Championship
IpswichIpswich Town1WatfordWatford0
By Chris OsborneBBC Sport at Portman Road
Mick McCarthy

Tommy Smith hammered in a late winner to give Ipswich Town victory over promotion rivals Watford.

The defender finished a goalmouth scramble in the 83rd minute to lift Mick McCarthy's side to fourth.

In the first half home keeper Bartosz Bialkowski made a point-blank save from Gianni Munari before Heurelho Gomes tipped over Daryl Murphy's superb flicked effort at the other end.

Watford's Fernando Forestieri shot over from six yards before Smith won it.

It could prove an important win for Town who, like Watford, find themselves in the thick of a congested promotion race in the Championship, where the top six are separated by just four points.

They controlled the majority of the possession against the Hornets, who had suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Birmingham City in midweek, but could have been behind early on when Forestieri slipped in Munari, only for the Italian to shoot at the legs of Bialkowski.

For all their ownership of the ball, Town could only register Murphy's first-time flicked volley as a clear first-half chance, but Gomes denied the Irishman a 10th goal in his last 12 games.

Had Forestieri slotted in Matej Vydra's wicked cross in the final 25 minutes, Slavisa Jokanovic might have been celebrating his third win as Watford boss, however he now has two defeats on his record, both of which have come in the last five days.

Instead, his counterpart McCarthy was able to celebrate a third consecutive win when Kevin Bru's shot from the edge of the area rattled around the six-yard box and New Zealand international Smith had the wherewithal to flash in a shot that Gomes got a hand to but failed to keep out.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy:

"I've not looked at the league. I'm not interested. I'm just really pleased with the performance and the victory.

"I think Watford are a very good team. I think we've had to play exceptionally well and defend really well.

"Both goalies and defences played well and at half-time I said that was a really good Championship game. It was about whoever blinked first and they did."

Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic:

"I can be happy with some parts of the game. My team had chances, particularly in the first half.

"But my team played many minutes precisely how Ipswich wanted us to.

"I need more control from my team. My team is working very hard and fighting.

"We need more control because if we play the same way as Ipswich, they are stronger - more physical. My team is a little bit different."

Line-ups

Ipswich

  • 33Bialkowski
  • 4Chambers
  • 5Smith
  • 6Berra
  • 3Mings
  • 17Bru
  • 18Tabb
  • 50WilliamsSubstituted forBishopat 61'minutes
  • 9Murphy
  • 10McGoldrickBooked at 43minsSubstituted forSammonat 90+4'minutes
  • 12Hunt

Substitutes

  • 2Parr
  • 11Anderson
  • 14Bajner
  • 27Bishop
  • 29Ambrose
  • 32Sammon
  • 38Crowe

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 14ParedesBooked at 33mins
  • 6EkstrandBooked at 58mins
  • 39Bassong Nguena
  • 18Pudil
  • 3MunariBooked at 75mins
  • 8Tozser
  • 5AndrewsSubstituted forMurrayat 86'minutes
  • 20Vydra
  • 9Deeney
  • 11ForestieriSubstituted forIghaloat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10McGugan
  • 12Doyley
  • 15Cathcart
  • 16Murray
  • 23Dyer
  • 24Ighalo
  • 30Bond
Referee:
Eddie Ilderton
Attendance:
22,490

Match Stats

Home TeamIpswichAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home17
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away18

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ipswich Town 1, Watford 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ipswich Town 1, Watford 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Troy Deeney (Watford) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Juan Carlos Paredes.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Gianni Munari (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Odion Ighalo.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Matej Vydra (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Ipswich Town. Conor Sammon replaces David McGoldrick.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Kevin Bru (Ipswich Town).

  8. Post update

    Daniel Pudil (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Stephen Hunt (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Pudil (Watford).

  11. Post update

    Luke Chambers (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jay Tabb (Ipswich Town).

  14. Post update

    Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town).

  16. Post update

    Juan Carlos Paredes (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Sean Murray replaces Keith Andrews.

  18. Post update

    Stephen Hunt (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Sebastien Bassong (Watford).

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Ipswich Town 1, Watford 0. Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal following a set piece situation.