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Ipswich 3-1 Birmingham: Tractor Boys continue promotion push
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Omari Hutchinson sealed the points fro Ipswich against Birmingham (Joe Giddens/PA)
Omari Hutchinson sealed the points fro Ipswich against Birmingham (Joe Giddens/PA)

Ipswich chalked up a fourth successive win to keep up the pressure at the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 3-1 win over Birmingham.

Conor Chaplin opened the scoring for the Tractor Boys, but Birmingham equalised in the closing minutes of the first half through Jordan James. Jeremy Sarmiento put the Town ahead before Omari Hutchinson wrapped up the three points in the stoppage time.

The result means Ipswich are level on points with second-placed Leeds, but have an inferior goal difference after the Yorkshire outfit defeated table-toppers Leicester on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the visitors, without manager Tony Mowbray due to medical treatment and who was a key member of the Town’s promotion-winning campaign in the 1999-00 campaign, fell down three places to 18th spot.

City’s appeal for a penalty was turned aside by referee Gavin Ward when Luke Woolfenden challenged Tyler Roberts in the home box. At the other end, a sweeping cross by Wes Burns was taken off the toes of Kieffer Moore at the far post by a sliding Marc Roberts.

Birmingham goalkeeper John Ruddy dived full length to deny Chaplin from heading Ipswich into the lead following a corner by Leif Davis in the 18th minute.

Ipswich were dominating the opening quarter of the game and took the lead through Chaplin in the 31st minute – the first time the hosts were ahead in a game at Portman Road since the 2-2 draw with Norwich back in December.

Hutchinson crossed for home skipper Sam Morsy, whose shot was diverted into the Birmingham net by Chaplin with a neat flick to completely wrong-foot Ruddy.

Just before the half-time break, Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky turned the ball round the post following a shot from Tyler Roberts just before the visitors levelled the score in first minute of stoppage time through Wales international James after he was picked out with a cross from Koji Miyoshi.

Birmingham pressed forward in bid to take the lead, but Ruddy came the visitors’ rescue when he diverted a shot from Hutchinson round his left-hand post and substitute Sarmiento fired just over the crossbar.

At the other end, a breakaway attack led to Hladky tipping a shot from Jay Stansfield round the post before Ruddy pushed away a strike by Morsy.

But Ipswich took the lead in the 81st minute through Sarmiento. Hutchinson played in raiding full-back and man-of-the-match Axel Tuanzebe, whose cross was turned home by the Ecuador international to the delight of the home support.

Hutchinson wrapped up the three points for Ipswich in the third minute of stoppage time after Moore’s header put him through with just Ruddy to beat.


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