Ipswich 3-1 Newcastle: Magpies winless in three as Tractor Boys secure status
By James Dale
Last Updated: 17/04/17 6:34pm
Ipswich beat Newcastle 3-1 on Monday to dent the Magpies' hopes of automatic promotion to the Premier League.
Daryl Murphy had equalised against his former club early in the second half after Ipswich deservedly led at the break through Freddie Sears' 42nd minute opener.
But the sides were level again only momentarily as David McGoldrick put Ipswich back ahead with just over 20 minutes remaining, before Emyr Huws scored a third to ensure Ipswich are mathematically safe from relegation and to cap a first win for the Tractor Boys against Newcastle for 16 years.
Newcastle, now three games without a win, leave Huddersfield the chance to move to within two points of them after the result, in a game in which both sides honoured former manager Sir Bobby Robson ahead of kick-off at Portman Road.
Former Ipswich striker Murphy was one of five changes brought into the Newcastle side by Rafa Benitez after the 1-1 draw with Leeds on Friday, but the away side struggled to break down Mick McCarthy's unchanged XI.
Sears, excellent throughout, almost teed David McGoldrick up after 17 minutes but Karl Darlow was alert to the danger and dived at the forward's feet.
Paul Dummett and Jonjo Shelvey failed with shots from distance as Ipswich kept Newcastle at bay until a frantic end to the first half - and a nightmare one for Matt Ritchie.
After Ritchie headed Newcastle's best chance wide following a superb turn and cross from Dummett, the winger gave the ball away to Lawrence and, unchallenged, the midfielder carried the ball into the opposition area before setting up Sears to fire in off the tracking Ritchie.
Murphy finally got a chance to score against his former club when substitute Yoan Gouffran dragged the Ipswich defence away, allowing the ex-Ipswich man to fire in from Christian Atsu's cross and bring things level in the 62nd minute.
The lead lasted just seven minutes though, when Grant Ward's threaded pass allowed Sears time in the six-yard box, before he unselfishly squared to McGoldrick to tap in.
Benitez brought on Jesus Gamez and Aleksandar Mitrovic late on in search of an equaliser, with the latter holding off Luke Chambers before his shot was well blocked for a corner.
Over committed, Newcastle's chances were finally put to bed in stoppage time as Brett Pitman picked out the unmarked Huws to volley in and seal the game - and their Championship status - for Ipswich.
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy:
"I think our performance was a great tribute to Sir Bobby Robson and I think the game was a fitting tribute to him. The Sir Bobby Robson Day was a lovely thing to do and it was nice to be part of it.
"It was our best performance of the season. I told my players we were going to be playing in front of 25,000 people and I wanted them talking about us at the end in a positive manner. I wanted to make sure they enjoyed watching us and it is nice to be able to send our fans home happy."
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez:
"I am concerned about the change in my team's performance from Leeds on Friday to the performance today. We know we have to win our games and now we have to change and improve.
"We knew it was going to be this kind of game but we were not ready - it seems we were not mentally ready. We made mistakes and we got paid for it. We have to all take responsibility, we win together and we lose together.
"I won't blame my players in press conferences. They know what I told them at half-time and at the end, we know something was wrong and now we have to analyse and change quickly."