, Ipswich Town 2-1 Nottingham Forest- Match Review

Ipswich Town 2-1 Nottingham Forest- Match Review

Ipswich did their Play-off hopes no harm as they saw off what was undoubtedly a stern test in the shape of Nottingham Forest, in front of a packed out Portman Road crowd of little over 25,000. This match always had the feel of a game in which the home side knew they couldn’t afford to slip up thanks to the unrelenting pressure of both Wolves and Brentford behind them in the Championship table.

Right from the first whistle the tension was evident amongst the Ipswich Town fans as the game appeared to be meandering somewhat without any real chances carved out for either side, with Henri Lansbury coming closest to breaking the deadlock for the visitors. However, these nerves were eased when Daryl Murphy got on the end of a deft touch from Freddie Sears flick-on to fire home goal number 25 in what has been by far the Irish international’s most prolific season to date. The goal came, rather fittingly, as Ipswich fans were paying tribute to a young Ipswich fan who had passed away earlier in the week, with a minute’s applause. The rest of the half passed by with neither team really threatening to trouble the scorers anymore, although just before the referee brought the first half to a close, Lansbury forced Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski into tipping a curling effort over his bar.

The second half got off to a calamitous start from an Ipswich point of view, as in the 52nd minute, Forest got back onto level terms.  Some good play from Arsenal loanee Chuba Akpom allowed him to strike at goal and after Bialkowski has saved the initial effort, he was left helpless as Christophe Berra lost his footing to turn the deflected Ben Osborn cross into his own net. Forest rapidly gained momentum and but for a desperate block from Stephen Hunt, to deny Akpom, the visitors would have turned the scoreline around to take the lead. The introduction of Luke Varney and Kevin Bru for Ipswich helped stem the flow away from their goal and regain a foothold in the match as Forest had looked to continue to up the pressure in search of a second.

It was late on that the contest would prove to be decided as Ipswich began to keep the ball better in the last 15 minutes. A long ball forward from Berra found Murphy who in turn, shifted it on to Freddie Sears whose shot took a heavy deflection to wrong foot Karl Darlow and go in off the post. Portman Road erupted as the fans knew the importance of the goal towards their Play-off hopes. Forest went after an equaliser which they nearly got after Jamaal Lascelles beat Bialkowski to the ball in the air but his header flew agonisingly wide of the post. The full time whistle blew and a sigh of relief could be hear from all sides of Portman Road.

A draw would probably have been the fair result in what was an immensely tight affair, but Ipswich came away with the all important 3 points they needed while Forest, who did not have much to play for going into the fixture, will feel slightly aggrieved to have left Suffolk empty handed.

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