Young star earns Ipswich their third league win trot PLUS full match stats
Ipswich Town 2 Crystal Palace 1
JOSH Carson was the toast of the town at Portman Road on Saturday when the 17-year-old netted both goals in a hard-fought Ipswich Championship victory over a plucky Crystal Palace outfit.
In only his third senior game the lad from Northern Ireland struck in the 38th minute after cutting in from the right, and he doubled the Blues lead in the 66th minute from close range.
Ipswich were indebted to Arran Lee-Barrett for making a number of good saves against a fluid Palace outfit, but the keeper was beaten in the 72nd minute when Patrick McCarthy found himself unmarked at a free-kick.
Town achieved their fourth double of the season but they had to work hard and they had young Carson to thank for their win.
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The Blues were unchanged from the side that beat Burnley 2-1 in their previous fixture seven days earlier. And the manager did not feel it appropriate to change any of his substitutes either with Dyer eligible for the last time before his loan deal with West Ham ends at midnight.
The visitors were also unchanged and included former Blues player Ambrose in midfield while Price and Garvan – two other ex-Ipswich players - started the match on the bench.
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Palace’s only away league win this season came at Norwich City and they were out to make it an East Anglian repeat in a game played in bright sunshine and in front of a good-sized crowd thanks to a number of promotions and the visiting to the ground of members of branches of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club from around the world.
It was a lively start to the game with Palace happy to sit back soak up pressure and then look to counter attack. Following a left-side throw-in, Wickham cut inside and fired just beyond the far post in the ninth minute, and a minute later Speroni had to dive full length to his right to push away a 20 yard shot by Leadbitter.
A misplaced pass by Edwards in the 16th minute saw the visitors break quickly with men over. Vaughan did well to go beyond Delaney, but from his pass Ambrose fired well over the bar from an angle.
Palace fans were making their presence known and seeking to lift their side to a win that would go a long way to retaining their Championship status.
Five minutes later the home defence was at sixes and sevens again with the ball criss-crossing the Ipswich goal before Ambrose hooked a close range effort wide.
Town’s play had become scrappy, but a snap pass by Bullard in the 32nd minute released Wickham for a cross that led to Norris bringing a save out of a diving Speroni.
A rapid Palace counter attack three minutes later led to the impressive Iversen tapping a square pass to Ambrose, who often scores from 20 yards, but on this occasion, Lee-Barrett was able to dive to his right and beat the shot away to safety.
Out of the blue, Ipswich took the lead in the 38th minute when Carson cut in from the right with Moxey for company. The 17-year looked as though he was aiming to cross perhaps, but whatever he intended the ball evaded the grasping fingers of Speroni to nestle in the far corner of the goal.
It was Carson’s first senior goal and he was proving an inspiration hugging the right touchline.
The half ended with Palace amazingly not having conceded one free-kick – including an off-side.
Within two minutes of the re-start, Norris turned in the penalty area and sent a left foot volley a yard wide of the far post. Within 60 seconds, Carson and Leadbitter combined to set up Edwards, who cut inside and smashed a low 18 yard shot against the base of the near post.
Palace came with an ace of a leveller in the 52nd minute when Vaughan wriggled free. Lee-Barrett saved the close range effort, and luckily for Town the ball ran loose away from two Palace players standing unmarked in front of goal. The ball rolled to the edge of the area where Dikgacoi’s low shot skimmed Lee-Barrett’s right-hand post.
Palace were certainly not out of this game and in the 60th minute Vaughan ran on to a long pass and tested Lee-Barrett with a 16 yard low shot that the keeper did well to save – with the ball rolling loose to the by-line where Delaney was able to boot clear.
Ipswich were living dangerously despite their industry and in the 64th minute they were indebted to Lee-Barrett when Ambrose when clear of the home defence. The keeper came out smartly to get his body in the way of the shot.
Two minutes later Carson was saluting the fans again after scoring for the second time.
Bullard and Scotland had combined to win a corner, and from the former’s kick, Palace were unable to clear, and it was Delaney at the far post who touched the ball into the centre of the goal area when Carson slammed the ball home.
Soon afterwards, a neat Town move ended with Leadbitter seeing his low shot held by Speroni when it would surely have been a goal if the ball had been two yards either side.
Palace to their credit were not going to lie down and from a free-kick in the 72nd minute Town’s defending left a lot to be desired and central defender McCarthy scored with a right foot shot at the far post.
Substitute Zaha then went clear to drag his shot beyond Lee-Barrett, but also beyond the far post.
Ipswich held out without too many alarms after that with Carson busy and effective to the final whistle.
Ipswich Town: Lee-Barrett; Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, Kennedy; Carson, Bullard (Healy 82), Norris, Leadbitter, Wickham; Scotland (Dyer 70). Substitutes: Fulop, Peters, O’Dea, Civelli, Drury.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, McCarthy, Gardner, Moxey; Ambrose (Zaha 70), Danns, Augustein (Cadogan 84), Dirgacoi, Iversen, Vaughan (Scannell 70). Substitutes: Price, Davis, Garvan, Mahon.
Referee: Mr G Salisbury (Lancashire)
Attendance: 24,378 (1,633 Palace)
FULL MATCH IPSWICH TOWN v CRYSTAL PALACE
Ipswich Town: Lee-Barrett 8; Edwards 6, McAuley 6, Delaney 6, Kennedy 6; Carson 9, Bullard 7, Norris 7, Leadbitter 7, Wickham 7; Scotland 5.
Crystal Palace: Speroni 7, Clyne 7, McCarthy 8, Gardner 7, Moxey 7, Ambrose 6, Danns 7, Augustein 6, Dirgacoi 6, Iversen 7, Vaughan 7.
Ipswich Town 2
Goals: Carson 38, 66.
Bookings: Delaney 59, Leadbitter 81.
Sent off: -
Shots on target: 5
Shots off target: 11
Free-kicks conceded (including off sides): 15
Crystal Palace 1
Goals: McCarthy 72
Sent off: -
Shots on target: 5
Shots off target: 11
Free-kicks conceded (including off sides): 7