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Match Report: Ipswich Town 3–0 Bristol City (Ipswich Fan's Perspective)

Monday 5th March 2012
Ipswich easily overcame Bristol City on Saturday to record three straight home victories and lift them to 14th in the league, their highest position for quite some while.

Despite losing heavily 3-0 at Brighton last week, Town bounced back with a convincing win here, which in truth could have been four of five if it wasn't for Robins ‘keeper David James.

But the Town faithful had to just settle for three as goals from Michael Chopra, Tommy Smith and Andy Drury gave the hosts all three points.

Struggling Bristol City were on the backfoot from the very start as Town peppered the Robins' goal with a seemingly shoot on sight policy. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and then Chopra went close from long-range but not close enough.

The visitors, who astonishingly hadn't scored in their last five games on the road, nearly took a shock lead as captain Liam Fontaine saw his scrambled effort well tipped over by Ipswich ‘keeper Alex McCarthy.

Town were in the ascendancy though and sure enough, did make the breakthrough in the 25th minute. Ex-Manchester United midfielder Lee Martin, who worked tirelessly once more, crossed for Chopra to nod past a motionless James.

This was Chopra's 100th league career goal but his celebrations must have been of mixed emotions as manager Paul Jewell fined him two weeks' wages after arriving late to training following a mid-week boozing session with the bubbly character of Jimmy Bullard.

Emmanuel-Thomas continued to keep Town fans on the edge of their seats as he went close again from range. The former Arsenal wideman nearly went one better as he beat a couple of fooled defenders before sublimely chipping just wide. James was well beaten and if it had gone in it would have been in the goal of the season category.

As half-time loomed closer, ex-England ‘keeper James showed his worth by superbly denying goal hungry Chopra not once but twice.

After firstly diving down low to his right to turn the striker's effort around the post, James then rushed out at his feet to block and deny the former Cardiff man from adding to his earlier strike.

There only looked to be one team in it at half-time, Town had been utterly dominant and visitors Bristol City were being completely outplayed, all that was missing from this game for Ipswich was more goals.

Although the plummeting visitors did grab a foothold in the match second half, it was Ipswich who would be celebrating the win.

In the 66th minute, Ipswich defender Tommy Smith, who only got back into the country on Friday morning following his international experience with New Zealand, superbly met Andy Drury's corner to powerfully head past James.

Moments later, Smith went close again, heading another accurate Drury cross onto the crossbar. The excellent Drury continued to flourish as his delivery was met by the head of Chopra but he was to be denied again by James.

City, who have collected just one point from a last possible 21, carved out their best opportunity of the match in the 79th minute when Smith's fellow New Zealand International team-mate Chris Wood broke the offside trap. He was to be denied by McCarthy though.

Town wrapped things up in the 85th minute as the outstanding Drury, who will battle hard with Smith over the man of the match accolade, drilled in a stunning third from 25 yards.

It was Drury's first goal at Portman Road and one that was fully deserved. Since he came back from his much needed loan spell at Crawley earlier in the season, he has come back a different player and looks to be completely rejuvenated.

In truth, Town could and should have won by more than three goals here. I don't think they will get an easier three points all season, Bristol City lacked the required belief and passion to get anything from the game and must improve this drastically if they are to stay up.
Will Ridgard

Total articles: 11

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