MATCH REPORT: Middlesbrough 2 Ipswich Town 0

Middlesbrough v Ipswich: It was a case of so near, yet so far for Ipswich Town as they were defeated 2-0 at Middlesbrough.

In a familiar tale, the Blues were more than a match for their opponents in an even start to the match, only to have all their good work undone by an individual error.

Andy Drury gave the ball away sloppily in midfield in the 34th minute, with Kevin Thomson quickly sliding in the lively Luke Williams who shot low across keeper Scott Loach and into the net.

Unlike in their last away outing, the 6-0 hammering at Blackpool, the Blues refused to collapse and put in a performance full of steel and intelligence in the crucial period either side of the break.

They grew into the match as the second half wore on and had the natives restless with a positive late spell.

It therefore made Boro’s stoppage-time counter-attack goal a bitter pill to swallow, with the Blues once again the creators of their own downfall.

This time Carlos Edwards’ long ball forward from a deep free-kick was poor, keeper Jason Steele sent an excellent kick back upfield and substitute Mustapha Carayol raced clear to finish past an exposed Loach.

Most Read

Nevertheless, Paul Jewell’s men head back to Suffolk with plenty of positives to draw upon. Guirane N’Daw had a solid debut in midfield, fellow new boy Paul Taylor put in another lively display, while Tommy Smith and Luke Chambers were solid in the heart of defence.

- Reaction to follow. Full match analysis in Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star.

MIDDLESBROUGH (4-3-3): Steele; Hoyte, Woodgate (cpt), Bikey, Friend; Thomson (Zemmama 90), Leadbitter, McEachran; Williams (Carayol 70), Miller (Jutkiewicz 57), Reach.

Subs: Leutwiler, Arca, Hines, Ledesma.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-2-3-1): Loach; Edwards (cpt), Chambers, Smith, Cresswell; N’Daw, Drury (Luongo 72); Taylor, Martin, Murphy (Scotland 79); Chopra (Emmanuel-Thomas 85).

Subs: Lee-Barrett; Ainsley; Hyam; Murray.

Attendance: 14,887 (309 away)

Referee: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands)