Ipswich narrow gap at top with win at Bristol City

An early goal from Nathan Broadhead was enough for Ipswich Town to defeat Bristol City and move within five points of Championship leaders Leicester City.

Wales international Broadhead fired home in the 16th minute as the Tractor Boys picked up a 10th win in 12 games since they were promoted from League One.

Sam Morsy hit the bar with a long-range effort before half-time as Ipswich almost doubled their lead but Harry Cornick’s deflected shot off the post went close to earning a point for the Robins.

The hosts dropped a place to 13th with a fourth loss in their past six matches.

After being without a game for over two weeks, Ipswich could have been forgiven for a slow start, but after Massimo Luongo had forced a good save out of Max O’Leary, the visitors were not to be denied for long.

The goal featured their usual good football involving Luongo and George Hirst, before Broadhead fired a low shot through O’Leary.

Taylor Gardner-Hickman tried to bring the home team level with a shot from outside the area, forcing goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky to tip it over.

Yet the Tractor Boys were unlucky not to go in two up as Morsy crashed a shot against the bar from 25 yards.

O’Leary saved from Leif Davis at the start of the second half while Hladky kept out a Tommy Conway free-kick at the other end.

However, the hosts were so unlucky not to equalise when substitute Cornick’s shot struck the inside of the post, hit the back of Hladky and rolled across the line before it was scrambled clear by Brandon Williams.

But Ipswich survived that and also withstood late pressure to move nine points clear of third-placed Leeds, with a game in hand.

They have already equalled their entire points tally – 31 – from the last time they were in the division in 2018-19, a sign of how well they have taken to life back in the second tier.

Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson told BBC Radio Bristol:

“They’re a good side, with momentum, but I think we played pretty well.

“Obviously I’m disappointed not to get something out of the game but our players were really committed and I thought we played some good stuff at times.

“I can’t ask for a lot more from the players as they’ve given an an awful lot. Sometimes it goes for you, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna told BBC Radio Suffolk:

“It was a good game and I thought for 65, 70 minutes we played some really good football.

“But when you don’t get the second goal, you know that the last 20 minutes are going to be tough.

“We showed some spirit and got a bit lucky with the one off the post – although it would also have been unlucky if it had gone in. But we defended pretty well and the willpower and spirit in the squad helped us over the line.”

Line-ups

Bristol City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1O’Leary
  • 17Sykes
  • 10KingSubstituted forRobertsat 66′minutesSubstituted forJamesat 86′minutes
  • 16Dickie
  • 3Pring
  • 6James
  • 22Gardner-Hickman
  • 14WeimannSubstituted forCornickat 69′minutes
  • 12Knight
  • 20BellSubstituted forYeboahat 69′minutes
  • 15Conway

Substitutes

  • 9Cornick
  • 11Mehmeti
  • 23Bajic
  • 24Roberts
  • 27Knight-Lebel
  • 29Yeboah
  • 30Nelson
  • 34James
  • 35Idehen

Ipswich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 31Hladky
  • 18Williams
  • 6Woolfenden
  • 15Burgess
  • 3DavisBooked at 69mins
  • 5MorsyBooked at 42mins
  • 25LuongoSubstituted forBallat 86′minutes
  • 19JacksonBooked at 14minsSubstituted forHutchinsonat 70′minutes
  • 10ChaplinSubstituted forTaylorat 78′minutes
  • 33BroadheadSubstituted forHarnessat 71′minutes
  • 27HirstBooked at 77minsSubstituted forScarlettat 78′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Walton
  • 2Clarke
  • 11Harness
  • 12Ball
  • 14Taylor
  • 20Hutchinson
  • 24Scarlett
  • 30Humphreys
  • 44Donacien
Referee:
Josh Smith
Attendance:
22,784

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