Chopra fires Town to victory

Michael Chopra scored early in the second half as Ipswich beat

Blackpool 1-0 at Portman Road to move four points clear of the

Championship bottom three.

Chopra turned home his fifth goal of the season after good work

by Senegalese midfielder Guirane N’Daw in the 50th minute to

condemn Blackpool caretaker-manager Steve Thompson to a third

defeat in his sixth game in charge.

Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich, who had won only one of their previous

six league games, secured back-to-back victories at Portman Road

while the Seasiders, for whom Spanish midfielder Tiago Gomes hit

the post in the first half, remain six points clear of the

relegation zone having now tasted success in only two of their last

10 in the Championship.

Ipswich midfielder Anthony Wordsworth made his first start since

arriving from Colchester for ?100,000 on transfer deadline day, but

his work was cut short by injury 10 minutes before half-time and he

was replaced by Chopra.

Ipswich’s Carlos Edwards and Blackpool’s Chris Basham both fired

off target in the opening exchanges and home strikers David

McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy were both wayward with angled drives

soon after.

Edwards and McGoldrick threatened again, with Matt Gilks doing

well to hold the latter’s effort from the edge of the area in the

24th minute, but Blackpool went closest to taking the lead two

minutes later.

Gomes was denied his first goal for the Seasiders by the width

of the post with a right-footed shot from inside the area and

Ipswich goalkeeper Stephen Henderson was then at full stretch to

turn away Alex Baptiste’s goalbound cross.

Blackpool defender Kirk Broadfoot headed the subsequent corner

narrowly wide.

Blackpool debutant Matt Derbyshire, on loan from Nottingham

Forest, and Broadfoot again went close with headers – both from

Gomes corners – while Murphy tested Gilks at the other end with a

rasping drive but the score remained goalless at half-time.

Broadfoot limped out of the action shortly after the restart and

was replaced in defence by Reece Wabara.

And Ipswich cashed in on uncertainty at the back when N’Daw cut

the ball back from the byline and Chopra steered a shot,

left-footed, into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

N’Daw cleared Baptiste’s goalbound header and visiting defender

Basham saw two shots blocked as Blackpool pressed for the equaliser

in the closing stages, but Ipswich’s defence held firm.