Championship
Blackburn3Ipswich2

Blackburn Rovers 3-2 Ipswich Town

Jordan Rhodes and Craig Conway
Craig Conway and Jordan Rhodes were thorns in the side of the Ipswich defence

Ipswich Town clung on to a Championship play-off place despite sliding to defeat by a Jordan Rhodes-inspired Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Goal difference proved enough, with Derby losing, and set up a play-off semi-final with local rivals Norwich.

Rhodes showed no mercy for his old club heading in a free-kick, after Daryl Murphy volleyed Ipswich ahead.

Craig Conway smashed home and Rudy Gestede poked in after a mix-up for Rovers before Murphy's late spot-kick.

Manager Mick McCarthy had taken all of his former clubs to the play-offs, and can now add Ipswich to that list.

While victory was academic for Blackburn, it did ensure a happy end to David Dunn's long association with the club, and he received a standing ovation on his 387th and final appearance.

The visitors, roared on by around 2,000 away supporters, made a bright start with Freddie Sears and Murphy combining to trouble the Rovers defence.

Opening goal joy for Murphy
Daryl Murphy's opener was the 11th time he had scored the first goal in a game this season.

Murphy's sharp strike was reward for that early pressure, and Sears' shot glanced the crossbar, but the setback only prompted a home side response that turned the game on its head.

Tyrone Mings blocked a shot from Lee Williamson as Gary Bowyer's side found confidence, and then levelled when Rhodes, sold by Ipswich for an undisclosed fee in July 2009, shrugged off Tommy Smith to head in Conway's free-kick.

Rovers set nerves jangling when Tommy Spurr's throw was flicked by Gestede into the onrushing Conway, who coolly found the far corner.

Stephen Hunt wasted a chance early after the break when Sears' run put Ipswich into a good position, and Rhodes was denied at the other end by Polish keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

The deficit grew when Gestede capitalised on a defensive mess on the back of another Conway cross, but news of Derby's plight tempered the disappointment.

Josh King's crossbar-rattling drive almost capped a fine afternoon for Rovers, but Teddy Bishop's run into the box was ended by Spurr, and Murphy thumped home the spot-kick to ensure the Tractor Boys maintained their play-off spot.

Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer: "I think it's frustrating that you've seen a performance that we've produced against a team that's finished in the play-offs and we're not there ourselves.

"I think there were instances throughout the season that we look back on and could have done better.

"That said, when we first took over we made a conscious effort to bring young hungry players in and one thing they were probably lacking was experience and the only way you get that is by playing them."

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy: "We had to remind ourselves in the dressing room we're in the play-offs, and deservedly so because with 78 points we deserve it over the season.

"It's inspirational, I think, the thought of going into the play-offs. I don't think anybody gave us a chance at the start of the season.

"I think everybody's seeing what we're made of. We weren't great today but kept going and could have got back in it. I'd like to have done it on our own merits but the play-offs is something to relish and look forward to."

Line-ups

Blackburn

  • 33Raya
  • 2Henley
  • 26Lenihan
  • 3Spurr
  • 14Olsson
  • 17Williamson
  • 8DunnSubstituted forMarshallat 76'minutes
  • 32Conway
  • 29Evans
  • 11Rhodes
  • 39GestedeSubstituted forKingat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7King
  • 9Brown
  • 10Cairney
  • 12Marshall
  • 13Eastwood
  • 18O'Sullivan
  • 24Nyambe

Ipswich

  • 33Bialkowski
  • 4Chambers
  • 5Smith
  • 6Berra
  • 3Mings
  • 2ParrSubstituted forAndersonat 54'minutes
  • 27BishopSubstituted forBruat 84'minutes
  • 8SkuseBooked at 39mins
  • 18TabbBooked at 43minsSubstituted forHuntat 45'minutes
  • 20Sears
  • 9Murphy

Substitutes

  • 1Gerken
  • 11Anderson
  • 12Hunt
  • 13Fryers
  • 14Chaplow
  • 16Hunt
  • 17Bru
Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
16,469

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamIpswich
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home18
Away19
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away9
Fouls
Home8
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 3, Ipswich Town 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 3, Ipswich Town 2.

Foul by Joshua King (Blackburn Rovers).

Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kevin Bru (Ipswich Town).

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Thomas Spurr.

Attempt missed. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Joshua King with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Ipswich Town. Kevin Bru replaces Teddy Bishop.

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Adam Henley.

Goal!

Goal! Blackburn Rovers 3, Ipswich Town 2. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Penalty conceded by Thomas Spurr (Blackburn Rovers) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Ipswich Town. Teddy Bishop draws a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt missed. Freddie Sears (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Paul Anderson.

Joshua King (Blackburn Rovers) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Lee Williamson.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Tommy Smith.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Ben Marshall replaces David Dunn.

Attempt missed. Freddie Sears (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Cole Skuse with a headed pass.

Attempt missed. Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Darragh Lenihan.

Attempt missed. Freddie Sears (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from very close range is too high following a corner.

Attempt saved. Tyrone Mings (Ipswich Town) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Stephen Hunt with a cross.

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Corry Evans.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Joshua King replaces Rudy Gestede.

Foul by Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers).

Paul Anderson (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Paul Anderson (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

Offside, Blackburn Rovers. David Raya Martin tries a through ball, but Jordan Rhodes is caught offside.

Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Teddy Bishop (Ipswich Town).

Attempt missed. Freddie Sears (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Daryl Murphy.

Attempt missed. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Tyrone Mings with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Dunn.

Attempt blocked. David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

David Dunn (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town).

Attempt blocked. Paul Anderson (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Darragh Lenihan.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bournemouth462612898455390
2Watford462781191504189
3Norwich4625111088484086
4Middlesbrough4625101168373185
5Brentford462391478591978
6Ipswich4622121272541878
7Wolves4622121270561478
8Derby4621141185562977
9Blackburn461716136659767
10Birmingham461615155464-1063
11Cardiff461614165761-462
12Charlton461418145460-660
13Sheff Wed461418144349-660
14Nottm Forest461514177169259
15Leeds461511205061-1156
16Huddersfield451315175875-1754
17Fulham461410226283-2152
18Bolton461312215467-1351
19Reading461311224869-2150
20Brighton461017194454-1047
21Rotherham461116194667-2146
22Millwall46914234276-3441
23Wigan46912253964-2539
24Blackpool45413283691-5525
View full Championship table

Top Stories