Ipswich stay second after dramatic win over Bristol City

5 March 2024 0 By Total Football News

Leif Davis celebratesLeif Davis had not scored for almost 11 months before his match-winning goal

Leif Davis scored in the 89th minute as Ipswich Town dramatically kept themselves in the Championship’s automatic promotion places as they twice came from a goal down to beat Bristol City 3-2.

Town’s Conor Chaplin hit the post after a 32nd-minute corner was flicked on in a goalless first period before Anis Mehmeti’s deflected effort put City ahead early in the second half.

Nakhi Wells hit the frame of the Ipswich goal soon after, Ahmed Al Hamadi then made it 1-1 before Tommy Conway headed City back in front.

But Chaplin headed Town level again before Max O’Leary easily saved Al Hamadi’s poor penalty with five minutes to go, only for Davis to win it a couple of minutes later.

Jack Taylor hit the post in the fifth minute of stoppage time as Ipswich almost got a fourth.

The win sees Town stay two points clear of third-placed Leeds having won 28 points from losing positions this season, while City remain in 13th place.

The game got off to a slow start – Kieffer Moore’s low 20th-minute strike from the edge of the box that was easily saved after Sam Morsy’s break was the only effort of note in the first half hour.

Chaplin hit the City upright from a tight angle at the back post after Moore flicked on a 32nd-minute corner, while Wells had the visitors’ first chance five minutes later as his near-post header was saved.

Jason Knight had a great chance to put City ahead in stoppage time – a loose Luke Woolfenden pass was cut out by Wells, but the defender did well to get back and deflect Knight’s shot wide.

City took the lead after winning the ball just inside their own half – Cameron Pring set Mehmeti free down the left and he skipped past three defenders as he drove into the box before his shot deflected off Woolfenden’s heel to wrongfoot Ipswich keeper Vaclav Hladky.

It should have been 2-0 five minutes later when Wells nutmegged Cameron Burgess and skipped past a second defender before his left-footed shot hit the angle of post and bar.

But it was Town who drew level after a quadruple substitution by Kieran McKenna as Wes Burns – one of the four changes – drove down the right to the byline and cut it back to the unmarked Al Hamadi, who had also come on, to powerfully side-foot in from 10 yards.

However City again regained control – the impressive Mehmeti forced an sprawling save from Hladky after cutting in from the left before Mark Sykes’ excellent cross was met with a pinpoint looping header by Conway.

Again Town levelled as Chaplin glanced in a powerful curling Davis free-kick from the left before the hosts thought they had the chance to win it with four minutes left after Pring brought down Burns in the box.

But Al Hamadi’s weak penalty was easily saved by O’Leary as he went down to his right.

Ipswich did not give up and got a deserved winner as a high ball from the back was flicked on and Davis took a good touch before powerfully firing in low despite Rob Dickie’s best efforts to keep it out.

There was still time for Taylor to hit the post in stoppage time before City scrambled it clear as the Tractor Boys went on to continue to show their promotion credentials.

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna told BBC Radio Suffolk:

“I’m very proud of them tonight of course, it’s almost too obvious to say, but the character we showed in the later stages of that second half was fantastic.

“One of the biggest moments for me was coming back from the missed penalty.

“We’ve come back from goals before, but when you have a penalty so late that feels like a chance to win the game and you don’t get it so many groups of players, teams, probably stadiums, would empty out of hope at that point.

“But this group, and this stadium tonight, just kept on believing and got the rewards in the end.”

Bristol City head coach Liam Manning told BBC Radio Bristol:

“I’m pretty annoyed, pretty angry. I’m frustrated that I keep saying the same things ultimately.

“I think for 90% to 95% of the game everything was how we wanted it to look and went how we did.

“Then the last five or 10 minutes we got dragged into it emotionally and lost focus, and ultimately got punished for it.”

Line-ups

Ipswich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 31Hladky
  • 40TuanzebeSubstituted forClarkeat 75′minutes
  • 6Woolfenden
  • 15Burgess
  • 3Davis
  • 5Morsy
  • 25LuongoSubstituted forTaylorat 60′minutes
  • 20HutchinsonSubstituted forBurnsat 61′minutes
  • 10Chaplin
  • 11HarnessSubstituted forSarmientoat 61′minutes
  • 24MooreSubstituted forAl Hamadiat 61′minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 1Walton
  • 2Clarke
  • 7Burns
  • 14Taylor
  • 16Al Hamadi
  • 19Jackson
  • 21Sarmiento
  • 28Travis
  • 30Humphreys

Bristol City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1O’LearyBooked at 85mins
  • 2McCrorieBooked at 79mins
  • 26Vyner
  • 16Dickie
  • 3PringBooked at 90mins
  • 8Williams
  • 22Gardner-Hickman
  • 9CornickSubstituted forSykesat 62′minutes
  • 12Knight
  • 11Mehmeti
  • 21WellsSubstituted forConwayat 76′minutes

Substitutes

  • 10King
  • 15Conway
  • 17Sykes
  • 23Bajic
  • 24Roberts
  • 27Knight-Lebel
  • 47Mebude
Referee:
David Webb
Attendance:
28,001

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Ipswich Town 3, Bristol City 2.

Second Half ends, Ipswich Town 3, Bristol City 2.