MATCH REPORT: Ipswich Town 1 Leicester City 0
Ipswich v Leicester: DAVID McGoldrick sealed a timely victory for Ipswich Town with a well-taken 85th minute winner against promotion-chasing Leicester City.
The relegation-battling Blues put in a much-improved performance and more than matched their automatic promotion-chasing visitors throughout.
It was a match which could have gone either way and, after Harry Kane produced a glaring miss just before the hour mark, Town capitalised after Foxes skipper Wes Morgan lost his head in the closing stages.
The centre-back felt he had been the victim of two off-the-field incidents, with manager Nigel Pearson claiming afterwards that his captain had been kicked by Michael Chopra and then elbowed by Daryl Murphy.
Having been booked by the referee for his protests, Morgan looked to go in strongly to a challenge with Murphy after he overran the ball. The Town substitute simply nicked it off of him though and sent McGoldrick away with a perfectly-weighted through ball, the latter coolly slotting between keeper Kasper Schmeichel’s legs.
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The win lifts Ipswich the Blues up to 18th place – and temporarily six points clear of the relegation zone ahead of Sheffield Wednesday’s visit of Nottingham Forest tonight.
Following their ugly goalless draw at Huddersfield the previous weekend, Town played some much better football on a difficult Portman Road playing surface.
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The final delivery often let them down in the first half, but twice Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel had to make good saves around the half hour mark. First he acrobatically turned a Luke Chambers headed effort over the bar, before reacting superbly to beat away Chopra’s close-range toe-poked effort.
Town started the second half brightly, but they were let off the hook in the 57th minute. Chambers – otherwise excellent – played a blind backwards ball straight into the path of Kane. However, one-on-one, and with all the time in the world, he pulled his shot wide of the left-hand post.
The game became increasingly fractious in the closing stages, with Morgan’s reaction contributing to McGoldrick’s winner.
Town then had to stand strong during a late onslaught as substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas – in the squad for the first time in nine matches – producing a superb lunging block deep into stoppage-time. It summed up the spirit of Mick McCarthy’s side.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Henderson; Stearman, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell; Edwards (cpt), N’Daw, Hyam, Martin (Emmanuel-Thomas 80); Chopra (Murphy 80), McGoldrick (Drury 90).
Subs: Loach, Kisnorbo, Mclean, Nouble.
Booked: Hyam (74)
LEICESTER CITY (4-4-2): Schmeichel; De Laet, Morgan (cpt), Keane, Konchesky; Knockaert (Dyer 66), King, Drinkwater, Marshall (Gallagher 69); Kane, Wood.
Subs: Logan, Whitbread, Wellens, Vardy, Waghorn.
Booked: Knockaert (46), Morgan (82)
Conditions: Poor playing surface
Attendance: 17,021 (1,091 away)
Referee: Darren Deadman