since 1878

Norwich City (0) 3 - 1 (0) Ipswich Town

Championship Play-Offs Semi-Final, 2nd Leg 2014-15

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)

Manager: Alex Neil

Carrow Road 12:15

Attendance: 26994

Manager: Mick McCarthy

Match Number: 3609

Goals

Home
 Wes Hoolahan (49)
 Nathan Redmond (63)
 Cameron Jerome (75)
Away
 Tommy Smith (59)

Substitutions

Home
Wes HoolahanGraham Dorrans (73)
Cameron JeromeGary Hooper (82)
Bradley JohnsonElliott Bennett (86)

Cards

Home
 Bradley Johnson (29)
Away
 Christophe Berra (48) 
 Cole Skuse (90)

Teams

Home

John Ruddy

Steven Whittaker

Russell Martin

Sebastien Bassong

Martin Olsson

Nathan Redmond

Jonathan Howson

Alexander Tettey

Bradley Johnson

Wes Hoolahan

Cameron Jerome

Substitutes

Home

Declan Rudd

Gary Hooper

Elliott Bennett

Josh Murphy

Ryan Bennett

Gary ONeil

Graham Dorrans

Match Report

Cameron Jerome seals Wembley final for Norwich City as 10-man Ipswich are tamed

Christophe Berra saw red and 25,000 fans in yellow went wild, sensing that that was probably the moment where the most tense of East Anglian derbies had turned in Norwich City's favour. So it proved. Wes Hoolahan converted the second-half penalty after the centre-back was dismissed for deliberate handball and, despite a brief fightback by gallant Ipswich Town, Norwich regained the lead and now they are on their way to Wembley.

There they will duel with Middlesbrough for the right to return to the Premier League. 'One of them is going to be as sick as a seaside donkey,' said the Ipswich manager, Mick McCarthy, previewing that final as well as summing up his own distress after this gruelling semi-final second leg.

Until Berra's expulsion in the 49th minute this game was deadlocked. Norwich were fancied as the more gifted technicians but Ipswich had shaken them in the first half, just as they did in the drawn first leg at Portman Road last Saturday.

The buoyant home crowd did their best to uplift their team but, after play was paused in the first minute to allow stray balloons to be burst on the pitch, Ipswich set about trying to poop the hosts' party, with Kevin Bru delivering a free-kick from the right and Daryl Murphy heading over from 12 yards.

The blustery nature of the early exchanges suited the more robust visitors and it was 10 minutes before Norwich were even able to work Hoolahan into a position to conjure, but the Irishman was quickly engulfed by vigilant defenders. Norwich could find their passing groove only intermittently but Russell Martin would have shot them into the lead in the 15th minute after receiving a corner from Nathan Redmond if Anderson had not been perfectly placed to whack the defender's 16-yard drive off the line.

Finesse and chances were almost non-existent in the remainder of the hurly-burly first period but there was no shortage of endeavour or tension. The best opportunity came to Jonny Howson in the 39th minute after a counterattack led by Hoolahan, but Howson's rushed shot barely even made it into the box, Tyrone Mings blocking it easily.

'You could see the fans getting agitated in the first half but the message to the players [at half-time] was to keep calm, keep playing, don't listen to the supporters,' said the Norwich manager Alex Neil.

Norwich tore into the visitors as soon as play resumed, with Ipswich having to scramble the ball away as Howson and Cameron Jerome threatened in the 46th minute. Then came the pivotal moment: Redmond cut inside Luke Chambers and fired past Bartosz Bialkowski before Berra blocked the shot on the line with his arm. The referee, Roger East, awarded a penalty before issuing the inevitable red card. From the spot Hoolahan sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Ipswich, as cussed a team as there is in the Championship , were not about to accept their fate: the 10 men struck back within 10 minutes. Tommy Bishop flighted a long free-kick into the area, Murphy flicked on and Tommy Smith got a touch to take the ball away from the goalkeeper before turning it into the net from close range.

'Now it was about bottle,' said Neil. 'Once we conceded the pressure was off them and straight on to us. I was really pleased with how the players responded.'

It took Norwich four minutes to seize back the lead. Bialkowsky saved from Martin Olsson but the ball found its way to Howson at the edge of the area. The midfielder coolly clipped it out to the excellent Redmond, who lashed a low shot into the net from 15 yards.

Ipswich pursued another equaliser and their task should have been made even harder in the 71st minute but Jerome miscued from close range. The striker was more ruthless five minutes later, expertly poking the ball past the out-rushing Bialkowski after racing on to a pass from Redmond.

There could be no arguing with the result, nor with the fact that Ipswich deserve praise for making Norwich work so hard for it. 'I won't be feeling satisfied until we get to the Premier League,' said Neil. 'We've done a lot of the work but now we've got the biggest task of all.'

Paul Doyle (The Guardian)

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