Ipswich boost play-off hopes

Ipswich boosted their Championship play-off hopes with a 1-0 win at in-form Yeovil on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 20/03/14 at 13:21 Post Comment

Cristophe Berra: Only goal of the game

Cristophe Berra: Only goal of the game

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A first-half strike from defender Christophe Berra proved decisive in a fine away performance for the Tractor Boys and ended the hosts' five-match unbeaten run.

Yeovil manager Gary Johnson kept faith with the same starting XI who beat Sheffield Wednesday at Huish Park on Saturday, and the Glovers started where they left off three days earlier.

Ishmael Miller, who notched twice against the Owls to earn Yeovil a second consecutive home win without conceding, started brightly and took less than two minutes to be at the centre of the action.

Manchester United loanee Tom Lawrence fizzed in a free-kick which Miller connected with, but his goal-bound header was deflected wide for a corner.

Moments later, Lawrence took the quick corner and made his way to the edge of the box before hitting a dipping effort inches wide of Dean Gerken's post.

Ipswich, who came into the game four points off the play-off places but without a win on their travels since Boxing Day, looked lethargic early on following their 218-mile trip to the south west.

Yeovil again went close when James Hayter linked up well with Ruben Palazuelos, but volleyed tamely over the bar.

It took 20 minutes for Ipswich to be awoken, with Paul Anderson making a great breakaway and sliding in Daryl Murphy, but the former Sunderland striker blazed wide.

However, the play-off chasers soon found their feet and in the 40th minute, following a spate of corners, centre-back Tommy Smith glanced on a Stephen Hunt delivery and his defensive partner Berra slammed the ball home from close range.

The visitors must have been wary going into the break having dropped 25 points from winning positions in 34 matches before their trip to Huish Park - the most in the Championship.

Eyeing a change of fortunes, the Glovers came out after the break with a different strike duo as Kieffer Moore and Sam Hoskins replaced Hayter and Miller.

Both teams started the second half tensely and it took until the hour mark for a meaningful effort on target, with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake shooting tamely at Marek Stech.

Satisfied to defend the lead, Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy replaced Ebanks-Blake with defender Tyrone Mings after 65 minutes as Yeovil grew increasingly frustrated.

The away side were inches away from doubling their advantage as the clock ticked down after Aaron Cresswell's teasing free-kick caused a goalmouth scramble, with Murphy somehow thwarted by Stech.

Paul Anderson and Cole Skuse both spurned chances on the break but Yeovil were made to rue a glorious late chance when Moore's thundering effort cannoned off the post - to the delight of the 1,091 travelling fans.

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