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.

Last Updated: 17/02/13 at 13:02 Post Comment

Michael Chopra: Scored only goal as Ipswich beat Blackpool

Michael Chopra: Scored only goal as Ipswich beat Blackpool

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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.

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

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