since 1878

Ipswich Town (2) 2 - 0 (0) Middlesbrough

Sky Bet Championship 2014-15

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Referee: James Linington

Manager: Mick McCarthy

Portman Road 15:00

Attendance: 21,187

Manager: Aitor Karanka

Match Number: 3581


 Daryl Murphy (25)
 Jay Tabb (45)


Albert AdomahLee Tomlin (46)
Jelle VossenEnrique Martinez (61)
Kenneth OmeruoMilos Veljkovic (61)


 David McGoldrick (37)
 Jelle Vossen (20)
 Kenneth Omeruo (27)
 George Friend (87)



Dimi Konstantopoulos

Emilio Nsue

Daniel Ayala

Kenneth Omeruo

George Friend

Albert Adomah

Grant Leadbitter

Adam Clayton

Adam Reach

Patrick Bamford

Jelle Vossen



Tomas Mejias

Ben Gibson

Enrique Martinez

Lee Tomlin

Dean Whitehead

Milos Veljkovic

Yanic Wildschut

Match Report

Daryl Murphy and Jay Tabb see Tractor Boys trade places with visitors

Ipswich Town proclaimed the message loud and clear: they are sick and tired of life in the Championship.

They believe they are good enough for the Premier League and they intend to return there as quickly as possible. Here they showed why and how.

This was a very polished performance against one of their promotion rivals. Middlesbrough are usually so assured on the road, here they looked lost.

In the end, two goals were ample. If Mick McCarthy's team do make their return to the top flight, Daryl Murphy's contribution will have been priceless. He rifled home midway through the first-half and Jay Tabb made it two on the stroke of half-time.

They could easily have scored more but the point had been made. After 12 years away from the top division, Ipswich feel another crack at it is long overdue.

The win wasn't sufficient to take them top for Christmas - Bournemouth's seaside stroll at Blackpool put paid to that - but second place, a mere point behind, will do very nicely.

This constantly fluctuating Championship promotion race had taken another twist at lunchtime, with Steven Whittaker's last-gasp goal for Norwich City at Derby doing their East Anglian rivals a small favour.

It meant both of these teams had the chance to go top, though leaders Bournemouth were unlikely to surrender first place by faltering at strugglers Blackpool. That proved correct, the Cherries cruised to victory.

Whatever the complex permutations, something had to give here. Ipswich had won seven of their 10 home league matches this season, while Boro had won six of their last nine on the road. While Aitor Karanka's side had lost just one of their last 16, McCarthy's had been defeated in just one of 17.

With so much at stake, it was perhaps understandably a cagey opening with the only real chance of the opening 20 minutes arriving when Paul Anderson fired over after a deft touch brought him infield from the left.

The hosts had been the better team on the balance of play and their 24th-minute lead was just about deserved. They profited down the left side when Teddy Bishop threaded a pass to Tabb, who advanced to the byline.

His cut-back fell perfectly for David McGoldrick, only for his strike to be blocked by the legs of Dimitrios Konstantopoulos. The ball ricocheted nicely for Murphy to drill home his 14th goal of the campaign.

Boro had to play on the counter-attack but Adam Reach and Grant Leadbitter looked effective at times. A searching ball over the top by Kenneth Omeruo was just beyond the outstretched leg of Albert Adomah.

Omeruo, who had earlier been cautioned for a foul on McGoldrick, appeared to bring the Ipswich striker down again after being turned in the box. Referee James Linington disagreed and booked McGoldrick for diving.

Boro's best chance of the opening half arrived four minutes before the break. Reach found himself in plenty of space to cross from the left and Adomah flicked a header wide of the far post.

It was an opportunity they would regret not taking. In the second minute of added time, following a fine exchange of passes down the right involving McGoldrick, Luke Chambers and Bishop, the latter swung in a cross and Tabb - all 5ft 7in of him - somehow got between two burly defenders to head home.

Karanka introduced Lee Tomlin at the break to try and spur his team into life but Ipswich had the first chance of the second-half when Chambers headed straight at Konstantopoulos from Anderson's free-kick.

Omeruo was fortunate not to see red when he scissored down the advancing Anderson wide right and Karanka wisely replaced the defender moments later.

Home keeper Bartosz Bialkowski had not put a foot wrong but he was stranded when Reach tried to lob him from 30 yards out. Christophe Berra recognised the danger and read the trajectory to head off the line.

Ipswich were starting to showboat by the midway point and they really should have made it three - from Tabb's corner, a Murphy header was blocked on the line by Leadbitter and Tommy Smith then struck the post with the follow-up.

It didn't matter, Middlesbrough had produced precious little. The points had long been secure after this statement of a performance.

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