Ipswich Town came out on the right end of a rollercoaster game at Portman Road, beating Blackburn Rovers 4-3.

Goals from Harry Clarke, Nathan Broadhead and George Hirst put the Blues into a commanding position at half-time, but the visitors struck back after the break, equalising shortly after the hour-mark. They refused to lie down, however, with Massimo Luongo rifling a shot into the net to win the game late on.

With Blackburn’s attacking numbers, the game was always going to be incredibly open. Wes Burns was able to win a corner for Town in the opening minute, but while Leif Davis’ delivery was good, Hirst was unable to convert.

East Anglian Daily Times: Harry Clarke celebrates after scoring his first goal of the seasonHarry Clarke celebrates after scoring his first goal of the season (Image: Ross Halls)

The visitors pounced on a poor pass soon after, cutting out Vaclav Hladky’s kick to Sam Morsy. They played it forward to Harry Leonard, who was brought down as he went to work the ball around the Ipswich goalkeeper, with referee Keith Stroud opting to give a goal kick.

A quick counter saw Conor Chaplin and Davis combining to win another corner, with the latter putting another dangerous ball into the box for Cameron Burgess, who couldn’t quite make the right contact. It did, however, come out to Clarke, who smashed a powerful volley into the roof of the net to give the Blues the lead in the fourth minute.

Rovers weren’t behind for long, striking back in the ninth minute to make it 1-1. Ipswich’s back line froze as Arnor Sigurdsson played a quick one-two with Lewis Travis, allowing him to run into the box down the left side and fire a low shot into the bottom corner, levelling the scores.

East Anglian Daily Times: Nathan Broadhead scored less than 10 minutes after Blackburn's equaliserNathan Broadhead scored less than 10 minutes after Blackburn's equaliser (Image: Stephen Waller)

The game became more and more end-to-end as time wore on. A sensational long ball from Sam Morsy found Chaplin on the right side of the box. He controlled it well and went for goal, but Aynsley Pears was able to rush off his line and deny the attacking midfielder from close range.

It was no surprise to see the hosts back in front in the 18th minute. Chaplin was able to flick the ball on to an unmarked Nathan Broadhead, who was afforded acres of space in the centre of the goal. It gave him plenty of time to control it before firing a low shot into the bottom corner, with Pears left stranded as his side fell behind at Portman Road once again.

They weren’t done there. Kieran McKenna’s men clearly smelled blood and went for the kill, with centre-back Cameron Burgess waiting for the perfect time to float a ball over Blackburn’s back line towards George Hirst, who’d beaten Rovers’ offside trap. The striker brought it down and ran at goal, slipping it underneath Pears and into the back of the net to make it 3-1 in the 25th minute.

East Anglian Daily Times: George Hirst scored his first goal since the opening day of the seasonGeorge Hirst scored his first goal since the opening day of the season (Image: Stephen Waller)

Town’s incredible, free-flowing football showed no signs of diminishing. A quick combination in midfield saw Luongo play Chaplin into space with a backheel flick, forcing Andrew Moran to foul him and pick up a yellow card. Broadhead and Chaplin both stood over the free-kick, but it was the latter who hit it straight into the wall shortly after the half-hour mark.

They continued to hunt for a fourth goal before the break, winning another corner when Moran was forced to clear the ball out under pressure. Chaplin was able to get his head on it, but a smart block prevented it from crossing the line. The following corner was played out to Clarke, who ran around the box before cutting inside and smashing a powerful effort just past the post.

They had one final chance to extend their lead before half-time as Broadhead picked the ball up off Hirst, playing it forward before smacking the post, preventing the Blues from wrapping up the win in the first half.

East Anglian Daily Times: Conor Chaplin had a number of chances to score in the first halfConor Chaplin had a number of chances to score in the first half (Image: Stephen Waller)

It really should've been 4-1 just 64 seconds after the restart. Chaplin's pass to Hirst was precise, but the striker couldn't control it, playing it back to Broadhead behind him. The Wales international took it wide to the right and went for goal, forcing a good save from Pears to tip it out for a corner, which Burgess headed narrowly wide.

At 3-1, Blackburn weren't out of the game, which they clearly knew. A slick, free-flowing counterattack saw half-time substitute Tyrhys Dolan played into space down the left, but his shot was parried away by Vaclav Hladky, who made his first save of the game.

They quickly turned the momentum and halved the deficit as Callum Brittain spotted the run of Harry Leonard in the box. It was Clarke who got the final touch on it, however, turning it into his own net for an own-goal.

East Anglian Daily Times: George Hirst was frustrated that he couldn't add to his goal against BlackburnGeorge Hirst was frustrated that he couldn't add to his goal against Blackburn (Image: Stephen Waller)

The equaliser was a real possibility as Jon Dahl Tomasson's men started to turn the screw. Harry Pickering found acres of space to pick out a cross, picking out Leonard in the box once again. His header looked destined for the bottom corner, but Hladky got down to make an astonishing save to preserve his side's advantage. 

McKenna could seemingly sense what was coming and moved to make a double substitution, bringing on Brandon Williams and Omari Hutchinson on the hour-mark. The latter came close to finding the elusive fourth goal seconds later, curling a powerful effort into the gloves of Pears.

Town's back line were playing dangerously high up, and it allowed Blackburn to catch them out for an equaliser in the 65th minute. Sammie Szmodics received the ball and turned past his man, allowing him to run through on goal and loop a shot over Hladky to make it 3-3.

East Anglian Daily Times: Sammie Szmodics celebrates in front of the home end after equalising against IpswichSammie Szmodics celebrates in front of the home end after equalising against Ipswich (Image: Ross Halls)

Like against Leeds United, Ipswich weren't going to lie down and accept the result. A pinpoint cross from Williams found the head of Hirst in the middle, but he couldn't keep his shot down. Soon after, Broadhead was once again left unmarked, presenting him with plenty of space to take aim and win a corner with a deflected effort.

Blackburn did well to slow the momentum of the game while playing on the counter, but they couldn't prevent Town from retaking the lead in the 79th minute. Marcus Harness' chipped cross was cleared out as far as Luongo on the edge of the box, allowing him to lash a shot past everyone and into the roof of the net, making it 4-3.

Rovers were rocked, and a defensive lapse allowed Hutchinson yet another chance to run at goal. He had fellow substitute Dane Scarlett alongside him, but ended up going for goal himself, smacking a shot straight at Pears.

East Anglian Daily Times: Massimo Luongo celebrates his goal against Blackburn in front of Town's supportersMassimo Luongo celebrates his goal against Blackburn in front of Town's supporters (Image: Ross Halls)

Groans echoed around Portman Road as seven minutes of added time was announced, but the Blues played out a professional finale to earn all three points, taking them up to second in the Championship.

Town XI: 4-2-3-1: Hladky; Clarke (Williams 60'), Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis; Morsy, Luongo; Burns (Hutchinson 60'), Chaplin (Harness (77'), Broadhead (Taylor 83'); Hirst (Scarlett 77')

Blackburn XI: 4-2-3-1: Pears; Brittain (Rankin-Costello 81'), Carter, Hyam, Pickering; Travis, Wharton; Moran (Hedges 46', Markanday 55'), Szmodics, Sigurdsson (Dolan 46'); Leonard (Telalovic 82')

Attendance: 28,792 (858 away)