Late Michael Chopra winner breaks Sky Blues’ hearts
Michael Chopra scored a dramatic 93rd minute winner to give Ipswich Town a 3-2 win over bottom club Coventry City.
The striker became Town’s top marksman with two second half goals, including the late winner, as Ipswich came from behind in the snow at Coventry.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas gave the visitors the lead midway through the first half but a penalty from Sammy Clingan and Gary Deegan gave the Sky Blues a half-time lead.
But Ipswich fought back and Chopra was on hand to hit home the rebound after Lee Martin’s penalty was saved before he headed home Andy Drury’s cross at the death.
Fresh from their 5-1 win over West Ham, Town started well and City defender Richard Keogh denied Martin a close range shot before Ibrahima Sonko’s header missed the near post.
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With still only seven minutes played, Daryl Murphy headed a good chance over but Town took the lead midway through the first half.
It came from some nervy Coventry defending who had chances to clear the danger but Sammy Clingan’s header only found Jay Emmanuel-Thomas who chested the ball and volleyed it into the far corner. The ball seemed to take a slight deflection – possibly off Martin – but it made no difference to the delight of the impressive away following.
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Town were in the driving seat, with Coventry looking distinctly nervy. But then out of nothing, the home side were gifted a way back into the game.
A cross into the Town box saw big Clive Platt go up for the header and a flaying arm, seemingly belonging to Ibrahima Sonko, saw the referee rightly point to the spot.
Clingan sent Arran Lee-Barrett the wrong way and we were all square. But just as the match was entering first half stoppage time, Coventry took the lead when a deep throw in saw Platt head the ball on and Gary Deegan followed home from the edge of the area.
It was a body-blow time to concede and neither side deserved to go in at the interval ahead after a scrappy first 45 minutes not helped by the wintry conditions,
Town started the second half brighter as Coventry started to defend deeper. And the visitors almost got straight back onto level terms but for Richard Wood’s intervention, denying Chopra a certain goal, after great work from Aaron Cresswell.
Andy Drury was then denied a second goal in three games when his curling effort was tipped round the post by Joe Murphy.
Town should have equalised in the 52nd minute when Sonko turned an unlikely provided but Chopra could only poke a shot wide.
But in the 63rd minute, Ipswich levelled in slightly controversial circumstances after Martin was brought down by Richard Keogh in the area.
The winger’s penalty was saved by the feet of Joe Murphy with the ball coming off the underside of the bar. But Chopra reacted quickest to head the rebound home despite Murphy’s best efforts.
With Coventry desperate for the three points, the match descended into an end-to-end affair with the home fans screaming for a penalty on more than one occasion.
But it was Ipswich who had the best chances and after Chopra missed a great chance when clear, the striker scored his tenth of the season from Drury’s cross.