Clarets Chop-ped down by Town

Michael Chopra fired home his 14th goal of the season as Ipswich beat Burnley 1-0 at Portman Road on Wednesday night.

Last Updated: 21/03/12 at 22:52

Chopra: Nets the winner

Chopra: Nets the winner

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Ipswich, one of the form teams in the second tier, dominated from start to finish, with striker Chopra lashing home the only goal from a rebound early in the second half to secure his side a seventh win in their last 10 league matches.

Burnley's play-off hopes have receded in recent weeks and they have surely waved goodbye to any faint hopes they retained of mounting a late challenge as they have now won only won of their last eight games.

The narrow scoreline hardly did justice to Paul Jewell's side, who had Grant Leadbitter sent off late on for a second bookable offence.

Burnley goalkeeper Lee Grant made several outstanding saves to keep out Ipswich, while Leadbitter and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas in particular went close to adding their names to the scoresheet.

Lee Bowyer returned to Ipswich's midfield, while Burnley boss Eddie Howe made three changes, recalling strikers Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin, plus midfielder Marvin Bartley.

Ipswich were first to threaten when Leadbitter's shot was charged down by Burnley defender David Edgar and midway through the first half Bowyer skewed his shot wide from inside the penalty area.

Burnley then spurned a golden chance to snatch the lead. Full-back Kieran Trippier swung over a fine free-kick and defender Danny Lafferty headed just wide of Ipswich goalkeeper Alex McCarthy's right-hand post.

Bowyer was in the thick of the action again towards the end of the first half when he forced Burnley goalkeeper Grant into a smart save with a header following good work out wide from Martin.

The second period began in much the same vein as Ipswich pressed for the breakthrough.

Grant made a superb sprawling save to catch Leadbitter's thumping 30-yard drive and midfielder Emmanuel-Thomas pulled his low shot wide when well placed inside the area.

But Ipswich got the goal they deserved in the 54th minute. Burnley skipper Chris McCann was robbed in midfield after dallying on the ball and Martin raced through on goal.

McCarthy did well to keep out Martin's fierce low drive, but Chopra followed up to lash home the rebound high into the net from six yards.

Burnley boss Howe made a double substitution in the 58th minute, sending on Ross Wallace and Martin Paterson for Dean Marney and Austin respectively.

But Ipswich almost doubled their lead soon after as Emmanuel-Thomas headed agonisingly wide from a corner and the same player arrowed an unstoppable shot just wide after cutting inside.

Burnley could do little to stop the home side's charge. Leadbitter and Martin both had goalbound shots blocked, while in a rare foray forward the visitors went close to grabbing an equaliser through Edgar, whose 20-yard effort flashed past the post.

Grant pulled off two more super saves to keep out Leadbitter's blockbuster and a curling effort from Emmanuel-Thomas before Leadbitter was sent off in stoppage time for a foul on Bartley.

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1 N Forest 3 3 7
2 Cardiff 3 3 7
3 Millwall 3 3 7
4 Charlton 3 2 7
5 Bournemth 3 4 6
6 Norwich 3 4 6
7 Watford 3 2 6
8 M'boro 3 2 6
9 Wolves 3 1 6
10 Sheff Wed 3 1 5
11 Ipswich 3 0 4
12 Reading 3 0 4
13 Brentford 3 0 4
14 Derby 3 0 4
15 Blackburn 3 -1 4
16 Birmingham 3 -1 4
17 Brighton 3 0 3
18 Rotherham 3 -2 3
19 Leeds 3 -3 3
20 Huddersfld 3 -5 3
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22 Bolton 3 -4 1
23 Fulham 3 -3 0
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