Ipswich Town 1-0 Barnsley - Knudsen’s header sees Blues beat Tykes

Jonas Knudsen celebrates his match-winning goal last night. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Jonas Knudsen celebrates his match-winning goal last night. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Jonas Knudsen’s header at the start of the second half was enough for Ipswich Town to sneak past relegation-threatened Barnsley at Portman Road.

The Dane beat former Ipswich striker Kieffer Moore to nod home Mustapha Carayol’s corner, on a night when Irish teenager Barry Cotter impressed on his first appearance in English football.

The right-back, signed from Limerick for £50,000 in January, showed his talent, athleticism and maturity on his Blues bow as he attacked well, defended when he was required and got fans off their feet with a series of neat touches and a good range of passing.

Barnsley’s biggest threat was former Town striker Moore, returning to face his former club for the first time since being sold to Barnsley in January, and while the big forward proved a handful every time the ball was clipped into the box, the hosts were just about able to keep him quiet.

He nearly returned to haunt his former club inside the first five minutes but he saw his head come back off the crossbar as Barnsley showed their intent early.

The supply line between Adam Hammill and Moore remained strong, with balls being put into the box, and another of those forced Bialkowski into a smart save as the Pole got down well to keep the winger’s cross-cum-shot out of the net.

Brad Potts then lashed an effort into the side-netting as the visitors continued to press before Town’s best chance of the half came and went, as Bersant Celina lashed the ball over the top following a neat move involving Martyn Waghorn.

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After Lloyd Isgrove’s effort was ruled out for offside, the two sides headed in level at the break, with Cole Skuse having the first effort of the second half as he lashed a left-footed volley wide.

But the Blues were soon ahead as, from Mustapha Carayol’s corner, Jonas Knudsen beat Moore to the ball and superbly angled his header into the back of the net.

Cotter’s substitution was met by a chorus of boos and hearty cheers in equal measure, as he made way for Ward less than an hour into his superb debut, but the Blues were soon on the front foot again as Celina should have had a second from close range that was saved by Adam Davies.

Moore had an effort blocked as the Tykes chased an equaliser, but ultimately the Blues were able to see things out to secure their first victory since news of Mick McCarthy’s summer departure was made public.

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Spence, Carter-Vickers, Knudsen; Cotter (Ward 56), Skuse, Connolly, Kenlock; Carayol (Folami 60), Waghorn, Celina

Subs: Crowe, Hyam, Gleeson, Nydam, Sears

Barnsley: Davies; Yiadom, Jackson, Lindsay, Fryers (Mallan 82); Potts, Gardner, Hammill (Bradshaw 63), Isgrove (Hedges 56); McBurnie, Moore

Subs: Walton, McCarthy, Pinnock, Mahoney