Rampant Town start with a splendid win

Middlesbrough 1 Ipswich Town 3

IPSWICH Town got their season off to the best possible start by beating Championship title favourites Middlesbrough at the Riverside.

It was a fully deserved victory with second half goals from Tommy Smith, Tamas Priskin and Jon Stead after being rather unlucky to be behind to a Scott McDonald gave at the interval.

Priskin saw a first half header strike the bar with Ipswich in complete charge in the later stages and the home team having one shot on goal all game.

The Blues gave full league debuts to three players with keeper Fulop having arrived from Sunderland for �1.1million on Friday and Kennedy from Cardiff last month. Teenager Hyam – a local Ipswich lad – was also starting his first Town league match having come on as a substitute in the last match of last season.

Apart from Fulop for Murphy it was the same side that lost 1-0 to West Ham last Saturday with Stead and Healy providing experience on the bench along with Murphy. O’Connor was believed to be ill.

Fulop was wearing the number 21 jersey and Kennedy the number 39 shirt.

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Town had Ian McParland, who was on their coaching staff in 2009/10, helping with the warming-up prior to kick-off after originally leaving his post in the summer for family reasons.

Middlesbrough handed debuts to Thomson, Boyd and Bailey with 36-year old Coyne in goal as Jones was serving a suspension.

Town were well supported in a cool and cloudy north east with their fans giving the players a terrific reception.

Flood went down when trying to stop Edwards get in a ninth minute cross, and was carried from the field on a stretcher.

Walters then had a 22-yard shot saved after a forward-roving Leadbitter had posed problems for the home defence – with Ipswich having started quite well.

In the 22nd minute, Ipswich were denied by a smart save by Coyne. The build-up came on the left with Kennedy supplying a cross to the edge of the 18-yard box where Leadbitter took aim and send in a low shot that the keeper saved to his right.

A minute later Boro took the lead. Robson had time to float over a deep cross from the right, and Arca was unmarked beyond the far post to head back into the middle where McDonald completed the formalities of touching the ball over the line from close in.

It was a severe blow to Town, but they hit back with Leadbitter again testing Coyne from distance.

In the 32nd minute, Priskin was a whisker away from an equaliser when he managed to get his head to a Norris right-wing cross and beat Coyne only for the ball to thud back into play off the bar.

Town were having most of the play with the home getting frustrated with one another at times with Peters getting in a terrific 44th minute cross that beat friend and foe alike as it journeyed through the six-yard box.

Norris was fouled a yard inside the penalty area seconds after the re-start. But the free-kick was given a yard outside the box presumably because that was where Norris had been originally manhandled.

The free-kick was touched to Edwards who blasted in an effort that hit Coyne with the keeper knowing nothing about the save.

Ipswich went ahead in two remarkable minutes – a reward for their good play through most of the match.

A corner was only half cleared, and when the ball was played back into the box again, Priskin looked offside. But the ball did not reach him dropping for Smith to try his luck with his left foot from 16-yards. The ball took a deflection to wrong-foot Coyne on it’s way into the net.

A minute later – in the 52nd minute – a flowing Ipswich move led to a second goal. Norris and Leadbitter did the spadework in midfield and Edwards was found counter attacking on the right. His cross was perfectly placed for Priskin to dive forward and guide a header low into the corner of the net to the keeper’s right.

Boro then came to life with McDonald missing the far post by an inch and Arca blasting over when well placed in the 57th minutes.

Edwards limped off with what looked like a groin problem to be replaced by Bermuda born youngster Lambe and then it was Priskin’s turn to depart after taking a blow on the foot earlier.

Within a minute of Stead’s arrival after 73 minutes he went clear of a hesitant defence and his low shot struck Coyne’s boot.

Four minutes later it was Stead that made it 3-1 when he volleyed triumphantly high into the net when all along in front of goal after Leadbitter had headed the ball forward.

Teams

Middlesbrough: Coyne; Hoyte (Kink 59), Wheater, McManus, Bates; Robson, Thomson, Bailey, Flood (Arca 13); McDonald, Boyd. Subs: Steele, Grounds, Williams, Miller, Lita.

Ipswich Town: Fulop; Peters, McAuley, Smith, Kennedy (Ainsley 89; Hyam; Edwards (Lambe 64), Leadbitter, Norris, Walters; Priskin (Stead 73). Substitutes: Murphy, Brown, Hourihane, Healy.

Referee: Mr A Bates (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 21,882 (740 Ipswich)

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MATCH RATINGS

Middlesbrough: Coyne 5, Hoyte 6, Wheater 5, McManus 5, Bates 6; Robson 7, Thomson 6, Bailey 5, Flood 6; McDonald 7, Boyd 4.

Ipswich Town: Fulop 6; Peters 7, McAuley 7, Smith 7, Kennedy 6; Hyam 7; Edwards 7, Leadbitter 8, Norris 8, Walters 8; Priskin 7.

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MATCH STATS

Middlesbrough 1

Goal: McDonald 23,

Bookings: Bailey 83

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 6

Woodwork: 0

Free-kicks conceded (including of sides): 13

Corners: 3

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Ipswich 3

Goals: Smith 51, Priskin 52, Stead 77.

Bookings: Priskin 36, Norris 45, Kennedy 53

Shots on target 9:

Shots off target: 5

Woodwork: 1

Free-kicks conceded (including of sides): 14

Corners: 4

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