Wolves inflict more home woe on Blues

IPSWICH Town crashed to their second consecutive home Coca-Cola Championship defeat at Portman Road this afternoon.

Elvin King

Ipswich Town 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

IPSWICH Town crashed to their second consecutive home Coca-Cola Championship defeat at Portman Road this afternoon.

There was no getting away from the fact that Wolves were the better side with too many Town passes going astray.

There was a brief rally at the start of the second half, but there is much improvement needed if the Blues are to feature in the top half of the table.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake took advantage of some rather sloppy marking in the 21st minute to put the visitors into the lead - getting ahead of Gareth McAuley to head a Matthew Jarvis left-wing cross low into the net.

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Substitute David Edwards scored Wolves' second goal in the 77th minute after a shot came back off the body of Richard Wright.

Just before that Town lost Alex Bruce, who was sent off for what the referee deemed was a two-footed challenge. Bruce held his head in dismay and other Town players surround Mr Tanner, but he was not going to change his mind.

Ipswich made one change from the side that beat Burnley 3-0 at Turf Moor last Saturday with Danny Haynes coming in to replace Liam Trotter.

The only change on the bench was Trotter for Haynes. Ben Thatcher made his home Town debut and if he comes through this game without a red card his suspended 15-match ban will come to an end after a heavy foul on Pedro Mendes 24 months ago.

Thatcher had a trial with Wolves last month before choosing to sign for Ipswich, who are still in on-going discussions with striker Shola Ameobi and defender Moritz Voltz over possible moves to Portman Road.

Club captain Richard Naylor was playing in his first home senior game since damaging his foot in January 2007; partnering team captain McAuley at the heart of the home defence.

Wolves also made one change with Neill Collins coming in for the injured Jody Craddock. Richard Stearman was a team mate of McAuley's at Leicester last season.

Haynes started on the left of midfield - with Walters on the right as the Blues attacked the south stand in the opening half.

Wolves soon showed that they were likely to pose a serious attacking threat with Bruce having to clear for a corner, and Thatcher thumping a loose ball up field following the kick.

Ipswich have still to trouble Hennessey, but in the 18th minute Iwelumo runs from the half-way line to send in a shot that Wright beats away from danger.

Naylor then does well to block a Jarvis shot after a poor McAuley header leaves Town short of numbers at the back for a slick Wolves break.

Wolves take the lead in the 21st minute when EBANKS-BLAKE gets ahead of McAuley to glance a ten-yard header from a Jarvis cross from the left well wide of a diving Wright. It was a goal that the visitors deserved on the run of play.

Town's full record against Wolves before today is won 26, drawn 16 and lost 22. and they now needed to up their game to stop this record from worsening.

Ipswich's defence had looked relatively sound at Burnley, but Wolves were running the back four ragged and looking poised for a second goal.

Former Colchester striker was in command up front for Wolves and in the 37th minute his low shot was gathered by Wright at the near post.

A minute later, Ipswich at last threatened with a cross from the right causing some confusion in the heart of the Wolves defence with Walters lifting a precise 20-yard volley a foot over the bar.

Lee was now playing on the left of midfield with Walters up front, but Town had still to find any rhythm and there were boos from home supporters when the interval whistle blew.

Counago replaced Lee at the break ad made an early impact setting up Walters for a shot that was saved, and then involved in the 51st minute when Haynes shot over as Wolves defence chased shadows.

Garvan replaced Shumulikoski after 53 minutes and within 60 seconds, Hennessey did well to stretch fully to his left and save a goal-bound shot from Counago.

The impressive Henry makes in-roads into the Town penalty area and shoots low a yard wide of the far post.

Town fans are now behind their team, and Miller should have equalised on the hour after Haynes left Elokobi writhing on the ground. Hennessey failed to gather after Miller's effort had been half-blocked, and when the ball dropped Miller poked his free shot from six-yard, but Stearman - one of two defenders on the line - was able to clear.

Elokobi was carried off the field on a stretcher with what looked like a twisted knee with Ward coming on to replace him. Collins has moved to left back with Ward fitting in beside Stearman at the heart of the Wolves defence.

Trotter replaced Haynes after 69 minutes with the latter having treatment for a left leg problem, with Naylor having to boot the ball clear after Stearman sees his close range header strike the inside of the post with Wright also doing well to keep the ball out.

Bruce was shown a red card in the 76 minute for what the referee deemed a two-foot challenge. Bruce held his head in his hands in disbelief and other Town players surrounded Mr Tanner - but Bruce had to go.

And it got worse for Town in the next minute when Wright was unable to hold on-to a stinging shot by Jarvis. The ball came off his bosy, with substitute EDWARDS (on for Ebanks-Blake) on hand to slam into the net.

Wright distinguished himself in the 79th minute with a fine save from Edwards, and four minutes after that Henry had free shot from in front of goal that went straight at a grateful Wright.

Wolves had brought good support with them from the midlands and they were going to go home happy after an impressive victory.

Jarvis struck the post in the four minutes of stoppage time as Ipswich finished well beaten.


Ipswich Town: Wright; Bruce, Naylor, McAuley, Thatcher; Walters, Shumulikoski (sub Garvan 53 mins), Miller, Haynes (Trotter 69), Lee (Counago 46), Lisbie. Subs: Supple, Balkestein.

Wolverhampton: Hennessey; Foley, Collins, Stearman, Elokobi (Ward 62); Kightly (Keogh 90), Jones, Henry, Jarvis; Iwelumo, Ebanks-Blake (Edwards 62). Subs: Ikeme, Vokes.

Referee: Mr S Tanner (Somerset)

Attendance: 21,483

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