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Fulham win 2-0 at Ipswich - Ch. Match Report MD23

last updated Tuesday 27th December 2016, 1:11 AM



Match Report

Ipswich Town (0) 0-2 (1) Fulham

Championship Match Day 23 1617 at Portman Road

Monday 26th December 2016    KO: 15:00

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)



Fulham striker Chris Martin
Fulham striker
Chris Martin
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Fulham moved to the cusp of the Sky Bet Championship play-off places after cruising to a 2-0 victory over toothless Ipswich at Portman Road.

Chris Martin's exquisite free-kick and Ragnar Sigurdsson's strong downward header was the difference in a match completely dominated by the impressive visitors.

An uneventful opening saw Fulham almost take the lead with 17 minutes on the clock when Stefan Johansen set Floyd Ayite clear but his goalbound shot was brilliantly blocked by Ipswich centre-back Christophe Berra.

They went even closer when Johansen and Scott Malone combined with the latter's cross poked goalwards by Chris Martin, but Bartosz Bialkowski did brilliantly to save with his feet.

The ensuing corner found Kevin McDonald at the far post but he scuffed a close-range shot wide under heavy pressure from Cole Skuse.

Fulham defender Ragnar Sigurdsson
Fulham defender
Ragnar Sigurdsson
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The possession, and pressure, finally counted for the visitors when Martin curled a delightful free-kick into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.

Martin and Johansen then combined to tee up Sone Aluko, whose goalbound shot was blocked by Jonas Knudsen before another dangerous corner was once again almost seized upon by McDonald, who was blocked in the six-yard box.

Ipswich's best chance of the half came in the final minute, from a Fulham player, when away defender Michael Madl met Tom Lawrence's cross and his header towards his own goal was pushed around the post by the diving David Button.

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy responded to a woeful first-half performance by introducing David McGoldrick and Leon Best at half-time and switching to 3-5-2.

But it was the visitors who almost made it two in the 59th minute when Adam Webster's
Match Stats Ipswich Fulham
Goals (0) 0 2 (1)
 
Scorers   Martin 36
    Sigurdsson 78
 
Goal attempts 3 15
On target 0 6
Shooting Accuracy 0% 40%
Possession 39% 61%
Passes 372 592
Pass Success 64% 80%
Crosses 15 18
Crosses Success 20% 22%
Corners 4 7
Tackles 9 11
Tackles Success 44% 36%
Saves 4 1
Fouls 14 11
Offsides 3 5
Yellows 2 1
Reds 0 0
source: Fulham FC/SkySport
ball out of defence was charged down by Aluko, allowing Ayite to round Bialkowski, but the angle was against him.

Freddie Sears and Knudsen combined to cause a rare moment of panic in the Fulham box soon after but the impressive Malone cleared.

The visitors should have wrapped up the victory with 21 minutes left when Malone and Johansen exchanged passes before the midfielder's low cross found the unmarked Ayite who somehow missed the near post.

Fulham always looked the most likely to add to their tally but Ayite was again guilty of missing a golden chance after a quick break saw him released smartly by Denis Odoi, but his shot was hit straight at Bialkowski.

Minutes later, the second goal finally came when Johansen's corner was met by substitute Sigurdsson, who found the bottom corner with a strong header.

Tom Cairney had a smart 20-yard shot stopped at the second attempt by Bialkowski, with the Ipswich keeper also denying Martin in stoppage time as Ipswich were roundly booed at the final whistle.

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Chambers, Webster, Berra, Knudsen; Sears, Douglas, Skuse, Dozzell (Best 45'), Lawrence; Pitman (McGoldrick 45')
Unused substitutes: Gerken, Emmanuel, Kenlock, Bru, Ward

Booked: McGoldrick (76,f), Lawrence (69,f)

Fulham: Button; Odoi, Madl, Ream, Malone; McDonald, Johansen (Parker 90'); Sone Aluko (Sigurdsson 65'), Cairney, Floyd Ayité (Lucas Piazon 83'); Martin
Unused substitutes: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Kebano, Matt Smith

Goals:
Martin 36 (from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.)
Sigurdsson 78 (header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stefan Johansen with a cross following a corner.)

Booked: McDonald (64,f),

Referee:: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)

Attendance:: 19,723






























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