Blackburn 2 Ipswich Town 0 - A brace from old boy Jordan Rhodes condemns Town to defeat at Ewood Park

Jordan Rhodes celebrates scoring from the penalty spot against Ipswich

Jordan Rhodes celebrates scoring from the penalty spot against Ipswich

Former Ipswich Town striker Jordan Rhodes came back to haunt his old club yet again, as he scored both goals in Blackburn Rovers’ 2-0 win this afternoon.

Former Ipswich Town striker Jordan Rhodes came back to haunt his old club yet again, as he scored both goals in Blackburn Rovers’ 2-0 win this afternoon.

Rhodes was at his clinical best in the 12th and 16th minutes to condemn Town to yet another defeat at Ewood Park.

The last time the Blues won a league game at Rovers’ homeground was back in August 1991, and Mick McCarthy’s men were always up against it after conceding two early goals away from home.

McCarthy made two enforced changes to the team that drew with Bristol City last weekend, Jonathan Parr replacing the ill Jonas Knudsen at left-back and Larsen Toure coming in for the injured Ryan Fraser.

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Town made a bright start with wingers Toure and Ainsley Maitland-Niles getting a bit of joy down the flanks. However, that joy was soon cut-short in the 12th minute as that man Rhodes put Rovers 1-0 up from the spot.

After the hosts saw penalty appeals against Christophe Berra’s arm waved away, Hope Akpan picked up the loose ball, waltzed past numerous inept Town challenges, before being clumsily clipped by Toure just as he was about to release the trigger.

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An easy decision for Andre Marriner, Rhodes coolly rolled home the penalty before wheeling away to celebrate in front of the travelling Ipswich fans, with his team-mates.

Worse was to come for the 642-strong Blue Army, as just four minutes after opening his account for the day, Rhodes climbed highest from a Craig Conway corner to beautifully glance into the far corner of the net. This was Rhodes’ sixth goal in as many games against Ipswich, since leaving in 2009.

Credit must be given to Rhodes for the quality of the header, but it was another poor goal for Town to concede with Berra making a hash of a clearance to concede the set-piece in the first place.

Blackburn were rampant, and almost added a third when Markus Olsson excellently lobbed Dean Gerken, following Rhodes’ beautiful lofted lay-off, only for the offside flag to scupper yet more celebrations.

Town improved towards the end of the half, and almost found a breakthrough when the busy Maitland-Niles tried to slip in Freddie Sears, only for a Blackburn defender to intervene at the last second.

Man-mountain skipper Grant Hanley then almost punished Town even further when he headed narrowly wide of the target from a corner, after Sears surrendered possession.

Left-winger Conway was a constant threat for Rovers, and he skipped away from Toure and Luke Chambers all too easily in the 40th minute, but flashed his drive wide.

Daryl Murphy then went close for Town when his shot on the turn was touched behind by Jason Steele, but in truth, Blackburn deserved their 2-0 lead at half-time.

Ipswich forced a couple of early corners after the re-start, with McCarthy replacing Toure, probably on a last warning after an early booking and several stray challenges after, with David McGoldrick.

Tommy Smith bravely blocked Corry Evans’ stinging shot, before Rhodes almost added a lovely third - controlling Evans’ pass before lashing a terrific shot against the outside of the post.

A sublime piece of trickery and endeavour down the left-hand side from Sears almost saw Town pull a goal back in the 63rd minute, but the former Colchester United man was denied by the feet of Steele with bodies scrambling.

McCarthy threw Brett Pitman into the fold, and Town started to push, with skipper Chambers seeing his sweetly-struck effort, from all of 35 yards, acrobatically turned around the post by Steele.

Town stopper Gerken then had to be at his best to deny marauding right-back Adam Henley, before the similarly-named Hanley headed over after escaping the clutches of Smith from a set piece.

Ipswich brought on Tommy Oar, making his full Championship debut, but it was Blackburn who looked the more likely to score, with Gerken producing a stunning save at full-stretch to deny Rhodes the hat-trick he was looking for.

Substitutes McGoldrick and Oar then persevered brilliantly to set up the arriving Parr, but his 86th-minute toe-poked effort from close-range was saved by Steele in an afternoon that belonged to former Ipswich man Rhodes. All his performance was missing was the match-ball.

Blackburn Rovers: Steele, Henley, Duffy, Hanley (c), Olsson, Marshall, Evans, Akpan, Conway, Lawrence (Williamson 90), Rhodes.

Unused subs: Raya, Spurr, Delfouneso, Taylor, Petshi, Lenihan.

Ipswich Town: Gerken, Chambers (c), Smith, Berra, Parr, Skuse, Douglas, Maitland-Niles (Pitman 59), Toure (McGoldrick 53) , Sears, Murphy (Oar 82).

Unused subs: Bialkowski, Malarczyk, Emmanuel, Bru.

Referee: Andre Marriner

Attendance: 12,672 (Town 642).

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