Town move out of bottom three
IPSWICH Town moved out of the bottom three with their third away win of the season in the Championship at Hillsborough this afternoon.With visiting fans giving their support to manager Roy Keane right through the game it was a deserved victory with Town holding on comfortably enough after Carlos Edwards had struck with a terrific early goal.
IPSWICH Town moved out of the bottom three with their third away win of the season in the Championship at Hillsborough this afternoon.
With visiting fans giving their support to manager Roy Keane right through the game it was a deserved victory with Town holding on comfortably enough after Carlos Edwards had struck with a terrific early goal.
In a team containing seven players hailing from across the Irish Sea - with two others starting on the bench - Town scored in the 15th minute when Edwards netted with a superb 23 yard right shot.
Wednesday lost their home game 2-0 against Doncaster on Tuesday and were seeking a win that would open up a four-point gap on a Town team that kicked-off in a third-from-bottom position.
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But it was Town who moved above the Owls with their seventh league win of the campaign against a poor home side. Gareth McAuley, Damien Delaney and Jack Colback were excellent for Ipswich.
Town made four changes from the side that lost 3-1 at bottom club Peterborough on Tuesday with Brian Murphy and Shane O'Connor making their Blues league debuts.
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Murphy came in for Arran Lee-Barrett, who had held the goalkeeping position since replacing an injured Richard Wright at Cardiff at the end of November. Murphy was signed from Irish champions Bohemians in November and became eligible to play in early January.
O'Connor, 19, was signed on a one-year contract last summer having after beginning his career with Liverpool and he has been doing well as captain of the reserve team having recovered from injury. He played in the Carling Cup at Shrewsbury last August.
David Wright and Edwards also came in, and the other three players to drop out were Liam Rosenior, Owen Garvan and David Healy.
While Rosenior did not travel, Garvan and Lee Martin were the unlucky two from the squad of 20 that stayed in the Sheffield area overnight. Striker Connor Wickham, 16, was back in favour and on the bench.
Darren Purse was a surprise Owls omission with a hamstring problem leaving them short of experienced defenders. Eddie Nolan, who was signed from Preston on Friday was on the bench.
Ipswich were again well supported with around 1,000 fans sitting in the upper tier of a stand behind one of the goals. And they before the match they were giving their full support to under pressure manager Roy Keane and his team.
But they were soon holding their breath when within 10 seconds a weak Wright attempt to boot up field enabled Varney to try his luck from 18 yards. B Murphy had to be alive to beat the stinging shot away.
The pitch was short of grass in the middle and a tad sticky making it difficult to build attacks on the ground.
In the 11th minute of end-to-end sparing, an Edwards right side throw-in was headed a yard wide of the near post by an unmarked Delaney.
Both teams were looking understandably edgy, but Ipswich had the benefit of a 15th lead - the fifth time in the last six games they have gone ahead.
Leadbitter had plenty of time to spot Edwards unmarked on the right side. His long low pass enabled Edwards to stride forward and let fly from 23 yards with a thunderbolt shot that roared into the net to the right of a diving Grant.
It was Edwards' first goal for the Blues, and the question was now - could they build on it? Colback and Leadbitter had efforts saved and go wide with the Owls looking a raged bunch at this stage.
Tudgay came close to an equaliser in the 28th minute when he turned well on the edge of the area and fired in a shot that struck the top of B Murphy's bar before going for a goal kick.
B Murphy pulled off a tremendous save three minutes later after Tudgay returned an Esajas cross into the danger area. Gray hammered in a shot from six yards that the keeper came out superbly to block.
Ipswich were still holding the upper hand, and the effective Leadbitter curled an effort a foot wide of the far post with Grant scrambling across his line.
In the 44th minute D Murphy went close to a goal when he side-footed against the angle of post and bar following a slick Town move down the left involving O'Connor and ending with a low cross by Colback to the near post.
Fitness coach Antonio Gomez warmed up the Town players prior to the re-start to try and stop a repeat of the second half collapse of previous games.
A wayward pass by Esajas in the 61st minute set Edwards free on a long run towards goal. He had two team mates waiting in the middle but saw his low show go flashing two inches beyond the far post for a corner. It was close call.
D Murphy twice posed a threat down the left with Ipswich tearing through the suspect home defence on occasions - once heading beyond Grant but with not enough power to cross the line.
In the 69th minute however play went up the other end and B Murphy distinguished himself again with a brave block when substitute Clarke was free in front of goal.
From Leadbitter's 86th minute corner Walters headed into the net, but the 'goal'' was ruled out for pushing. Three minutes later Varney sent a close range effort just wide as the clock ticked slowly down with three minutes of stoppage time.
Town finish their run of four consecutive away league games with a trip to Scunthorpe on Tuesday with confidence now higher that they can climb the table.
Sheffield Wednesday: Grant; Simek, Hinds, Beevers, Spurr; Gray (Clarke 62), Potter, J O'Connor, Esajas (McAllister 80); Varney, Tudgay. Substitutes: Jameson, Boden, Palmer, Soares, Nolan.
Ipswich Town: B Murphy; D Wright, McAuley, Delaney, J O'Connor; Edwards, Leadbitter, Norris, Colback; D Murphy (Wickham 90), Walters. Substitutes: Lee-Barrett, Balkestein, Peters, Counago, Quinn, Healy.
Referee: Mr M Russell (Hertfordshire)