Match report: Ipswich Town vs Sheffield Wednesday

Wednesday extended their winning streak to six matches at Portman Road on Saturday and also secured a place in the Championship play-offs.

Wednesday started the most positive of the two sides. Just two minutes in, Jack Hunt whipped in the cross towards Steven Fletcher who challenged in the middle but the ball was cleared behind for a corner by Jordan Spence. A few moments later, Ross Wallace found Adam Reach with an accurate ball to the left who cut inside and drilled his shot wide of the post.

The hosts’ first opportunity came as a low ball into the middle found Tom Lawrence whose shot was on target but saved by Keiren Westwood.

A quiet fifteen or so minutes saw neither goalkeeper be tested. Freddie Sears delivered into the box but Tom Lees was on hand to deal with it. Down the other end, Reach broke into the box who cut back for Wallace who hit the attempt first time but saw it blocked by the Tractor Boys’ defence.

Another quick counter attack saw former Owls loanee David McGoldrick hit an angled drive from distance which forced Wednesday’s number one to spring to his left and make the save.

Cole Skuse stopped a promising attack from the visitors but was punished with a yellow card. Then, on the stroke of half time, Fletcher linked up well with fellow Scot Wallace and the international striker crossed in low but no one in a black shirt was there to receive.

HT: Ipswich Town 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday.

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Neither side could open the scoring before the interval.

Wednesday almost took the lead just four minutes into the second half. Wallace picked up the ball and took aim from outside the eighteen yard box but his shot cannoned off the inside of the post and somehow stayed out.

Another chance for Wednesday came from Wednesday winning possession deep in the Ipswich half and an early shot from Fletcher was saved by Bartosz Białkowski.

A double change twenty two minutes from time brought Jordan Rhodes and Fernando Forestieri into the match to replace Fletcher and Wallace.

Just nine minutes after the changes and thirteen from the final whistle, Daniel Pudil passed to Barry Bannan who returned the ball to the Czech Republic international who put the ball across the face of goal for Kieran Lee to took home neatly.

To help secure this lead, José Semedo replaced Hooper, who couldn’t make it two goals in two.

Four minutes of injury saw few chances except Emyr Huws volleying over at the back post.

FT: Ipswich Town 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday.

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Three points took Wednesday to the play-offs two seasons running.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy:

“We haven’t been good enough at home and we haven’t entertained our fans enough so I do understand that [reaction at the end].

“It is a shame we didn’t go out on a high but I think they had the edge on us and just had that bit more quality.

“We wanted the result and to play for pride but Wednesday still had something to play for. They are wired for the play-offs and they came here with real momentum and form and it showed.”

Carlos Carvalhal:

“We prepare very well for the games and this is a result of a lot of hard work. Six wins in a row is fantastic – that is something very special.

“We deserved to win today. It gives me satisfaction to see people around me happy – the chairman, the players and the fans.

“We have more points than we had last season and we are dealing with the expectations of our fans.

“This is a massive club but we can only look at ourselves. I will not think about who we might have in the semi-final or whether we might start home or away in the play-offs.”

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Kieran Lee (middle) was our Man of the Match.

Man of the Match – Kieran Lee: The midfield man scored the winner (his first since returning from injury) but also controlled the game from the centre of the park and put in an outstanding overall performance.

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Carlos Carvalhal (front) celebrates passionately with the travelling supporters.

Teams:

Ipswich Town: Białkowski, Spence, Chambers, Berra, Kenlock, Skuse, Huws, Ward (Samuel 69), Sears (Moore 85), Lawrence (Rowe 64), McGoldrick.

Unused subs: Gerken, Pitman, Dozzell, Emmanuel.

Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Lees, Loovens, Pudil, Wallace (Forestieri 69), Lee, Bannan, Reach, Fletcher (Rhodes 69), Hooper (Semedo 80).

Unused subs: Wildmsith, McManaman, Sasso, Nuhiu,

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