Ipswich Town 0-1 Cardiff City: Blues much improved but scrappy Zohore goal seals points for Warnock’s men

Bersant Celina reacts after missing a first half chance. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Bersant Celina reacts after missing a first half chance. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Kenneth Zohore’s scrappy goal proved the difference as Cardiff left Portman Road with three points, on a night where Ipswich Town put in a much-improved display in front of their home crowd.

Jonas Knudsen rises high above Loïc Damour to win the ball in this second half battle during the Ips

Jonas Knudsen rises high above Loïc Damour to win the ball in this second half battle during the Ipswich Town v Cardiff City match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The Danish striker poked the ball home having collected Gary Madine’s knock-down after 66 minutes, and although the Blues were unable to respond they moved the ball well and largely outplayed the side sitting second in the Championship.

But it was the Bluebirds who left with the points, on a night where the Portman Road attendance of 13,205 was the lowest the club has seen since September 1998, surpassing the recent home draw with Burton.

The much-changed Blues, who had Freddie Sears and Luke Hyam making rare starts, played much the better football during the opening 45 minutes as they knocked the ball around well, working space for themselves, without ever finding a way to goal.

Grant Ward and Sears had the best of the chances, which came from range, while a battle-hardened Cardiff side struggled to trouble the Blues back line as they attempted to break through with their physical approach.

Cole Skuse battles for the ball with Kenneth Zohore. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Cole Skuse battles for the ball with Kenneth Zohore. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The good football continued into the second half, with Cole Skuse threatening to shoot from range and Bersant Celina clipping a free-kick into the wall from a good position, but still there was no way through.

It was the visitors who took the lead, though, as a Joe Ralls free-kick into the box saw Gary Madine nod the ball down to Zohore who, after slipping, regained his footing and poked the ball into the bottom corner.

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It was cruel on the Blues, but McCarthy’s men were soon on the front foot again as they looked to respond. Celina looked the mist likely man to make that happen, as he teased the big Cardiff defenders, before Spence’s final act was to clip the ball over the bar before being replaced by Martyn Waghorn.

There was no way through, though, as the Welsh side returned home with the points.

Town manager Mick McCarthy watches on. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Town manager Mick McCarthy watches on. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Spence (Waghorn 79), Carter-Vickers, Chambers, Webster, Knudsen; Skuse, Hyam (Connolly 74); Ward (Bru 85), Celina, Sears Subs: Crowe, Iorfa, Kenlock, Gleeson  Cardiff City: Etheridge; Manga, Morrison (Halford 40), Bamba, Connolly; Ralls, Grujic (Madine 45); Damour, Mendez-Laing, Hoilett, Zohore (Bryson 86) Subs: Murphy, Pilkington, Wildschut, Feeney

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