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Match Report


Posted Sat 18 Feb 12 at 14:22 PM


Town recorded a fourth successive victory for the first time since 2004, after beating Cardiff 3-0 at Portman Road.

A brace from Lee Martin, either side of a Michael Chopra goal, was enough for Town to take all three points in a thoroughly impressive performance.

Paul Jewell named an unchanged team following the midweek win over Portsmouth, with Carlos Edwards again captaining the side.

The game became a midfield battle almost immediately with chances at a premium, although Martin was unlucky to see a shot charged down by Anthony Gerrard following a neat lay-off from Michael Chopra.

However the first key incident of the game arrived after nine minutes, with Town 'keeper Arran Lee-Barrett racing out of his goal to get to a loose ball.

Cardiff winger Joe Mason nipped in before the stopper though, who hauled him down as the last man, but referee Simon Hooper felt the challenge was only worthy of a yellow card, with Peter Whittingham firing the resulting free-kick high over the bar.

Just after a quarter of an hour, Lee-Barrett made smart save from Cardiff left-back Andy Taylor, before gathering the loose ball before Kenny Miller reacted.

Despite being on the back-foot in the early exchanges, it was Town who broke the deadlock after 21 minutes.

A great turn of pace from Daryl Murphy saw him beat Kevin McNaughton, before pulling the back into the path of Martin who applied a neat finish beyond David Marshall and into the bottom corner.

The winger then had a great chance to double Blues' lead less than a minute later. The ball broke to him on the right-hand side and after tricking his way past Ben Turner in the area, Martin failed to keep his shot down and the ball flew just over the crossbar.

Lee-Barrett was being tested by the Cardiff attackers and he was almost beaten by a Whittingham volley after 32 minutes, before tipping the ball around the post after initially fumbling the ball.

Luke Hyam had shouts for a penalty waved away by the referee with five minutes of the half remaining, following good work from Chopra on the right hand-side, before the referee blew for half-time with Town a goal to the good.

There was a five minute delay to the second-half starting after linesman Gary Jerden was forced off with a calf strain and replaced by fourth official Wade Norcott, with qualified referee Alan Dale becoming the new fourth official.

But the delay didn't affect Town who doubled their lead two minutes after the restart.

Good work from Edwards down the right hand-side saw him cross for Chopra and the former Cardiff man fired past Marshall for his fifth goal in his last four appearances.

Blues were looking dangerous every time they attacked and Aaron Cresswell was denied a first Town goal by a smart save from Marshall, after the left-back tried his luck with a long range drive after 54 minutes.

The visitors were looking for a way back into the game though and substitute Haris Vuckic was unlucky to see his shot blocked by Tommy Smith from inside the six yard box after 64 minutes, before Ben Turner headed wide shortly after.

Town had a chance to extend the lead with 20 minutes remaining. Drury fed Martin who cut inside McNaughton before seeing his shot beaten away by Marshall into the path of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who screw his shot well wide of the goal.

But Town did extend the lead with 17 minutes remaining, with Martin scoring his second of the game.

Good persistent work from Murphy saw his cross into the area andMartin nipped in between McNaughton and Marshall to squeeze the ball home to score his second and Town's third.

Town were growing in confidence, although Lee-Barrett still had to be alert in goal to keep out a Whittingham drive with ten minutes remaining.

Martin was still looking lively and was in search of a hat-trick, which he almost got with four minutes remaining but his curling effort from the edge of the area went just over the crossbar.

The win sees Town move up to 16th in the Championship with a trip to Brighton next up for Paul Jewell's side.

Town are also hosting a friendly at Playford Road on Tuesday against Crystal Palace with fans welcome to attend, kick-off 1pm.

Town: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Emmanuel-Thomas (Leadbitter 90), Drury, Hyam, Murphy, Martin (Bullard 89), Chopra (Scotland 84). Subs not used: McCarthy, Ainsley.

Booked: Lee-Barrett, Hyam

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Gerrard (Blake 78), Turner, Taylor, Kiss (Vuckic 54), Whittingham, Cowie, Gunnarsson, Mason, Miller. Subs not used: Parish, Earnshaw, Conway.

Att: 17, 032 (333 visiting fans).

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