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Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Ipswich Town: Conor Chaplin strike sends Tractor Boys top of the Championship

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Conor Chaplin celebrates scoring for Ipswich Town against Blackburn Rovers
Conor Chaplin has scored 13 goals this season

Conor Chaplin’s early goal sent Ipswich Town top of the Championship as they squeezed past Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Chaplin’s mis-timed strike in the ninth minute should have been saved but it beat Rovers keeper Aynsley Pears at his near post and proved enough to take the Tractor Boys two points clear of Leeds United, who visit Watford at 20:00 GMT.

Blackburn thought they had equalised through Joe Rankin-Costello but the goal was ruled out for Sammie Szmodics interfering with keeper Vaclav Hladky’s line of vision when stood in an offside position.

Rovers were then much the better side after the break and had a second goal chalked off from Andrew Moran for a foul on the keeper before Hladky saved with Szmodics about to tap into an empty net.

Victory was an eighth in nine games for Ipswich but they were forced to hang in to earn three more points in Lancashire.

By stark contrast Rovers have now not won in eight league games and are just three points outside the relegation zone.

The home side would have cursed their ill fortune that began with Pears’ early error as Chaplin slipped away up the right wing, cut infield and played a ball to Leif Davis, whose cross back to Chaplin was hit first time with his left boot and crept past Pears.

Rankin-Costello then turned in Tyrhys Dolan’s cutback from the left only for referee Stuart Atwell to consult with his assistant and decide that Szmodics, who was in an offside position, had got in the eyeline of the keeper.

Rovers pressed hard in the second half and saw another goal disallowed for a foul by Scott Wharton on Hladky before Moran’s excellent right-foot finish.

They were then almost gifted an equaliser when Hladky took far too long inside his six-yard box and Szmodics blocked his clearance, spun and seemed certain to score, only for Hladky to dive and make a desperate save with his left arm.

It seemed like Ipswich needed a second goal and they created two chances on the break but Ali Al-Hamadi shot well over the bar from Kayden Jackson’s cutback before Jackson himself fired wide from a narrow angle.

It left a slender lead for the visitors to cling on to and they held firm among a flurry of late corners and Harry Pickering’s shot that was deflected over the bar.

Line-ups

Blackburn

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Pears
  • 2Brittain
  • 5Hyam
  • 16S Wharton
  • 3PickeringBooked at 6minsSubstituted forCarterat 90+5′minutes
  • 6Tronstad
  • 11Rankin-CostelloSubstituted forAyariat 62′minutes
  • 19HedgesSubstituted forTelalovicat 82′minutes
  • 8Szmodics
  • 45ChriseneSubstituted forMoranat 62′minutes
  • 10DolanBooked at 45mins

Substitutes

  • 12Wahlstedt
  • 14Koumetio
  • 17Carter
  • 18Markanday
  • 22Gilsenan
  • 24Moran
  • 30Garrett
  • 33Telalovic
  • 44Ayari

Ipswich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 31Hladky
  • 40Tuanzebe
  • 6Woolfenden
  • 4Edmundson
  • 3DavisBooked at 3minsSubstituted forClarkeat 70′minutes
  • 5Morsy
  • 25LuongoBooked at 81mins
  • 20HutchinsonSubstituted forBurgessat 90+5′minutes
  • 10ChaplinSubstituted forJacksonat 65′minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 33BroadheadSubstituted forSarmientoat 64′minutes
  • 24MooreSubstituted forAl Hamadiat 64′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Walton
  • 2Clarke
  • 11Harness
  • 14Taylor
  • 15Burgess
  • 16Al Hamadi
  • 19Jackson
  • 21Sarmiento
  • 30Humphreys

Referee:
Stuart Attwell

Attendance:
18,235

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