Bolton Wanderers 1 Ipswich Town 2
17:17 01 December 2012
Bolton v Ipswich: Michael Chopra scored an 89th minute winner as Ipswich came from behind to beat Bolton.
Mark Davies had given the hosts a first-half lead with a fine drive from 25 yards, but a penalty by DJ Campbell – Town’s third in successive matches – and Chopra’s late close-range strike gave Ipswich the win.
They are now five points clear of the relegation zone with Mick McCarthy enjoying a great start to life at Portman Road with 13 points from a possible 21.
It could have even been a bigger margin of victory after Chopra and then man-of-the-match Bradley Orr – pushed into central-midfield in the second-half – went close in injury-time.
Ipswich fell behind after just six minutes, but not before bright moments at both ends.
Reacting to a flick from Tyrone Barnett, DJ Campbell capitalised on some weak defending from Zat Knight and for a moment he looked clear.
But the striker’s touch wasn’t true and though he fed Lee Martin, his shot was blocked by the sliding Tyrone Mears.
Bolton quickly broke at the other end and Stephen Henderson had to be alert to tip Keith Andrews’ lob over the bar.
But the hosts didn’t have to wait long to beat Henderson after Jay Spearing found Mark Davies who was given too much time to pick his spot and how, after finding the corner from 25 yards.
The fear was that Ipswich would capitulate for the third consecutive away match.
In truth, it was a rather dire affair with Bolton shading chances created but both sides looking average.
Kevin Davies slid a shot just wide while Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan parried a fierce free-kick from Lee Martin.
The second half continued in much the same vein with Henderson twice denying headers from Kevin Davies.
Then out of nothing, the Blues were level from their third penalty in as many matches.
Orr, moved into central midfield when Andy Drury was withdrawn, found Murphy whose sharp touch got him into the area when he went down under the sliding Tyrone Mears.
Campbell, who scored from 12 yards at Peterborough but missed against Nottingham Forest, expertly found the bottom corner.
Town were on the up, but still a draw looked likely.
But more good work from Murphy, a curling shot deflected by Zat Knight for a corner, led to the winner.
The corner was headed out only to Orr who thought of nothing but striking first-time from the edge of the area.
Fizzing off the turf, Bogdan could do little but parry the shot and Chopra bundled the ball in.
The striker should have added a third for Ipswich but hit Bogdan when clean through before more good work from Orr saw him shoot just wide.
It was an amazing end to a fantastic three points for Ipswich.
Ipswich: Henderson, Orr, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, N’Daw, Drury (Emmanuel-Thomas 55), Martin, Campbell (Chopra 76), Barnett (Murphy 55). Subs – Loach, Hewitt, Higginbotham, Carson.
Bolton: Bogdan, Mears, Ricketts, Knight, Alonso, Spearing, Andrews (Butterfield 77), Eagles (Chung-Yong 63), M Davies, Ngog, K Davies (Afobe 72). Subs – Lonergan, Mills, Ream, Pratley.