MATCH REPORT: Ipswich Town 1 Blackpool 0
Ipswich v Blackpool: MICHAEL Chopra came off the bench to score a fantastic second-half winner and seal three crucial points for Ipswich Town.
The controversial striker received a mixed reception from the home fans when he replaced the injured Anthony Wordsworth after 35 minutes.
And just four minutes into the second period he timed a diagonal run superbly, latching onto Guirnae N’Daw’s ball over the top, carrying the ball a good 30 yards before shrugging off Alex Baptiste and guiding the ball beyond keeper Matt Gilks.
Tiago Gomes had smashed a shot against the post for the visitors in the first half, while Frank Nouble cleared a bullet Baptiste header off the line with 10 minutes to go.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy had warned supporters that it wouldn’t be pretty in the build-up, saying he would take five scrappy 1-0 wins from the last 15 games if it assured his side Championship safety.
This match certainly fell into that category and came as a timely boost ahead of Tuesday night’s visit of in-form Watford to Portman Road.
With Bristol City and Birmingham both losing, Town are up to 18th in the table – just two points behind Blackpool and four points clear of the drop zone.
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– Reaction to follow.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Henderson; Stearman, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell; Edwards (cpt), N’Daw, Hyam, Wordsworth (Chopra 35); McGoldrick (Nouble 69), Murphy.
Subs: Lee-Barrett, Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Drury, Mclean.
Booked: N’Daw (78)
BLACKPOOL (4-3-3): Gilks; Baptiste (cpt), Cathcart, Broadfoot (Wabara 49), Crainey; Basham, Angel, Gomes (Ince 63); Taylor-Fletcher (Delfouneso 71), M Phillips, Derbyshire.
Subs: Halstead, Ferguson, Osbourne, Eccleston.
Attendance: 16,673 (394)
Referee: Robert Madley