Below-par Town grind out narrow win

BELOW-PAR Ipswich Town somehow ground out a narrow 1-0 victory over Portsmouth thanks to Keith Andrews’ second half goal.

The Blues were fortunate to go into the break goalless after Portsmouth seized on some sloppy play and created a number of good opportunities.

Paul Jewell’s side managed to stick with the game though and found a winner in the 69th minute when Keith Andrews just about got enough contact on the ball from close range to guide home substitute Nathan Ellington’s headed knock down.

Ipswich – who headed into the match on a five-game unbeaten run – started confidently before a number of unforced errors crept into their play.

With Jimmy Bullard’s passing game completely off key, Portsmouth have forced a number of corners and good goalscoring opportunities.

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Luke Varney fired inches over the bar in the 18th minute, while a minute later home keeper David Stockdale saved with his legs one-on-one from the striker.

Dave Kitson diverted a corner into the near post just before the half hour mark, while Stockdale also tipped a Joel Ward header wide.

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Lee Bowyer did see a shot from the edge of the box turned around the post early on, while Andrews also forced a save from the keeper, but Town were by far the happier side with a 0-0 scoreline come the half-time whistle.

Pompey sensed an opportunity and should have broken the deadlock within a minute of the restart when Liam Lawrence somehow failed to connect with the ball unmarked at the far post.

Town lost centre-back Ibrahima Sonko to a hamstring injury on the hour, while Jewell replaced tired looking strike duo Jason Scotland and Michael Chopra with Ellington and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

Ipswich, although still not quite clicking, kept toiling away and found their winner in the 69th minute. The energetic Carlos Edwards clipped the ball into the area, Ellington got a head/shoulder onto the ball and Andrews was there to scuff home from close range.

A below-par performance, with a scrappy winner. Ipswich Town won’t care one bit though.

– Reaction to follow.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Stockdale; Edwards, Sonko (Delaney 60), Collins, Cresswell; Bullard, Leadbitter (cpt), Bowyer, Andrews; Scotland (Ellington 46), Chopra (Emmanuel-Thomas 65).

Subs: Lee-Barrett; Wabara.

Booked: Bowyer (82)

PORTSMOUTH (4-5-1): Henderson; Halford, Pearce, Rocha (Kanu 75), Ben Haim; Lawrence (cpt) (Mokoena 88), Mullins, Norris, Ward, Varney; Kitson (Huseklepp 74).

Subs: Ashdown, Riise.

AttendanceL 17,297 (away)

Referee: Mr Gavin Ward

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