since 1878

Ipswich Town (0) 0 - 1 (1) Norwich City

Sky Bet Championship 2014-15

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Referee: K Stroud

Manager: Mick McCarthy

Portman Road 12:15

Attendance: 25,245

Manager: Neil Adams

Match Number: 3563


 Lewis Grabban (23)


Ryan BennettJavier Garrido (6)
Kyle LaffertyElliott Bennett (52)
Wes HoolahanGary ONeil (82)


 Cole Skuse (26)
 Tyrone Mings (81)
 Kyle Lafferty (35)



John Ruddy

Russell Martin

Steven Whittaker

Reece Johnson

Ryan Bennett

Michael Turner

Kyle Lafferty

Alexander Tettey

Lewis Grabban

Wes Hoolahan

Nathan Redmond



Declan Rudd

Carlos Cuellar

Cameron Jerome

Elliott Bennett

Javier Garrido

Jacob Murphy

Gary ONeil

Match Report

Norwich sink Ipswich after Lewis Grabban heads home only goal

The last time Norwich City played at Ipswich Town, three years ago, they won 5-1, and though this game never remotely threatened to be similarly humiliating, there was no question it was the visitors who again had the greater quality.

Though Robert Snodgrass and Leroy Fer have been sold since relegation from the Premier League, that Norwich have retained Nathan Redmond, John Ruddy, Alex Tettey and Bradley Johnson means they have a squad who, on paper, were always going to be a class above their determined, persistent, but limited opponents. Only Lewis Grabban's first-half header separated the teams at the final whistle, but at times Norwich's superiority was very apparent.

"We said all along we'd only sell if it was right for the club and I'm really pleased with the business we've done," said Neil Adams, who has also brought in five players, including Grabban from Bournemouth for around £3m.

Adams, who made a public apology for omitting to shake the hand of his opposite number, Mick McCarthy, before going to celebrate with the Norwich supporters, said he was still looking to replace Fer before the close of the transfer window. It may not be imperative: as McCarthy acknowledged, he already has an impressive squad.

It did not take long for Norwich's Premier League experience, and in some cases, quality, to make itself felt. Tettey, a powerful and increasingly influential presence in midfield, picked out Grabban, and he forced Dean Gerken to dive to his right to save.

Moments later, he gave the goalkeeper no chance. A Norwich corner swung in from the right was headed away by David McGoldrick, but headed back in to the six-yard box by Tettey. As he did so, Grabban was offside, but the Ipswich centre-half Christophe Berra was still on the ground nearby following a tussle with Michael Turner - one of the standard, set-piece wrestling matches that most referees let go - and his presence may have misled the referee's assistant. Grabban, standing isolated, turned his header beyond Gerken.

As half-time approached, Ipswich began to harry their way back into the match. McGoldrick, always a dangerous presence, shot just wide after a cleverly worked free-kick, Cole Skuse prodded the ball over the bar and a Jay Tabb effort was deflected for a corner.

Ipswich maintained their momentum after the break, and Daryl Murphy should have equalised when he met Tabb's cross at the far post. The Ireland international headed wide, a miss almost as glaring as Grabban's minutes later, when the Norwich forward found a frankly ludicrous amount of space, advanced into the Ipswich penalty area, but watched his attempt to chip Gerken drift well over the bar.

The striker was to miss two more chances in the next five minutes, the first an angled volley well saved by Gerken, the second when a heavy first touch allowed the goalkeeper to force him wide.

Time and again thereafter Norwich threatened on the break, but the Ipswich defence somehow held, meaning the result was in doubt until the last.

"It was a hard-fought game, changed by the goal which allowed them to try and catch us on the break which they nearly did a couple of times, though Murphy's chance was gilt-edged, he knows he should have scored," McCarthy said.

He went on to confirm that Ipswich would not be making any signings before the transfer window closes. "Financial fair play: that's bollocks, isn't it? It just is. We're operating within it, but the teams that come down, they have a slightly different financial fair play."

Richard Rae (The Observer)

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