MATCH REPORT: Ipswich Town 1 Birmingham City 0
- Credit: Ashley Pickering
Ipswich v Birmingham: Ipswich Town made it three home wins from four with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham City.
Daryl Murphy’s 38th minute goal – a back post tap-in after Frank Nouble’s low cross from the right somehow evaded three visiting players – woke everyone up at Portman Road following a dire start to the match in which neither side mustered a noteworthy effort on goal.
The hosts were in control after that and, spurred on by the excellent Paul Taylor, always looked the more likely to score.
Taylor – only making his third league start of the season due to the fact that new loan signing Jonny Williams had picked up a knock in training the previous day – was causing Lee Clark’s side all sorts of problems with his strength, movement and direct-running.
Having played a big part in Murphy’s goal, outmuscling his marker to control a long bouncing ball before playing the ball out wide to Nouble, Taylor twice went close himself at the start of the second half.
You may also want to watch:
First keeper Darren Randolph was at full-stretch to keep out a curling side-foot effort which was destined for the far corner of the net, while moments later a carbon copy attempt bent just past the far post in front of the North Stand.
Birmingham, described as ‘toothless’ by manager Clark afterwards, created next to nothing. When they did get half a sniff, the imperious Christophe Berra was twice there to make perfectly-timed saving challenges in the box.
- 1 Red flooding alert issued for Suffolk coastal town
- 2 Pictures show flooding along Suffolk coast
- 3 Ipswich Town transfer rumour: Villa set to recall Barry in January
- 4 Suffolk coast flood alert issued including Felixstowe and Ipswich
- 5 'Striking' Suffolk eco home featured on Grand Designs up for sale
- 6 Mike Bacon: Starting to walk the walk, I'm liking the way we move
- 7 Large cannabis farm discovered in property near Suffolk-Essex border
- 8 Two Suffolk homes 30 miles apart struck by lightning
- 9 Family pays tribute to 'gentle giant' who died in motorbike crash
- 10 'It's powerful' - Harper on Town's use of sports psychology
So when Lee Novak missed a sitter in the 63rd moment – ballooning the ball over from close-range after Chris Burke had out-muscled Tommy Smith to cross - you sensed it was not going to be their day.
Town sub Paul Anderson epitomised the home team’s work rate when he lost his boot in a tackle, only to scoop it up in his hand and race back to provide cover at centre-back.
Indeed, it was Anderson who went closest to adding a second for the Blues when he latched on to Jonathan Spector’s bad back pass, touched the ball wide of on-rushing Randolph only for the keeper to recover and prevent the winger squeezing the ball in on the angle.
Reading’s 1-1 home draw with Yeovil means the Blues, back up to ninth in the table, have closed the gap on sixth-place to four points with 13 games to play.
- Reaction to follow.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-3-3): Gerken; Chambers (cpt), Berra, Smith, Cresswell; Green, Skuse, Tabb (Hunt 68); Taylor (Mings 87, Nouble (Anderson 52), Murphy.
Subs: Loach, Richardson, Wordsworth, Ebanks-Blake.
Booked: Skuse (88)
BIRMINGHAM CITY (4-4-2): Randolph; Spector, Martin, Packwood, Robinson (cpt); Caddis (Ibe 46), Huws, Lee, Novak (Howard 79); Macheda (Burke 58), Zigic.
Subs: Doyle, Blackett, Adeyemi, Shinnie.
Booked: Zigic (39), Spector (60)
Attendance: 15,596 (512 away)
Referee: Keith Stroud