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Match Report: Ipswich Town 5-1 West Ham United

Friday 3rd February 2012
Well this was a turn up for the books. I don't think anyone travelling to Portman Road Tuesday evening as a home or away fan could predict what happened.

Lying in a precarious position of 21st in the table and on a dreadful run of form, accumulating only eight league points from the last possible 45, Ipswich Town turned in a sensational performance to well and truly trounce npower Championship leaders West Ham.

Goals from Michael Chopra, Darryl Murphy, Lee Martin and a brace from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas helped Ipswich achieve their first home win over their shell-shocked East London opponents since 1989.

The blues got off to the best possible start as within three minutes; the recalled Chopra scored his first goal in eight games. Steering clear of the offside trap, Chopra latched onto some fine work from Emmanuel-Thomas to blast home past a startled Robert Green.

Minutes later, Ipswich showed their defensive vulnerabilities as Carlton Cole hung in the air unopposed to connect to Matty Taylor's left wing cross, but fortunately for the Tractor Boys' his headed effort could only hit the post.

It was a really electric start with both seems seeming really up for it. In the remainder of the half, not much of incident really happened as both five-man midfields seemed to cause all kinds of congestion.

However, three goals were scored in a mad and frantic four minutes before half-time.

Firstly, Murphy nodded in from close range following Tommy Smith's flick-on before West Ham restored the one goal deficit a minute later.



Jack Collison rose highest to net a Mark Noble free-kick, only for Ipswich to have the last laugh of the half as Lee Martin slotted home a penalty following a clumsy looking challenge on Chopra from George McCartney, who really should have seen red.

Town fans were understandably nervous at the interval, having seen their side drop more points from winning positions than any other Championship team this season.

But a fine individual goal from Emmanuel-Thomas in the 64th minute, surely settled the nerves and scoreline.

The former Arsenal man cut inside before unleashing a fierce effort which beat ex-Norwich ‘keeper Green at his near post.

Not even Ipswich, with the second worst defence in the whole of the football league could capitulate from such a commanding position can they?

The answer is no but not without a few moments of anxiety. They will be thankful to stand-in goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett for denying West Ham substitute Sam Baldock and then Henri Lansbury in quick succession.

The Hammers often got in the right positions on a few occasions but could only fire straight at the Ipswich ‘keeper, much to Sam Allardyce's annoyance.

Not only were these opportunities annoying the boss but also evidently the Hammers' fans, who sensing a humiliating defeat, all flocked quicker to the exits than rays of light, presumably to catch the 21.33 train service back to London.

Town saw off the game rather comfortably in the end, and in front of a 22,000 audience, sealed their first league double over the Hammers since the 1976/77 season when Emmanuel-Thomas cooly rolled the ball into the net to cap off a fine counter-attacking team move.

Ipswich will hope this is the start of a point accumulating run that will see them steer clear of the relegation places while although the Hammers remain top, they surely won't be there for much longer with performances like these.

Will  Ridgard
Will Ridgard

Total articles: 11

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