BlackburnBlackburn Rovers3IpswichIpswich Town2

Blackburn Rovers 3-2 Ipswich Town

By Matt NewsumBBC Sport
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."



Formation 4-1-2-1-2

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


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


Formation 4-4-2

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


  • 1Gerken
  • 11Anderson
  • 12Hunt
  • 13Fryers
  • 14Chaplow
  • 16Hunt
  • 17Bru
Graham Scott

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamIpswich
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 3, Ipswich Town 2.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Foul by Joshua King (Blackburn Rovers).

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Foul by Kevin Bru (Ipswich Town).

  7. Post update

    Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Thomas Spurr.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Ipswich Town. Kevin Bru replaces Teddy Bishop.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Adam Henley.

  11. 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.

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Paul Anderson.

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Tommy Smith.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Ben Marshall replaces David Dunn.

  20. Post update

    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.

As It Stood

13Sheff Wed461418144349-660
14Nottm Forest461514177169259
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