Ipswich Town 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • March 16, 2013 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/561ce

Bolton tasted defeat for the first time in nine matches, as a late Carlos Edwards strike gave Ipswich Town a 1-0 win at Portman Road.

In what was a game of few chances, Edwards snatched a late winner as he got on the end of a cross from Town substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

The Trinidad & Tobago international saw his first attempt blocked by Marcos Alonso, but he reacted smartly to fire the rebound beyond a helpless Andy Lonergan and ensure the Tractor Boys secured a league double over Wanderers for the first time since 1980.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made one change to the side that beat Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, with Craig Davies taking the place of Kevin Davies in attack. Adam Bogdan was fit again after a groin injury, but Andy Lonergan retained his place in goal.

In truth, the first half was more about which team could gain the most possession - as neither side managed to create many clear-cut goalscoring opportunities.

The first chance of the game arrived with 11 minutes on the clock and it fell the way of the hosts. Aaron Cresswell got the better of Sam Ricketts down the Ipswich left and his cross picked out Edwards in the penalty area. The former Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee rose high to meet the cross, but his header hit the side-netting.

Two minutes later, Edwards turned provider. His cross from the right-wing picked out the run of Andy Drury. He managed to direct his header on target, but Lonergan was alert to push the ball to safety.

Chris Eagles had Wanderers' first half-chance on the quarter-hour, but his long-range strike flew over the top of the Ipswich crossbar.

Town had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock at the midway point of the half. David McGoldrick's low cross picked out Daryl Murphy inside the Bolton box. Murphy looked certain to score, only to stumble as he hit his shot - as the ball trickled agonisingly wide of the target.

Darren Pratley entered the referee's notebook for a late challenge on Drury just before the half-hour, moments before Wanderers had their best chance of the half.

A neat pass from David Ngog put Craig Davies in space down the left flank. The former Barnsley forward cut inside and took aim at the Ipswich goal, but his shot was tame and rolled straight into the hands of Stephen Henderson as the two sides went in level at the break.

Although the two sides struggled to find a breakthrough in the opening 45 minutes, both managers stuck with what they had and began the second half with the same teams.

The first chance of the second half fell the way of Ipswich and they should have taken the lead. A poor ball from Sam Ricketts provided Murphy with a clear run at the Bolton goal. After racing away from a static Dawson, Murphy closed in on Lonergan but fired his shot over the top of the bar.

A couple of quickfire corners gave Bolton an opportunity to open the scoring just before the hour, with the latter being hit over the top by an off-balance Chris Eagles.

McGoldrick curled a shot inches wide of Lonergan's right-hand post shortly afterwards, before Wanderers made their first change of the afternoon - with Kevin Davies coming on for the ineffective Craig Davies.

The chance briefly gave the visitors a boost in the final third, but they still struggled to find the all important breakthrough - as the Ipswich defence held firm.

Eagles ghosted into the penalty area with just less than 20 minutes remaining. He latched on to a cross from Alonso, but the former Burnley midfielder couldn't keep his shot down.

The best chance of the game arrived five minutes later and should have provided Wanderers with the lead. A superb ball from Kevin Davies picked out an unmarked Ngog inside the Ipswich six-yard box. The Frenchman had the goal at his mercy, but somehow headed the ball wide of Henderson's goal.

Mick McCarthy introduced Emmanuel-Thomas and Michael Chopra in the places of McGoldrick and Jay Tabb for the final 10 minutes, as the game swung back in favour of the hosts.

Edwards saw a tame effort comfortably saved by Lonergan with five minutes to go but he wasn't to be denied with his next attempt, as Ipswich claimed a valuable three points.

Emmanuel-Thomas was given too much time by Ricketts down the Ipswich left and his cross picked out Edwards inside the Bolton box. His first shot was blocked by Alonso, but the Trinidadian reacted quickly to poke the rebound beyond Lonergan and into the Wanderers net.

Marvin Sordell replaced Dawson for the final few minutes but it was Ipswich who came closest to another goal, only for Lonergan to stand up and push away a shot from Murphy - who had been put clean through on goal.

Three minutes of stoppage time passed by before referee Stuart Attwell called time on events at Portman Road, as Wanderers' play-off dream took a huge dent. Ipswich, meanwhile, move four points clear of the relegation zone after their first win in three attempts.

The Championship now takes a two week break due to the international break. When it returns, Bolton face a season-defining fixture at Charlton Athletic on March 30th.

Ipswich Town: Henderson, Stearman, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, Drury, Hyam, Tabb (Chopra 78), Murphy, McGoldrick (Emmanuel-Thomas 76)
Subs Not Used: Loach, Kisnorbo, Mings, Lawrence
Goals: Edwards 88

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Ricketts, Dawson (Sordell 89), Knight, Alonso, Chung-Yong, Spearing, Pratley, Eagles, Ngog, C Davies (K Davies 66)
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Holden, Wheater, Odelusi, Kamara
Booked: C Davies

Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 17,034

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Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Rotherham United 22 22
21 Reading 22 19
22 Millwall 22 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 22 18
24 Ipswich Town 22 14
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