Visitors fall to 4-1 defeat at Portman Road...
IPSWICH 4 (Murphy 12, McGoldrick 26 pen, Murphy 45+1, Berra 48), UNITED 1 (Antenucci 4).
Ipswich: Bialkowski, Mings, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Skuse, Murphy, McGoldrick, Anderson (Bru 72), S Hunt (Sammon 79), Tabb (Bishop 60). Subs. Gerken, Parr, St. Ledger, Bajner.
United: Silvestri, Byram, Pearce, Cooper, Warnock, Cook, Bianchi, Mowatt, Adryan (Sharp 53), Doukara (Austin 51), Antenucci. Subs. S Taylor, Del Fabro, Berardi, Tonge, Dawson.
Referee: M Dean
Booked: Tabb, Smith (Ipswich), Bianchi, Cook (United).
Att: 21,489 (1,835 United)
For the trip to Ipswich, United head coach Neil Redfearn made just one change from the previous weekend’s win over league leaders Derby as Jason Pearce returned in place of the injured Giuseppe Bellusci.
The hosts had the first sight of goal, Daryl Murpy cutting inside from the right before seeing his effort deflected into Marco Silvestri’s arms, but it took United just four minutes to open the scoring at Portman Road as striker Mirco Antenucci continued his rich vein of form.
A marauding run down the left from Stephen Warnock cut apart the Ipswich defence and the full-back was able to put it on a plate for Antenucci to place beyond Bartosz Bialkowski from inside the six-yard box, taking his tally to eight for the season.
However, the lead lasted just eight minutes as Murphy pulled Mick McCarthy’s side level with a towering header past the sprawling Silvestri from Luke Chambers’ right-wing cross.
United looked to respond almost immediately, Tommaso Bianchi seeing his strike blocked before Antenucci blazed over from a tight angle. Murphy then had a close-range effort blocked in front of goal before slicing way over the bar in a closely-fought opening 20 minutes.
Warnock and Antenucci almost combined again in another swift United breakaway, but the Italian could only find Bialkowski’s arms with his header.
There remained little to separate the sides until the 26th minute when David McGoldrick dispatched from the penalty spot, sending Silvestri the wrong way, after Warnock was adjudged to have bundled over Paul Anderson inside the area.
Murphy almost doubled the hosts’ lead just moments after going ahead, lashing wide from inside the area, before McGoldrick curled an ambitious effort high and into the stand behind Silvestri’s goal. United were being made to be patient in their build-up play and Bianchi’s inviting delivery just evaded everyone inside the Ipswich box.
Ipswich’s sizeable front pairing of Murphy and McGoldrick were giving the United back-four plenty to think about, with the latter firing over from the edge of the box, while Alex Mowatt saw his half-volley fly high and wide as United looked to equalise just before the break.
But, in the final seconds of stoppage time, Murphy beat the offside trap to go through on goal and slot past Silvestri as Ipswich took a 3-1 lead into half-time.
Ipswich began the second half on the front foot and extended their within three minutes of the restart through Christophe Berra, making sure from close-range after Tommy Smith’s header looked destined for Silvestri’s bottom corner.
Redfearn introduced Rodolph Austin and Billy Sharp, replacing Souleymane Doukara and Adryan respectively, as United looked to stem the tide, but Ipswich continued to pile forward and Silvestri was forced into a smart reflex save to push away Murphy’s volley.
Possession largely remained with the hosts but United looked to restore some pride as Sharp just found himself outnumbered by Ipswich defenders inside the area following Austin’s cross, while Cole Skuse saw his strike fly over from distance.
Austin crept behind the Ipswich defence following a quick United free-kick, only to fire into the side-netting from wide as the game entered three minutes of stoppage time. Ipswich came close to adding a fifth through substitute Teddy Bishop before Antenucci’s strike was deflected behind in the game’s final piece of goalmouth action.