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Match report: Ipswich Town 3 Preston North End 0 – Waghorn, McGoldrick and Celina on target

PUBLISHED: 18:04 04 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:22 05 November 2017

Knudsen and David McGoldrick could go head-to-head in a bid to reach the World Cup. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Knudsen and David McGoldrick could go head-to-head in a bid to reach the World Cup. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town go into the international break on a high after beating Preston North End 3-0 in a Championship match at Portman Road this afternoon.

Martyn Waghorn won and curled home a free-kick right at the end of a forgettable, stop-start first-half.

David McGoldrick’s thumping header doubled the lead less than five minutes after the restart, with Bersant Celina hammering home an excellent third in the 64th minute.

Prior to Waghorn’s goal, neither team had registered a shot on target. They had only mustered one off target each too as a string of injury stoppages and some uninspiring long balls made for a dull spectacle.

Joe Garner, Martyn Waghorn and David McGoldrick celebrate during Ipswich Town's 3-0 home win against Preston North End on Saturday. Photo: Steve Waller Joe Garner, Martyn Waghorn and David McGoldrick celebrate during Ipswich Town's 3-0 home win against Preston North End on Saturday. Photo: Steve Waller

Waghorn’s driving run and slick interplay with McGoldrick and Kevin Bru led to the dead ball opener. Preston keeper Chris Maxwell was poorly positioned behind his wall and left a big gap for Waghorn to stroke home his eighth of the season.

Daniel Johnson clipped the top of the Town bar with a long-range effort after that.

Town improved after the restart and netted their killer second in the 49th minute after McGoldrick climbed above Marnick Vermijl to head home Jordan Spence’s super cross from the byline.

David McGoldrick fends off the challenge of Marnick Vermijl to head Town into a 2-0 lead..    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM David McGoldrick fends off the challenge of Marnick Vermijl to head Town into a 2-0 lead.. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Bru – who had replaced the injured Cole Skuse on the half hour – had made a big difference with his calm passing in the midfield.

Town began to play with confidence and enjoyed a real purple patch.

Jonas Knudsen headed wide at the far post after Bru flicked on Spence’s cross, Callum Connolly saw an effort cleared off the line, before Knudsen smashed a loose ball over the bar inside the area.

Bersant Celina watches as his second half shot evades the fingertips of Preston keeper Chris Maxwell to give Town a 3-0 lead, Ipswich, on 04 November 2017.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM Bersant Celina watches as his second half shot evades the fingertips of Preston keeper Chris Maxwell to give Town a 3-0 lead, Ipswich, on 04 November 2017. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Manchester City loanee Celina then finally sealed the win when hammering an angled shot high into the roof of the net following Spence’s pass.

It was the Kosovan’s seventh goal of the season in all competitions. He has now netted three games in succession.

Ipswich eased to victory after that, with Bartosz Bialkowski making a late smart stop from Jordan Hugill.

Bersant Celina celebrates with skipper Luke Chambers at the final whistle.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM Bersant Celina celebrates with skipper Luke Chambers at the final whistle. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

The Blues move up to seventh in the table and, as it stands, are a point off the play-off places.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-2-3-1): Bialkowski; Spence, Chambers (cpt), Webster, Knudsen; Skuse, Connolly; Waghorn, McGoldrick, Celina; Garner.

Skipper Luke Chambers congratulates David McGoldrick after he had handed Town into a 2-0 lead against Preston North End.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM Skipper Luke Chambers congratulates David McGoldrick after he had handed Town into a 2-0 lead against Preston North End. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Unused subs: Gerken, Iorfa, Kenlock, Sears.

PRESTON NE (4-1-4-1): Maxwell; Fisher, Huntington (cpt), Boyle, O’Connor; Welsh; Barkhuizen, Pearson, Browne, Johnson; Hugill.

Bersant Celina scored his third in three games during the victory over Preston.  Picture: STEVE WALLER Bersant Celina scored his third in three games during the victory over Preston. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Unused subs: Hudson, Horgan, Mavididi, Robinson.

Attendance: 14,390 (435 away)

Referee: Andrew Madley

FA Youth Cup

Ipswich Town 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

Ipswich Town U18 Academy boss Alan Lee is hoping his young charges can keep up the proud Blues tradition of success in youth football, with victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tonight, at Portman Road, 7pm ko.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes young defender Chris Smith returned from his loan spell at Chelmsford ‘more of a bloke’ and is hopeful he has a first team future.

Ipswich Town U23 3

QPR 0

Ben Morris hit a brace and Aaron Drinan opened his account in a blue shirt as an experienced Ipswich Town under 23 side eased past QPR 3-0 at Playford Road today, writes Kieren Standley.

FA Women’s Premier League

South East Division One

Ipswich Town 9

Haringey Borough 0

Ipswich Town Ladies bounced back from last Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup exit to Charlton with an emphatic 9-0 trouncing of bottom of the league Haringey Borough at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is set to appeal the red card given to Eunan O’Kane following his altercation with Jonas Knudsen.

Episode Six: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back for another episode of the Kings of Anglia podcast to discuss the win over Leeds, Portman Road atmosphere and the latest transfer news.

Bersant Celina revealed just how much the adulation of the Ipswich Town fans means to him after his latest match-winning effort.

It’s that kind of season. Just when everything seems to be miserable, and the fans’ anger is mounting, along comes a victory to lighten the mood. At least temporarily, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

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