Report: Ipswich Town 2 Reading 0 – Clinical Blues chalk up another home win

Joe Garner heads Town into a 2-0 lead. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Joe Garner heads Town into a 2-0 lead. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

First-half goals from Callum Connolly and Joe Garner saw Ipswich Town beat Reading 2-0 at Portman Road to move up to eighth in the Championship table.

Everton loanee Connolly started and finished a third minute move, then Garner headed home in the 28th minute after Adam Webster had flicked on Martyn Waghorn’s inswinging corner.

Reading were another side who came to Suffolk and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession – 73% – but the Blues were incisive and clinical in attack, before professionally squeezing the life out of the game after the break.

Mick McCarthy’s men were playing in front of the lowest league crowd at Portman Road since October 1998 – 13,832 – but the Blues have now won seven of their 11 home games this season and have closed the gap to the play-off places to just two points ahead of next Saturday’s trip to league-leaders Wolves.

Town enjoyed the dream start when Connolly won a thumping tackle in his own box, carried on his run and swept home following Waghorn’s pass inside. Moments later, Waghorn fired just wide after Jonas Knudsen disrupted Reading’s tippy-tappy approach.

The Royals did eventually get a foothold in the game and, getting plenty of joy down the right, began to pile the pressure on. Jordan Spence cleared a Dave Edwards shot off the line, then Adam Webster made a vital intervention in the box.

Ipswich’s second goal therefore came at just the right time. A marauding Spence run – the first of many in the game – led to a corner, Waghorn whipped it in and, after Webster deftly flicked on at the near post, Garner powered home a close-range header.

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Town then produced a second half full of concentration and discipline, always keeping the back door shut and looking to counter with numbers.

Bartosz Bialkowski’s one save of note came soon after the break when he turned a Mo Barrow effort around the near post. After that the result rarely looked in doubt.

A lunging goalline block from Liam Moore denied Bersant Celina in the 59th minute after a quickly taken free-kick from Waghorn. Spence then tested the keeper after another charging run that had the crowd off their seats, while Celina rifled over after seizing on a loose ball and dancing past two players.

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