Tractor Boys record vital win: Match Review

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Football News

Ipswich claimed their third win of the season as Coca-Cola Championship promotion chasers Blackpool were soundly beaten 3-1 at Portman Road.

Jon Stead put the Tractor Boys in front after 30 seconds and Jack Colback doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Ian Evatt pulled one back for the visitors in the second half but Gareth McAuley secured the points for Ipswich before Blackpool were reduced to 10 men when David Vaughan received his second booking.

No sooner had the game kicked off, Ipswich were in the lead.

Blackpool defender Evatt cleared a Jaime Peters cross, but could only find Stead who smashed a fierce left-footed shot beyond recalled goalkeeper Matthew Gilks - one of five changes for Ian Holloway's side despite their 3-0 midweek success at Middlesbrough.

Blackpool almost hit back in the 11th minute when Neal Eardley collected a loose ball to cross for Gary Taylor-Fletcher, but the player who bagged a brace at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday could not convert.

In the 19th minute Ipswich's Jonathan Walters glanced Owen Garvan's dangerous free-kick into the arms of Gilks.

Moments later Garvan arrowed the ball into the visitors' area from open play, but David Wright could neither head towards the target nor pick out the onrushing Stead when well placed.

But the play-off chasing Seasiders appeared unconcerned by their difficult start and it took an excellent block from McAuley to prevent Taylor-Fletcher levelling matters in the 22nd minute.

In the moments before half-time, Ipswich pressed to double their advantage.

First Stead collected Liam Rosenior's pass to shoot from a narrow angle and force a sharp save from Gilks.

The resulting corner was menacingly delivered by Garvan once more and Walters headed against the post.

In first-half stoppage time the goal arrived when Stead capitalised on Blackpool's perilously high defensive line to release Colback and the on-loan Sunderland midfielder made no mistake, slotting past Gilks to mark his first start at Portman Road with a goal.

Walters missed an excellent chance just before the hour when he lost his footing with the goal at his mercy following excellent work by Grant Leadbitter.

And Blackpool were back in the game midway through the half when Eardley collected Vaughan's short corner and crossed for Evatt to head into the top corner.

Ipswich's two-goal cushion was restored within minutes when McAuley headed home his third goal of the season as Blackpool failed to defend Leadbitter's corner with 20 minutes remaining.

It could have been worse for Blackpool when a sweeping counter-attack featuring Stead and Walters resulted in Peters blazing wide.

Walters spurned a chance to claim his sixth goal this term when he rounded Gilks but could not find the finish and Blackpool were reduced to 10 men with six minutes remaining after Vaughan picked up his second booking for a foul on Colback.

Holes were appearing in the Blackpool defence with growing regularity as Walters and Stead both missed golden opportunities.

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David Vaughan
Gary Taylor-Fletcher
Grant Leadbitter
Matthew Gilks
Liam Rosenior
Owen Garvan
David Wright
Neal Eardley
Jack Colback
Gareth McAuley
Jonathan Walters
Liam Rosenior
Jaime Peters
Ian Evatt

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