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Match Report


Posted Sat 03 Mar 12 at 14:21 PM


Town made a return to winning ways in fine fashion, after beating Bristol City 3-0 at Portman Road.

Michael Chopra headed Town in front midway through the first-half, before Tommy Smith and Andy Drury extended the lead in after the break.

Paul Jewell made two changes to the Town side, with Alex McCarthy starting in goal instead of Arran Lee-Barrett, while Grant Leadbitter was chosen ahead of Luke Hyam.

Town started the game brightly and Lee Martin showed his intentions to attack as early as the second minute, cutting inside two defenders before seeing his cross fall just behind Daryl Murphy and away from danger.

Defender Smith, who earned a ninth international cap for New Zealand in the week, tried his luck from range after eight minutes but his shot flew wide of David James' post.

Blues were looking sharp though and Chopra went close to opening the scoring after 17 minutes, after being fed through on goal by Martin, but Liam Fontaine did just enough to deflect his shot over the bar.

Two minutes later and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas went close with a shot that whistled past the post after the former Arsenal man had tricked his way past a couple of defenders.

Shortly after Murphy was unlucky to see a header sail wide of the goal after meeting Carlos Edwards' centre ahead of Fontaine.

However Town still had to be alert to the pace of Albert Adomah on the counter attack and the Ghanaian was unlucky not to break the deadlock after rounding McCarthy, only to see Aaron Cresswell get back and make an important block.

From the resulting corner, City captain Fontaine was denied by a great reaction save from McCarthy who tipped over the bar.

Town were looking the more likely to score though and a good counter-attack involving Andy Drury and Martin saw the latter lay the ball off to Murphy, but the Celtic loanee failed to keep his shot down.

But shortly after Town did break the deadlock through inform striker Chopra. Good work from Martin on the right-hand side saw his cross for Chopra, who comfortably headed past James and into the top corner after 25 minutes.

Emmanuel-Thomas was causing plenty of problems to the City defence and he was unlucky to see a long-range effort flash just wide James scrambling across his line.

The midfielder then had the Portman Road faithful on their feet after he left two defenders in his wake before attempting to lob James, only to see his chip fall just the wrong side of the post six minutes before the break.

Former England 'keeper James was keeping the Robins in the game after making two fine saves to deny Chopra from adding to his earlier strike.

First he pushed the strikers shot away from goal, after more good work from Emmanuel-Thomas, before then denying Chopra in injury time with a superb reaction save at the feet of the former Cardiff man as Town went in 1-0 up at half-time.

The second half took a while to produce any real chances, although neat play from Town saw Martin and Murphy link up well before the latter drove the ball into the box that Drury was unfortunate not to connect with.

But Town's dominance did pay off with a second goal after 66 minutes. Drury whipped in a corner that Smith met with a powerful header that went beyond James and into the roof of the net to double Blues' lead.

The centre half then almost scored again four minutes later, after making a late run into the City box to meet another Drury centre, but his effort came back off the crossbar with James rooted to his line.

Town were playing some neat football and another flowing move almost brought about a third goal. Martin fed Drury who in turn crossed for Chopra, but the striker was denied a second headed goal by James who kept the effort out.

Despite creating more of the chances, Town had to remain focussed as City tried to find a way back into the game, with McCarthy making a good save to deny Chris Wood after the New Zealand international had broken the Town offside trap.

But Town did wrap up the win with five minutes remaining as Drury scored with a rocket from the edge of the area that flew into the top corner, after Martin laid the ball into his path, for his first ever goal at Portman Road.

That was the way it stayed as Town moved up to 14th place in the Championship following the win.

Town: McCarthy, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Drury, Leadbitter (Bowyer 90), Emmanuel-Thomas (Stevenson 83mins), Martin, Murphy, Chopra (Scotland 89). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Sonko.

Booked: Leadbitter, Edwards, Delaney

Bristol City: James, Fontaine, Nyatanga, Carey, Foster, Adomah (Bolasie 36), Cisse, Davis (Pitman 83), Kilkenny (Wood 26), Pearson, Stead. Subs not used: Gerken, McAllister.

Booked: Davis, Fontaine, Bolasie, Carey

Att: 16, 671 (271 away fans)

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