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By Stuart Watson
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Ipswich v Burnley: IPSWICH Town showed immense character to seal their first home league win in more than seven months and move off the bottom of the Championship table.
Town edged a scrappy first half before taking the lead five minutes after the restart when Daryl Murphy outmuscled the goalkeeper to a high ball under the crossbar. The visitors were convinced it was a foul and, while the striker did stick his backside out, you could make the case that he was just standing his ground.
There was a feeling of ‘here we go again’ among the nervy home crowd when Ipswich – having pushed and failed to kind a killer second – conceded an equaliser with 10 minutes to go. Substitute Junior Stanislas provided the cross from deep on the left, with fellow sub Sam Vokes heading the ball in off the crossbar.
Having let five 1-0 leads slip this season, losing three of those matches, many sensed the worst. Especially after the Blues had capitulated so badly in the second half of their 5-0 thrashing at Crystal Palace in midweek.
However, the Blues appear far more organised and spirited under new boss Mick McCarthy, and they found a fully deserved winner three minutes from time. And what a goal it was.
In a rapid counter-attacking move, substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas set Carlos Edwards scampering away down the right. The skipper – playing on the right-wing for the first time in over a year – used his pace to shake off his marker and then swung in an inch-perfect cross. Striker DJ Campbell still had a lot to do, but produced a wonderfully controlled volleyed finish – with the outside of his boot – to guide the ball back across stranded keeper Lee Grant.
The outpouring of noise around Portman Road was as much relief as joy, with the Blues finally ending a club-record 10-game winless home run in the league.
Town are now third from bottom and just two points adrift of Championship safety, although Bristol City do play tomorrrow. Following six points from McCarthy’s opening three games as manager though, the picture is a lot rosier.
Ipswich (4-4-2): Henderson; Chambers, Smith, Higginotham, Cresswell; Edwards, Reo-Coker, N’Daw, Wellens; Murphy, Campbell.
Subs: Loach, Hewitt, Emmanuel-Thomas, Chopra, Scotland, Drury, Mohsni.
Burnley (4-1-4-1): Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Lafferty; Stock; Wallace, McCann, Marney, Paterson; Austin.
Subs: Jensen, Vokes, Stanislas, Ings, Edgar, Mills, Bartley.
Referee: Mark Brown