Smith heads late Town winner PLUS match stats

Ipswich Town 2 Leeds United 1

GOALS from Jason Scotland and Tommy Smith gave Ipswich Town victory in Saturday’s npower Championship at Portman Road.

Smith was not originally on the team sheet but Darren O’Dea broke down in the warm-up.

Robert Snodgrass equalised Scotland’s first half effort with Smith nodding the winner in the 81st minute to move the Blues back into the play-off places.

The returning Alex Bruce was sent off in the 78th minute after two heavy fouls on the speedy Andros Townsend.

Town made three changes from the side that lost 1-0 at Reading in midweek with skipper David Norris and fellow midfielder Luke Hyam dropping out because they were serving one-match suspensions.

Troy Brown, who did well at right back at the Madejski Stadium, was named one of the Blues substitutes.

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In came Tottenham loanee Jake Livermore for his full Town debut with Mark Kennedy and Tom Eastman earning a recall.

Grant Leadbitter took the captain’s armband as Town played their final game before a two-week international break.

Darren O’Dea was withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland because of injury, but was named on the team sheet for this game. He returned to the dressing room soon after the warm-ups began and Tommy Smith moved up off the bench to start the match.

O’Dea had been a big doubt because of a knee problem. Damien Delaney got a 2.45pm call to get changed to ensure Town had seven substitutes.

Leeds, who lost a 4-1 lead to be beaten 6-4 at home by Preston on Tuesday, brought their club captain Richard Naylor back into the team.

He was joined in defence by another former Ipswich player – Alex Bruce, who was at right back. Robert Snodgrass returned to the Leeds side after suspension.

Naylor was given a rousing reception by Ipswich fans, with Bruce well applauded as well.

Leadbitter began sitting in front of the back four with Jack of all trades Peters giving Scotland the nearest company up front..

Leeds had sold their full allocation of tickets and their fans made their presence felt – with home fans responding in kind to make for a lively atmosphere.

The visitors began in confident style with Ipswich unable to link their passes together with front man Scotland often up against four opponents.

It took some desperate defending by Town in the 17th minute after Johnson’s left wing cross was back-headed by McAuley over the head of Fulop. Howson headed back into the middle and just when Somma was set to pounce the ball was scrambled away.

A minute later the home side took the lead with Scotland’s third goal of the season. Livermore was the instigator with a strong forward run and incisive pass that released Scotland to round Higgs and tap the ball into the unguarded net just before Naylor’s last-ditch tackle arrived.

It was Town’s first opening half league goal of the season, and in the 21st minute Scotland was put on a run down the left, but he shot rather rashly and the ball rolled well wide of the far post.

There was a scare for Town in the 25th minute when Naylor headed down a corner, and with his back to goal Somma was unable to turn the ball over the line from close in.

Leeds picked up their game and Kilkenny saw his 22 yard shot saved by Fulop after the ball bounced menacingly just ahead of the keeper.

Ipswich were unable to string any passes together and with Leeds not much better it was a pretty dire end to the half.

Leeds were carrying little goal threat, but Town needed a second goal or face a nervous finish to the game. Bruce crossed right across the face of the goal in the 51st minute to show that Leeds still meant business.

Peters dropped back to right back after Eastman was replaced by Priskin, and in the 56th minute Scotland squandered a great chance after taking control of a Leadbitter free-kick. He did the hard work, but then lifted his shot from seven yards and the ball sailed high over the bar.

Four minutes later, McAuley headed just wide at the far post from Peters’ deflected cross with Higgs going down holding his thigh before he could take the resultant goal kick.

The keeper was eventually helped off to be replaced by Brown. McAuley appeared to be struggling with a right thigh injury – and had been for some time – with Scotland now withdrawn in a more midfield role.

A neat move at last with the lively Townsend crossing from the left by-line in the 72nd minute and Scotland having a free shot that he failed to hit cleanly but still got on target with Brown pushing away for a corner.

Soon after Leeds brought on two substitutes they equalised in the 76th minute after Smith failed to clear. One substitute Becchio put the other Watt into space and Watt wrapped his foot around the ball ahead of Peters to cross to the far post where Snodgrass had an easy task to tap the ballinto the net.

Two minutes later Bruce was sent off went he sent Townsend flying as the Town man went down the wing. Bruce had already been booked for fouling the same player.

Before Leadbitter could take the resultant free-kick in front of Leeds fans he was seen holding his head as if been struck by an object from the stands.

Town brought on Wickham, and when Edwards curled in an 81st minute right wing cross with his left foot, Leeds were all over the place at the back, and although the ball went over Wickham, Smith was unmarked to head down and into the net.

Ipswich held out comfortably in the five minutes of stoppage time with home fans in good voice right to the final whistle.

Teams

Ipswich Town: Fulop; Eastman (Priskin 52), McAuley, Smith, Kennedy; Livermore; Edwards (T Brown 82), Leadbitter, Peters, Townsend; Scotland (Wickham 80). Substitutes: B Murphy, Healy, Murray, Delaney.

Leeds United: Higgs (J Brown 62); Bruce, Naylor, Collins, McCartney; Howson, Faye, Kilkenny (Watt 73), Johnson (Becchio 73); Snodgrass, Somma. Substitutes: Gradel, Clayton, Hughes, Nunez.

Referee: Mr K Hill (Hertfordshire)

Attendance: 23,105 (2,098 Leeds).

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IPSWICH TOWN v LEEDS UNITED

MATCH RATINGS

Ipswich Town: Fulop 6; Eastman 6, McAuley 7, Smith 6, Kennedy 7; Livermore 7; Edwards 7, Leadbitter 6, Peters 7, Townsend 7; Scotland 7.

Leeds United: Higgs 5; Bruce 5, Naylor 6, Collins 6, McCartney 7; Howson 6, Faye 7, Kilkenny 6, Johnson 6; Snodgrass 7, Somma 5.

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MATCH STATS

Ipswich Town 2

Goals: Scotland 18, Smith 81

Bookings: Leadbitter 87

Sent off: -

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 7

Woodwork: 0

Corners: 6

Free-kicks conceded (including off sides): 13

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Leeds United 1

Goal: Snodgrass 76

Bookings: Bruce 54, Naylor 66, Bruce 78, Snodgrass 89, Collins 90.

Sent off: Bruce 78

Shots on target: 2

Shots off target: 3

Woodwork: 0

Corners: 4

Free-kicks conceded (including off sides): 17

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