MATCH REPORT: Ipswich Town 2 Yeovil 1
Ipswich v Yeovil: Ipswich Town sealed their second gutsy come-from-behind home victory in the space of four days to move to within two points of the Championship play-off places.
Having dominated the first period, the Blues somehow found themselves trailing 1-0 to newly-promoted Yeovil at half-time – Joel Grant’s superb strike coming against the run of play in the 42nd minute.
Just like they had done in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough though, Mick McCarthy’s side showed plenty of character to turn the match on its head.
Daryl Murphy scrambled home a 52nd minute leveller, with Aaron Cresswell finishing expertly on the hour. Once again, no-one could say that Town weren’t fully deserving of their victory.
The Blues had done all the probing in the first half, only for their final pass or shot to let them down.
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Having performed superbly as a second half substitute in the win over Middlesbrough, Murphy – back in the starting line-up at the expense of Frank Nouble – was a key figure in the opening exchanges.
The Irish striker was winning every flick-on and causing the Yeovil defence plenty of problems with some powerful, direct running.
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His shooting was letting him down though, with one tame effort easily held by keeper Wayne Hennessey and another going well wide.
Very soon it was it his strike partner, David McGoldrick, who came to the fore. Having scored two excellent goals at the weekend, the forward was looking full of confidence.
In the 17th minute he left Dan Seaborne – a triallist at Town during the summer – on his backside with a drop of the shoulder, his shot from the edge of the box held by Henneessey at the second attempt.
Soon afterwards, an exquisite double step-over from the ex-Nottingham Forest man left Liam Fontaine embarrassed in the box, only for his low cross to be blocked.
Better was to come. Just before the half hour, a trademark body swerve once again left Seaborne for dead out on the right. This time his angled shot flew inches past the far post.
Cresswell and Ryan Tunnicliffe were combining well down the left, but another chance went begging in the 34th minute when Murphy took too many touches in the box, his eventual strike being blocked.
With Christophe Berra once again in commanding form at the back, Yeovil’s first shot on goal – on or off target – didn’t arrive until the 37th minute of the match; Andy Williams’ long-range strike easily held by Dean Gerken.
Yeovil had shown signs of being a threat on the rapid counter-attack though and they demonstrated how to shoot from long-range in the 42nd minute.
Grant’s shot from the edge of the box fizzed into the top left corner leaving Gerken with no chance. Just as much credit had to be given to striker Williams though, for killing Luke Ayling’s long pass dead and then holding the ball up under intense pressure before calmly laying it off for his team mate.
Williams then lashed an angled shot into the near side-netting for Yeovil soon after the restart, with the first few groans starting to emerge from the home crowd.
Town responded positively though and it wasn’t long before they were back on the front foot, Luke Hyam’s goalbound shot from the edge of the box blocked by Fontaine.
Their equaliser arrived in the 52nd minute. After Cole Skuse rose highest to head Luke Chambers’ long diagonal ball back across goal, Murphy’s initial mis-kick bounced down into the ground before looping up onto the crossbar. The striker eventually scrambled the ball home from close-range, past two defenders, at the second attempt.
The goal lifted the crowd and the Ipswich players, with McGoldrick and Tunnicliffe both firing half-chances narrowly over the bar within minutes.
You sensed it was only a matter of time before the hosts got their noses in front and it happened in the 60th minute.
McGoldrick set the overlapping Cresswell away down the left, his initial left-footed shot blocked by the lunging Fontaine only to fall straight back at his feet. The marauding full-back simply steadied himself and sent a controlled shot into the far corner of the net with his weaker right foot.
From that moment onwards, Ipswich pushed for the killer two-goal cushion as Yeovil failed to muster much of a response.
Hennessey made a superb reaction stop in the 81st minute, keeping out Berra’s close-range header after Yeovil’s half-cleared corner was helped back into the box.
It made for a slightly nervy finish to the match as Gary Johnson’s side threw everything forward and there was a heart-in-mouth moment deep into stoppage-time when Joe Ralls’ shot fizzed through the crowd, but Gerken was down quickly to beat away the effort.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Gerken; Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell; Edwards, Skuse, Hyam, Tunnicliffe (Tabb 77); Murphy, McGoldrick
Unused Subs: Loach, Hewitt, Veseli, Wordsworth, Taylor, Nouble.
YEOVIL (4-4-2): Hennessey; Ayling, Fontaine, Seaborne, McAllister; Grant (Hoskins 77), Edwards (Davis 70), Upson, Ralls; Hayter (Moore 62), Williams.
Unused Subs: Dunn, Dawson, Foley, Ofori-Twumasi.
Attendance: 15,340 (155 away)
Referee: Darren Deadman