
Pitman rode a challenge on the right of the area before crossing to the far post, where the on-loan Cardiff man walloped a volley into the top corner before celebrating in front of the ecstatic Sir Bobby Robson Stand.
Ward might even have made it 4-1 in the remaining moments of the game when but scraped his shot wide.
The final whistle was greeted by Portman Road’s loudest cheer of the season with the near-26,000 crowd - the largest of the campaign - staying on for some minutes to applaud the team and the traditional Chambers fist-pump.
It was a thoroughly deserved victory for the Blues, who had been well worthy of their lead at the break.
The Newcastle pressure which might have been expected following Murphy’s equaliser never came and McGoldrick’s goal seven minutes later settled Town down again and the result was never in any serious doubt after that. In fact a third goal had been coming before Huws lashed in his brilliant volley.
The victory, Town’s first against Newcastle since the 1-0 April 2001 win on Sir Bobby Robson’s first return to Portman Road, absolutely confirms the still-15th-placed Blues’ Championship status for another season with three games left.
However, the context of the league was less important than the occasion itself, an impressive win against probably Premier League-bound opposition on a day dedicated to one of both clubs’ greatest heroes, Sir Bobby Robson.
Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers (c), Berra, Kenlock (Emmanuel 77), Skuse, Huws, Ward, Lawrence, Sears (Pitman 89), McGoldrick (T Smith 86). Unused: Crowe, Bru, Diagouraga, Samuel.
Newcastle: Darlow, Dummett, Hanley, Lascelles (c), Ritchie (Mitrovic 82), Shelvey, Hayden (Gouffran 61), Diame, Yedlin (Gamez 78), Atsu, Murphy. Unused: Elliott, Colback, Perez, Mbemba, Mitrovic. Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex). Att: 25,684 (Newcastle: 1,952).
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