since 1878

Brentford (0) 2 - 4 (3) Ipswich Town

Sky Bet Championship 2014-15

Friday, December 26, 2014

Referee: Fred Graham (Essex)

Manager: Mark Warburton

Griffin Park 13:00

Attendance: 12165

Manager: Mick McCarthy

Match Number: 3582

Goals

Home
 Sam Saunders (79)
 Sam Saunders (89)
Away
 Daryl Murphy (1)
 Daryl Murphy (20)
 Paul Anderson (29)
 Tommy Smith (81)

Substitutions

Home
Andre GrayNick Proschwitz (64)
Jonathan DouglasJon-Miquel Toral (64)
Alan JudgeSam Saunders (74)

Cards

Home
 Moses Odubajo (23)
 Tony Craig (63)
Away
 Noel Hunt (90)

Teams

Home

David Button

Moses Odubajo

Harlee Dean

Tony Craig

Jake Bidwell

Jonathan Douglas

Jose Ramallo

Alex Pritchard

Toumani Diagouraga

Alan Judge

Andre Gray

Substitutes

Home

Jack Bonham

Sam Saunders

Stuart Dallas

Jon-Miquel Toral

Tommy Smith

James Tarkowski

Nick Proschwitz

Match Report

Daryl Murphy steals the show as Tractor Boys win comfortably to go top of the Championship

Having the top scorer in the league is normally a good indicator who will win promotion at the end of the season.

In Daryl Murphy Ipswich have the Championship's most lethal marksman and his double at Griffin Park sent Mick McCarthy's side top of the table - for a few hours at least.

The Republic of Ireland striker has 17 goals so far this season and for that reason, coupled with this impressive win over a high-flying Brentford side, is why Ipswich should be taken seriously as promotion candidates.

The win extended their unbeaten run to 10 games and had the travelling fans dreaming of a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2002.

Murphy's double and a strike from Paul Anderson had the three points wrapped up and heading back to Suffolk after half an hour such was their dominance in west London.

Ipswich showed they were not suffering from any festive hangover as they took just 19 seconds to take the lead.

Brentford keeper David Button's clearance only managed to find Teddy Bishop who headed the ball out to Anderson on the right and he crossed for Murphy who found space in the middle of the penalty area and fired into the bottom corner past Button for what was the fastest goal in the Championship this season.

The visitors certainly looked in the mood to cement their place in the automatic promotion places and almost doubled their lead minutes later when Brentford old boy Jay Tabb fired over from close range.

Brentford have been one of the surprise packages in the Championship this season, but they were caught cold by this Ipswich performance.

And at the back, Tony Craig was finding it tough to deal with the pace and power of Murphy. The Ireland striker tested Button again after turning the defender, but this time his shot could not find a way through.

It did not take long for Murphy to double the lead. Jonathan Parr played a long ball forward and Murphy again got the better of Craig to find himself through on goal with only Button to beat and he rounded him with ease and slotted the ball into an empty net.

Murphy's form has been one of the key factors in Ipswich's upturn in form which has made McCarthy's side serious promotion contenders.

The striker scored eight goals in the last 10 games before this game and has the traveling fans dreaming of a return to the Premier League.

And Murphy had a hand in Ipswich's third before the half hour mark as the visitors threatened to run riot.

Murphy played the ball out to Tabb who crossed for Anderson who was able to bundle the ball over the line from close range.

It took until the 39th minute for Bartosz Bialkowski to be forced into a save when he was forced to keep out Andre Gray's downward header from an Alex Prichard cross.

But Ipswich - who are looking to return to the Premier League after a 12 year absence - started to the second half strongly with Murphy's low free kick testing Button in the opening minutes of the second half.

Prichard and Alan Judge did their best to force Brenford back into the game and mount an unlikely comeback, but Ipswich remained strong at the back.

Ipswich were missing the in-demand defender Tyrone Mings through injury, but they were having no problems dealing with Brentford's strike force.

Spanish midfielder Jota tried to force a way through, but his shot was easily smothered by Bialkowski.

Brentford's persistence did pay off as substitute Sam Saunders scored a consolation goal late on when his shot was deflected off Noel Hunt and looped over Bialkowski and into the far corner.

But it did not take long for Ipswich to retain their three goal advantage as centre back Tommy Smith showed great skill in front of goal to score in the top corner from 10 yards out.

But Brenford were not giving up easily and Saunders bundled over his second of the game in the final minute.

But Ipswich held off the late fight back and deserved the three points as they look to maintain this form that they will hope will return them to Premier League in May.

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