Four-star Town hammer Boro
Ipswich picked up their first win of 2013 and boosted their survival prospects with a thumping 4-0 win over play-off contenders Middlesbrough at Portman Road.
Town boss Mick McCarthy continued to be laid low with a virus, but would have had plenty to cheer about from his sickbed regardless as Tommy Smith netted just before half-time after a good spell of pressure countered Boro's attacking start to the game. The afternoon only got better for the hosts as David McGoldrick fired in a screamer minutes after the restart and Aaron McLean made it 3-0 on 56 minutes, before Smith scored his second to seal Town's first home win since December. Lukas Jutkiewicz's cross needed a superb headed clearance from Cresswell but the hosts had a succession of corners while Steele pulled off the game's first real save on 27 minutes to deny McGoldrick after he and McLean combined with some slick passing. Ipswich were in control as Daryl Murphy shot into the sidenetting from a difficult angle, and the pressure finally paid off after 38 minutes as Cresswell's accurate corner found Smith and the centre-back cropped up at the near post to powerfully head in. Boro boss Tony Mowbray brought on Mark Tyler for Ledesma at half-time, but they were no better for it as within two minutes of the restart McGoldrick won the ball in midfield before powering through and shooting from outside the box for Town's second. It was all Ipswich thereafter as Cresswell looped the ball for McLean to chase and the latter shook off his man before curling home expertly from outside the box. Edwards then took the long-range option but was denied by Steele while Luke Hyam saw a shot go just wide after good work from McLean, who was then replaced by Frank Nouble. Ipswich looked content to hold possession but Smith had other ideas with 12 minutes left as he headed in another corner, this time delivered by Edwards, who was denied a goal from distance by Steele just moments later. New Town arrival and substitute Anthony Wordsworth had time for another effort but could only fire well over the bar in stoppage time.