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Omari Hutchinson and Ali Al-Hamadi score twice as Ipswich Town hit six past Sheffield Wednesday to reclaim second spot





Ipswich Town bounced back from defeat with their biggest win of the season, a stylish 6-0 victory against relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday at Portman Road seeing them reclaim second place in the Sky Bet Championship ahead of Leeds United playing tomorrow.

Omari Hutchinson (15’, 48’) and substitute Ali Al-Hamadi (80’, 90’) both scored twice with Cameron Burgess (37’) and Nathan Broadhead (45+1’) also getting in on the act with three goals scored in each half as the Blues cruised to victory.

It sends Kieran McKenna’s side into the last international break of the season, ahead of the final eight matches, with the perfect response to the 2-1 last-gasp defeat at Cardiff City the previous weekend. Having now played a game more, it puts them just a point behind leaders Leicester City who are in Emirates FA Cup action tomorrow against Chelsea and two above Leeds who host Millwall in a 3pm kick-off on the same day.

Omari Hutchinson celebrated his sixth and seventh goals of the season in Ipswich Town’s rout of Sheffield Wednesday Picture: Barry Goodwin
Omari Hutchinson celebrated his sixth and seventh goals of the season in Ipswich Town’s rout of Sheffield Wednesday Picture: Barry Goodwin

The Town boss, who has still not lost back-to-back league games since he took charge, made three changes from that gutting late defeat in Wales. With Conor Chaplin ruled out with a minor injury picked up in training, Hutchinson took the number 10 role.

Broadhead returned on the left of the attack in place of Jeremy Sarmiento while Axel Tuanzebe was given the nod at right-back ahead of Harry Clarke and Geroge Edmunson returned on the bench.

Danny Röhl made four changes from the 2-0 home defeat to Leeds last Friday, which ended a four game winning run, with former Town loanee Dominic Irofa, Michael Ihiekwe, Will Vaulks and Ian Poveda all coming in.

The quartet who dropped to the bench were Pol Valentin, Akin Famewo, Bambo Diaby and Liam Palmer.

The Owls arrived in Suffolk second from bottom in the table but just a point from safety with five wins from their last seven.

They had only collected 13 points (four wins and a draw) from 18 away games but had won their last two, at Millwall (2-0) and Rotherham (1-0).

It was the visitors who created the first chance after a bright start seven minutes in with Poveda cutting the ball back for Ike Ugbo but the in-form striker could not steer it on target, sending it beyond the far post.

Town’s first real sight of goal saw Kieffer Moore win a header at the far post from Sam Morsy’s deep cross but it was comfortable for James Beadle to pluck out of the air.

A Wednesday counter attack saw Djeibi Gassama met Anthony Musaba’s cross at the near post but his header went wide.

But it was the home side who got themselves in front in the 15th minute when Wes Burns pulled the ball back from the right and Hutchinson managed to spin it round before firing in a low left-footed shot that flew into the bottom right corner.

Buoyed by the goal, Town were looking confident but were given a warning shot in the 28th minute when Poveda’s fierce effort from outside the area had to be pushed out by Vaclav Hladky for a corner.

Hutchinson lifted a shot over the bar from 20 yards before Broadhead saw an effort from inside the area deflected wide as the hosts look to double their advantage.

The referee Leigh Doughty issued his second yellow card in a matter of minutes on 34 with Hutchinson joining Ihiekwe in having his name taken for a late challenge.

Welsh international Burns suffered an injury soon after in the right-hand corner, having to be supported as he limped down the tunnel.

No substitute was made ahead of the subsequent corner which brought Town’s second goal in the 37th minute.

Moore’s near-post header from Davis’ delivery came back off the crossbar and after Tunazebe’s follow-up effort was blocked, the ball broke loose for Burgess to slam home.

Kayden Jackson replaced Burns after the celebrations died down with the Blues soon threatening another as Davis broke down the left before seeng Beadle parry out his fierce angled shot.

Up the other end the lively Poveda found Gassama in a promising position on the right side of the area but he screwed his effort harmlessly wide.

Town extended their advantage in the first minute of three additional signalled with a fine-flowing move that caught Wednesday cold.

After holding off his man well, Moore fed Jackson on the right and the substitute played a great first time cross behind the defence that Broadhead ran in on to finish from six yards out to draw level as top scorer with Chaplin on 12 goals.

Wednesday boss Rohl made a double change at half-time with Gassam and, notably, Bannan, replaced by Valentin ad Diaby.

Hutchinson got into the area within a minute before fired narrowly over the angle of post and bar.

But he was soon celebrating his second of the afternoon as in the 48th minute he finished a fine team move.

With applause still ringing out for inspirational supporter Matt Newman, who died of a brain tumour aged 47, the Blues worked the ball through the middle with Broadhead finding Hutchinson after a driving run. The Jamaican international steadied himself inside the right side of the area before firing in low across goal into the bottom left-hand corner.

An audacious long-range effort from almost halfway from Massimo Luongo saw Beadle push out for a corner in the 53rd minute while Broadhead soon fired over from just outside the area.

Burgess did well to thwart Ugbo’s attempt on goal as Wednesday looked to grab a consolation goal past the hour mark while Luongo also stood up well to a ball into the box.

Sarmiento and Ali Al-Hamadi both entered the action in the 72nd minute with Broadhead and Moore drawing applause on their exits.

Al-Hamadi soon picked up on a loose ball to run through but after getting into the area the Iraqi international screwed his shot wide.

Owls substitute Mallik Wilks curled over from a cut back to the edge of the area just ahead of McKenna changing his central midfielders in the 85th minute. Lewis Travis and Jack Taylor replaced Luongo and Morsy with Woolfenden taking over the captain’s armband.

There was still more for the Town fans to enjoy as their side found a sixth goal in the 90th minute. Hutchinson jinked his way into the area before his inch-perfect low cross found the unmarked Al-Hamadi to nudge over the line from close range for his second.

The home fans were soon chanting ‘we are going up’ and it completed a comprehensive display at Portman Road that leaves Wednesday fans fearing the drop.

Town supporters will now wait to see whether they are overtaken by Leeds tomorrow when they Millwall in the 3pm kick-off.

Ipswich Town: Hladky, Davis, Morsy (cpt) (Taylor 85’), Woolfenden, Burns (Jackson 38’), Burgess, Hutchinson, Moore, Luongo (Travis 85’), Broadhead, Tuanzebe.

Unused subs: Walton (gk), Clarke, Edmundson, Harness, Taylor, Al-Hamadi, Sarmiento, Travis.

Booked: Hutchinson (34’).

Sheff Weds: Beadle, Vaulks, Iorfa (Famewo 78’), Bannan (cpt) (Diaby 46’), Ugbo (Smith 65’), Bernard, Johnson, Ihiekwe, Poveda (Wilks 53’), Gassama (Valentin 46’), Musaba.

Unused subs: Dawson (gk), Palmer, Famewo, Cadamarteri.

Booked: Ihiekwe (20’).

Attendance: 29,325 (1,945 away fans)

SuffolkNews Man of the Match: Omari Hutchinson. Came in for the injured Conor Chaplin and showed his quality with two fine finishes and an assist in a dazzling display. Definitely his best in a Town shirt.