since 1878

Ipswich Town (2) 3 - 1 (0) Blackpool

Coca-Cola Championship 2009-10

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Referee: P Crossley

Manager: Roy Keane

Portman Road 15:00

Attendance: 19,831

Manager: Ian Holloway

Match Number: 3331


 Jon Stead (1)
 Jack Colback (45)
 Gareth McAuley (71)
 Ian Evatt (67)


Barry BannanCharlie Adam (56)
Alhassan BanguraKeith Southern (55)
Hameur BouazzaBrett Ormerod (72)


 Grant Leadbitter (51)
 Jon Walters (89)
 Alhassan Bangura (15)
 David Vaughan (56)
 Stephen Crainey (64)
 Ian Evatt (72)
 David Vaughan (84)



Matthew Gilks

Stephen Crainey

Neil Eardley

Ian Evatt

Rob Edwards

David Vaughan

Hameur Bouazza

Alhassan Bangura

Barry Bannan

Gary Taylor-Fletcher

Jason Euell



Paul Rachubka

Keith Southern

Joe Martin

Charlie Adam

Ishmel Demontagnac

Brett Ormerod

Louis Almond

Match Report

Speedy scorer Jon Stead lifts Tractor Boys out of drop zone

Striker Jon Stead scored one of the fastest goals ever seen at Portman Road to put Ipswich on the path to the victory that lifted them out of the Championship bottom three for the first time this season.

The former Blackburn and Sheffield United forward fired home after just 29 seconds as Roy Keane's revitalised side extended their recent unbeaten run to 10 games.

Blackpool had never won at Ipswich and had beaten them only once in their history, a record they never looked like improving once young on loan Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback had added a second goal just before half time.

Seasiders central defender Ian Evatt pulled a goal back midway through the second half but skipper Gareth McAuley quickly netted a third to round off Ipswich's best performance of the season so far.

Stead's early strike was a stunner, coming so soon after the first whistle that even Blackpool goalkeeper Michael Gilks seemed to be taken completely by surprise.

Stead calmly collected a high bouncing ball just outside the Seasiders box and almost effortlessly eased his way past Evatt before curling a low, beautifully struck left foot shot past Gilks into the corner from 25 yards for his fourth goal of the season.

It was the perfect start for Keane's team but Blackpool could easily have equalised with a quick goal of their own with Ipswich's former Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter clearing a header from Evatt off his own goal line following a corner.

Ipswich were firmly in the driving seat though and they then put together a sustained spell of pressure with former Norwich stopper Gilks grateful to see the imposing frame of Evatt bravely block a goal bound, close range header from McAuley from Leadbitter's fifth minute corner.

Blackpool, forced to play on the break, chiseled out a second chance after 22 minutes with Algerian midfielder Hameur Bouazza producing a peach of a pass to leave veteran striker Jason Euell unmarked in front of goal.

An equaliser seemed certain but McAuley brilliantly threw himself full length to block Euell's close range shot and the Seasiders best chance of clawing their way back into the game was gone.

Ipswich continued to press implacably and they came desperately close to claiming the killer second goal they needed three minutes before the break, when a towering header by striker Jon Walters from midfielder Owen Garvan's corner crashed against the post with Gilks comprehensively beaten.

But Keane's inspired side duly delivered the decisive goal they deserved on the stroke of stoppage time, with Stead's clever pass putting Colback in the clear and he confidently clipped home his second goal of the campaign from 16 yards.

Evatt gave Blackpool home when he powerfully headed home right back Neal Eardley's 67th minute free kick but a similar header from McAuley four minutes later, from Leadbitter's corner, wrapped up Ipswich's win.

Midfielder David Vaughan was then dismissed after 85 minutes for collecting two yellow cards to round off Blackpool's nightmare afternoon.

Peter Layton (Mail Online)

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