Ipswich 1 Burnley 0: Chopra strikes to maintain Town's march up table
22:12 GMT, 21 March 2012
Michael Chopra fired his 14th goal of the season as Ipswich maintained their march up the npower Championship table with a fifth straight home win against Burnley.
Ipswich, one of the form teams in the second tier, dominated from start to finish, with striker Chopra lashing home the only goal from a rebound early in the second half to secure his side a seventh win in their last 10 league matches.
Burnley's play-off hopes have receded in recent weeks and they have surely waved goodbye to any faint hopes they retained of mounting a late challenge as they have now won only won of their last eight games.
Chop'd down: It was a sole strike which sealed the points for the hosts
Ipswich: McCarthy, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Emmanuel-Thomas, Leadbitter, Bowyer, Murphy, Martin, Chopra (Sonko 90).
Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Stevenson, Drury, Carson.
Sent Off: Leadbitter (90).
Goals: Chopra 54.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Lafferty (Mee 53), McCann,
Marney (Wallace 58), Bartley, Austin (Paterson 59), Stanislas,
Subs not used: Jensen,McQuoid.
Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight).
The narrow scoreline hardly did
justice to Paul Jewell's side, who had Grant Leadbitter sent off late on
for a second bookable offence.
Burnley goalkeeper Lee Grant made
several outstanding saves to keep out Ipswich, while Leadbitter and Jay
Emmanuel-Thomas in particular went close to adding their names to the
Lee Bowyer returned to Ipswich's
midfield, while Burnley boss Eddie Howe made three changes, recalling
strikers Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin, plus midfielder Marvin
Ipswich were first to threaten when
Leadbitter's shot was charged down by Burnley defender David Edgar and
midway through the first half Bowyer skewed his shot wide from inside
the penalty area.
Burnley then spurned a golden chance
to snatch the lead. Full-back Kieran Trippier swung over a fine
free-kick and defender Danny Lafferty headed just wide of Ipswich
goalkeeper Alex McCarthy's right-hand post.
Bowyer was in the thick of the action
again towards the end of the first half when he forced Burnley
goalkeeper Grant into a smart save with a header following good work out
wide from Martin.
The second period began in much the same vein as Ipswich pressed for the breakthrough.
Grant made a superb sprawling save to
catch Leadbitter's thumping 30-yard drive and midfielder
Emmanuel-Thomas pulled his low shot wide when well placed inside the
But Ipswich got the goal they
deserved in the 54th minute. Burnley skipper Chris McCann was robbed in
midfield after dallying on the ball and Martin raced through on goal.
McCarthy did well to keep out
Martin's fierce low drive, but Chopra followed up to lash home the
rebound high into the net from six yards.
Burnley boss Howe made a double
substitution in the 58th minute, sending on Ross Wallace and Martin
Paterson for Dean Marney and Austin respectively.
But Ipswich almost doubled their lead
soon after as Emmanuel-Thomas headed agonisingly wide from a corner and
the same player arrowed an unstoppable shot just wide after cutting
Burnley could do little to stop the
home side's charge. Leadbitter and Martin both had goalbound shots
blocked, while in a rare foray forward the visitors went close to
grabbing an equaliser through Edgar, whose 20-yard effort flashed past
Grant pulled off two more super saves
to keep out Leadbitter's blockbuster and a curling effort from
Emmanuel-Thomas before Leadbitter was sent off in stoppage time for a
foul on Bartley.