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Ipswich 2-1 Sunderland: Tractor Boys back on track
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Conor Chaplin was the match-winner for Ipswich (Rhianna Chadwick/PA)
Conor Chaplin was the match-winner for Ipswich (Rhianna Chadwick/PA)

Ipswich returned to winning ways in the Championship after coming back from a goal down to beat play-off hopefuls Sunderland 2-1 in a pulsating encounter at Portman Road. 

Jack Clarke opened the scoring for the Black Cats but Kayden Jackson levelled the scores during a frenetic first half.

Conor Chaplin then completed the comeback in the 75th minute when he powered a header past Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson.

The Tractor Boys ended a run of five games without a victory to retain second spot in the table, seven points adrift of Leicester who lost at Coventry.

The Black Cats, meanwhile, sit just out of the top six on goal difference.

The visitors were presented with a great opportunity to take the lead early on when Harry Clarke lost possession to Aji Alese out wide. The Sunderland man made his way towards the six-yard area, where his cross found Jobe Bellingham but Town keeper Vaclav Hladky blocked the shot.

A spell of concerted pressure in the Wearsiders’ penalty area resulted in a shot from Jack Taylor but his goal-bound effort was blocked by Dan Ballard.

Hladky then used his legs to keep out a shot from Clarke but the Sunderland man got his name on the scoresheet in the 26th minute with a fine strike from the edge the penalty area.

It came following a corner which was initially cleared, but Abdoullah Ba collected the ball and danced across the edge of the penalty area before finding Clarke, who rifled the ball into the net.

Ipswich responded and Clarke’s low cross from the right was pushed away by Patterson but the Tractor Boys were level in the 33rd minute through Jackson.

Lewis Travis, on loan from Blackburn, played a pass into the Sunderland penalty area to Chaplin, who cleverly nudged the ball into Jackson’s path, via a deflection off Pierre Ekwah, and the striker coolly finished.

Patterson prevented the Tractor Boys taking the lead when he got down low to keep out a shot from Clarke as Ipswich exerted pressure on Sunderland, who should have taken the lead when Adil Aouchiche was presented with a gilt-edged chance.

A combination of Hladky and Luke Woolfenden lost possession and Clarke squared the ball to the Sunderland substitute, who sliced wide of an unguarded net.

The majority of the 29,291 crowd then erupted when Chaplin put Town ahead.

Aouchiche fouled Leif Davis, who delivered a free-kick into the penalty area where Chaplin connected with his head.

Woolfenden then struck the post following another Davis free-kick.

There were huge penalty appeals when Sunderland midfielder Luke O’Nien dived in on Omari Hutchinson, which sent him cartwheeling into the air, while Chaplin fired the loose ball inches wide as the game drew to a close.


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