MATCH REPORT: Ipswich Town 3 Blackburn Rovers 1

Frank Nouble and Carlos Edwards after the latter puts Ipswich Town 2-1 up against Blackburn Rovers

Frank Nouble and Carlos Edwards after the latter puts Ipswich Town 2-1 up against Blackburn Rovers - Credit: Archant

Ipswich v Blackburn: Ipswich Town moved to within two points of the play-off places with a 3-1 home win over Blackburn Rovers.

Blues boss Mick McCarthy made four changes to his starting line-up following the bruising 1-0 win at Charlton last weekend, the decision paying off as three of the players promoted to the starting line-up – Luke Hyam, Carlos Edwards and Frank Nouble – scored the goals.

For the third successive match, Town broke the deadlock inside the opening five minutes as Hyam rifled home only his second career goal.

Former Blues striker Jordan Rhodes levelled matters on the half hour mark, but Carlos Edwards’ goal less than two minutes after the restart sucked the life out of the visitors.

Nouble added gloss to the scoreline with four minutes to go, chasing down a seemingly lost cause and capitalising on a mistake by keeper Jake Kean.

A third wins in four games lifted the Blues up to eighth in the table ahead of Saturday’s visit of Huddersfield Town.

Blackburn started with the ex-Blues duo of Rhodes and DJ Campbell up front and they were both given warm applause when their names were read out ahead of kick-off.

Most Read

It was the latter – whose 10 goals in 17 loan games proved the catalyst for the Blues pulling away from the relegation zone last season – who came close to breaking the deadlock in the second minute of the match.

After Town failed to deal with a long throw from the right, Lee Williamson’s shot was blocked by Cole Skuse, with Campbell’s snap-shot well saved at the near post by the diving Dean Gerken.

Buoyed by the let-off, the hosts went straight up the other end and broke the deadlock. Tommy Spurr failed to get much distance on his uncontested clearing header following Tommy Smith’s long ball and Hyam trapped the loose ball on the edge of the box and rifled a low shot through a crowded box and into the bottom left corner.

Manager McCarthy has demanded more goals from his midfielders recently, with the tenacious Hyam having been dropped for the previous two matches following a 37-game spell in the side.

His response was perfect, this only the second goal of his 72-game career.

Smith produced a brilliant saving tackle on Joshua King in the 13th minute, the winger having taken a heavy touch on his way into the box, but that moment aside it was Ipswich who were doing all the attacking.

Skuse chose to pass when the opportunity to shoot opened up, David McGoldrick’s turn and shot from the edge of the box fizzed just wide, while Stephen Hunt’s angled cross was just too high for Carlos Edwards at the far post.

Then, out of nowhere, Blackburn were level and Town had only themselves to blame.

Centre-back Scott Dann’s long punt upfield sailed over the home defence, with Rhodes breaking a poorly-timed offside trap to nip the ball around the on-rushing Gerken and roll the ball into an unguarded net.

The former Blues striker wheeled away with both arms held aloft before kicking the corner flag to the left of the Sir Bobby Robson stand. It was a run of the mill celebration, but home fans obviously felt it was slightly over-zealous as they soon began to boo their academy graduate’s every touch.

The first half rather fizzled out after that and you could sense the feeling of frustration around Portman Road as the teams came off for half-time.

McCarthy’s men needed to get the crowd back on side and that they did with a goal little more than a minute after the restart.

The impressive Hunt started the move with a pass to Aaron Cresswell, raced forwards to receive the return pass before wriggling his way into a crowded area. Grant Hanley’s last-ditch tackle saw the ball break nicely for Edwards to control and then ram home at the far post.

The goal seemed to suck the life out the visitors, who struggled to muster much of a response against the hard-working home side.

The only moment of any real nerves for Ipswich was self-made. It was almost an Artur Boruc moment for Gerken when he dallied on the ball before turning straight into the on-running Rhodes. Thankfully for him the ball ended up rolling just past the post.

Rhodes poked a half chance just wide in a fairly uneventful second period, much to the delight of the home fans, before the win was wrapped up 10 minutes from time.

Substitute Tyrone Mings sent an long ball forwards which defender Hanley left to bounce through to keeper Kean.

The only problem was that the on-rushing custodian met the ball right on the edge of his own box and wasn’t sure whether he could pick it up on not.

Nouble – in typically energetic fashion – had charged forwards, not giving up on a seemingly lost cause. He toed the ball away from Kean and then rolled it into an empty net before treating the Sir Bobby Robson stand to some dance moves and a bow.

At the end Rhodes made a point of running back over to that end of the ground an applauding the Blues supporters. By that point his celebration and role in the match was long forgotten.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Gerken; Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell; Edwards (cpt), Skuse, Hyam, Hunt (Mings 80); Nouble, McGoldrick (Murphy 80).

Subs: Loach, Tabb, Tunnicliffe, Anderson, Graham.

BLACKBURN ROVERS (4-4-2): Kean; Kane, Hanley (Kilgallon 58), Dann (cpt), Spurr; Williamson, Lowe, Cairney, King (Marshall 66); Campbell (Gestede 76), Rhodes.

Subs: Eastwood, Rochina, Judge, Henley.

Attendance: 14,953 (302 away)

Referee: Fred Graham

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter