Ipswich Town still searching for first victory

Middlesbrough 3 Ipswich Town 1IPSWICH Town are still searching for their first Coca-Cola Championship victory of the season after this defeat against an ordinary Middlesbrough side in the sunshine at the Riverside this afternoon.

Elvin King


Middlesbrough 3 Ipswich Town 1

IPSWICH Town are still searching for their first Coca-Cola Championship victory of the season after this defeat against an ordinary Middlesbrough side in the sunshine at the Riverside this afternoon.

Gary O'Neil gave the home team the lead after a mistake by Gareth McAuley in the 16th minute, and this was doubled in the 66th minute when substitute Jeremie Aliadiere netted also with a glancing header.

Aliadiere made in three five minutes from the end after leaving two defenders in his wake and scoring with a low shot into the far corner.

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In the final seconds Walters was tripped by Hines and netted his third goal of the season from the penalty spot. It was just a consolation but showed that Town did keep trying right to the end.

The visitors played some neat football at times, but there is still plenty of work to be done if the Blues are to start rising up the table.

It was a regulation win by a side in with a chance of promotion against one at the wrong end of the table.

Ipswich made five changes from the side that drew 1-1 at home to Preston a fortnight ago. New signings Grant Leadbitter, Liam Rosenior and Carlos Edwards made their Blues debuts with Edwards declaring himself fit enough to start after only meeting up with his new team mates in their hotel last night after a flight back from playing for Trinidad on Wednesday.

Jamie Peters came back in after recovering from an ankle injury while Damien Delaney regained his left-back place.

Out went Pim Balkestein, who was not even on the bench, Tommy Smith, Lee Martin, Liam Totter and Tamas Priskin. Young hot shot Connor Wickham was not in the final 18 having suffered a groin injury during the week.

Middlesbrough kept Danny Coyne in goal despite Brad Jones' return to fitness while a fit again O'Neil came back in after a hernia operation.

Peters was playing down the left side and after he skipped beyond McMahon, Wheater cleared a low third minute cross hastily for a corner.

Several mini scuffles broke out while players were waiting for dead ball kicks to take place as the referee struggled to give correct decisions and also keep order.

Ipswich were naturally disjointed in the opening exchanges with the number changes they had made, but this had nothing to do with them going behind in the 16th minute.

The goal stemmed from a dreadful mistake by McAuley, who was caught dreaming as he went to clear for Emnes to gain possession and cross from the right.

O'Neil, who had been on the floor after appealing unsuccessfully for a penalty after a challenge by Delaney, got quickly to his feet to glance an unmarked seven-yard header over Wright and into the net.

McAuley held his head as his team mates gave him telling looks while manager Keane stood impassive with his arms folded in front of the visiting dug-out.

Ipswich had begun with a 4-4-2 formation with Walters and Counago up front and Bruce on the left side of McAuley at the back in front of a shirt-sleeved crowd - with several hundred visiting fans situated in the stand behind the goal that Town defended in the opening half.

Walters had a half-deflected header from a Peters cross collected by Coyne, who so far had been required to do very little.

In the 32nd minute, Ipswich had a good chance when a floated cross found McAuley unmarked after Counago had won a corner. From six-yards the Town defender saw his downward header cleared by Wheater from a foot in front of the goal line. Bruce followed up with a low drive that was deflected for a corner.

Ipswich were now spraying the ball about much better despite having to play catch-up following O'Neil's soft goal.

It was a lovely warm afternoon on Teesside with a pre-match possession round the pitch calling for the retaining of steel work jobs in the area.

Taylor went down holding his knee after a pass back to his keeper, and was carried off on a stretcher with a serious looking injury.

Bruce became the fourth Town player to be booked - for a desperate tackle as Middlesbrough threatened to break. McAuley then put the ball into his own net in first half stoppage time after the ball had just crossed the by-line seconds before Wright made a stunning save to deny Johnson a 20-yard goal.

Emnes broke the down right after getting the wrong side of Delaney with Wright having to dive smartly to collect the cross before a home man could convert from in front of goal.

Ipswich won three corners in succession as they took the game to an ordinary looking Boro outfit. Quinn and Priskin came on in the 61st minute and two minutes later Peters drove the ball low into the net, but an offside flag was up.

Town have a home game against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday when they will be seeking their opening home victory of the season.

And their need for points in that game became more acute after Boro went further ahead in the 66th minute. Johnson went down the left flank and his cross to the near post left both Rosenior and McAuley on the floor while substitute Aliadiere wheeled away in triumph having sent a glancing header across Wright and into the net.

McAuley had a 74th minute header from a Martin cross cleared by Johnson standing beside Coyne's left hand post as the visitors stepped up a gear in the latter stages. Edwards had a 25-yard shot fumbled for a corner by a diving keeper.

With Peters now at left back and Martin showing some life as a 65th minute substitute, Aliadiere made it three in the 85th minute after beating two defenders. He had created enough space to score with an angled right foot shot into the far corner.

Walters sent Coyne the wrong way as he shot home to the keeper's right with a 94th minute penalty after being tripped by Hines.


Middlesbrough: Coyne; McMahon, Wheater, Hines, Taylor (sub Grounds 41); O'Neil, Arca (Yeates 78), Williams, Johnson; Lita (Aliadiere 61), Emnes. Substitutes: Jones, Hoyte, Bennett, Franks.

Ipswich Town: R Wright; Rosenior, McAuley, Bruce, Delaney (Martin 65); Edwards, Leadbitter, Colback (Quinn 61), Peters; Walters, Counago (Priskin 61). Substitutes: Lee-Barrett, Stead, Smith, Trotter.

Referee: Mr K Friend (Leicestershire)

Attendance: 19,742.

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