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Ipswich Town celebrate promotion to the Premier League as goals from Wes Burns and Omari Hutchinson clinch automatic promotion against Huddersfield Town





Ipswich Town completed a fairytale return to the Premier League after a 2-0 victory at home to Huddersfield Town in a result which confirmed the visitors’ relegation from the Sky Bet Championship.

A packed out Portman Road was rocking as Kieran McKenna’s side became the first team to complete back-to-back promotions from the second tier since Southampton in 2011/12 by claiming the second automatic promotion place ahead of Leeds United with a goal in each half, from Wes Burns and Omari Hutchinson.

The Yorkshire side had gone into their home game with The Saints knowing they could only ruin the promotion party in Suffolk with a victory coupled with a Town defeat.

Ipswich Town fans run onto the pitch at full-time against Huddersfield Town to celebrate promotion back to the Premier League Picture: Russell Claydon
Ipswich Town fans run onto the pitch at full-time against Huddersfield Town to celebrate promotion back to the Premier League Picture: Russell Claydon

But that never looked on the cards as The Tractor Boys ran all over sorry Huddersfield while Leeds fell to a 2-1 defeat, with all the goals scored in the first half.

Ipswich’s victory, seeing them finish on 96 points, six clear of Daniel Farke’s side and in the end just a point behind champions Leicester City – who lost 2-0 at home to Blackburn Rovers – ended a 22-year absence from England’s top table.

After a flurry of early chances, Burns eventually fired the Blues ahead in the 27th minute with an angled finish after being found free in the area by Conor Chaplin.

Ipswch Town saw off Huddersfield Town to celebrate automatic promotion to the Premier League Picture: Barry Goodwin
Ipswch Town saw off Huddersfield Town to celebrate automatic promotion to the Premier League Picture: Barry Goodwin

It could and should have been a greater lead heading itno the interval with The Terriers not even registering a shot as they defended wave after wave of attacks.

But the second half was less than three minutes old when the second goal arrived for the Blues to settle any nerves with Hutchinson driving into the area before firing a low shot past Maxwell.

The final whistle was marked by a full-scale pitch invasion, accompanied by blue flags and falres as the supporters celebrated the historic moment.

McKenna made three changes from the side that started Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at Coventry City with homegrown defender Luke Woolfenden, joint 13-goal top scorer Conor Chaplin and striker George Hirst all given the nod from the off.

Ipswich Town fans packed out the pitch at full-time against Huddersfield Town to celebrate promotion back to the Premier League Picture: Russell Claydon
Ipswich Town fans packed out the pitch at full-time against Huddersfield Town to celebrate promotion back to the Premier League Picture: Russell Claydon

George Edmundson, Nathan Broadhead and Kieffer Moore all dropped to the bench where Harry Clarke made a return after being kept out of the mid-week clash with a knee issue.

Town, roared on by the home crowd, started brightly with their first chance arriving in the eighth minute when Axel Tuanzebe saw a shot from ouside the area deflected wide of the right-hand post after some neat build-up play.

Omari Hutchinson appeared to be shoved over by Mcihal Helik in the box as a cross came in a couple of minutes later but Premier League referee Simon Hooper waved it away.

From the resultant corner, Hirst headed wide of the far post after Chaplin had hooked the ball back in.

A good turn saw Chaplin create some space 25 yards from goal with his rasping effort flying wide of the right-hand post while Hutchinson almost found Hirst from a cut-back with goalkeeper Maxwell stranded as the Blues continued a dominant start.

The Ipswich Town scoreboard declares 'We Are Premier League' as Harry Clarke goes to salute the fans in the Sir Bobby Robson North Stand following the 2-0 final day victory over Huddersfield Town Picture: Russell Claydon
The Ipswich Town scoreboard declares 'We Are Premier League' as Harry Clarke goes to salute the fans in the Sir Bobby Robson North Stand following the 2-0 final day victory over Huddersfield Town Picture: Russell Claydon

The noise levels increased inside Portman Road in the 19th minute as news filtered through that Leeds United had fallen behind to Southampton while another Hutchinson cut-back found Burns who fired over the bar.

More good play down the left from Hutchinson saw his chipped cross headed back across by Burns to Chaplin who looped a header over from six yards out.

A great throughball from Chaplin in the 25th minute put Burns in on goal but with Maxwell rushing out to narrow the angle, he put his shot wide of the far post.

The pressure paid off for McKenna’s side in the 27th minute when the high pressing that has been a hallmark of their game under the former Manchester Untied coach saw Hutchinson win the ball half-way inside the Huddersfield half. Hirst then did well to get the ball over to Chaplin who flicked it on to find Burns totally free on the right of the area with the Welsh international going on to drill it past Maxwell at his near post.

Huddersfield made an early change on the half-hour mark with Matos coming on in place of Jack Rudoni.

Chaplin thought he should have had a penalty three minutes later when he appeared to be shoved over after getting behind Matty Pearson, but Hooper again saw nothing in it, with captain Sam Morsy soon seen in conversation with him.

There were more cheers from the home fans when hearing Leeds, having equalised at Elland Road, had fallen 2-1 behind to Southampton while Town’s lead went close to being doubled when Hutchinson danced his way into the box only to drag a right-footed effort wide.

A 30-yard effort from Morsy saw Maxwell manage to gather it in at the second attempt while Massimon Luongo’s fierce first-time strike, following a headed clearance, over the bar from a bit closer in as the one-sided affair continued to the half-time whistle.

There were cheers as Haldky rose to catch a ball into his box early in the second half, his first action of the game that had not been a pass out from the back.

And Portman Road erupted again in the 48th minute as a second goal arrived to settle any lingering nerves.

Morsy played a pass onto Hutchinson mid-way into the Huddersfield half and the Chelsea loanee left David Kasumi in his wake as he drove into the area before firing a low shot in that Maxwell got a hand to but could only push into the left-hand corner. Hutchinson celebrated his 10th goal of the season with a trademark backflip ahead of a deafening chorus of ‘we are going up, we are going up!’ Bellowing round the ground.

Chaplin saw a volley blocked after a corner looped up in the air before Town’s number 10 soon had another chance with his shot coming back off Tuanzebe.

Apparoachng the hour mark, as the joyous crowd began to go through the club songbook including an emotional renedetion of ‘there’s only one Marcus Stewart’ in tribute to the MND suffering former Premier League promotion-winner, Davis ran on to a Burns delivery at the far post but sent it first time into the ground and it bounced over.

Hutchinson thought he should have had another penalty when going down under a challenge from Matos, having worked his way into the box, but again the referee saw nothing in it.

Breitenreiter made a triple change for the visitors in the 61st minute with Tom Iorpenda, Josh Koroma and Bojan Radulovic all coming on.

A fine Hutchinson throughball almost put Hirst away but Pearson did well to snuff out the danger as Town’s thirst for more goals appeared undiminished.

Huddersfield finally regsitered their first effort at goal in the 71st minute with Hldaky diving comfortably onto substitute Koroma’s shot from the right corner of the area.

Up the other end Maxwell had to make a fine diving save to keep Luongo’s curling effort from 22 yards out of the top right-hand corner, turning it over the bar.

Portman Road rose to its feet as McKenna made a triple substitution on 74 with Kayden Jackson, Moore and Jeremy Sarmiento replacing Burns, Hirst and Chaplin who all received standing ovations for their contributions.

Ecudaor international Sarmiento was soon in the thick of the action seeing a shot from outside the area deflected up over the bar while at the other end Haldky did well to hold onto a free kick delivery from Ben Jackson which flew across to the far post.

Jack Taylor was introduced to the action in the 84th minute with Luongo taking his bow after a commanding display in the engine room.

Koroma fired over from outside the box as Huddersfield looked to end their time in the second tier with a final Championship goal while the chorus of ‘we are going up’ chants continued to ring out.

As the clock ticked into the 90th minute Sarmiento met Jackson’s cut-back first time but saw his effort whizz over the top corner.

It was followed by a nice moment for one of the heros of the season with Hladky, who had been firming behind Christian Walton in the pecking order until the latter picked up a foot injury in pre-season, replaced by the former Brighton & Hove Albion stopper to raptuous applause.

Three minutes of additional time were signalled with Hutchinson firing in a curling effort from 25 yards which Maxwell parried out before diving on just ahead of the incoming Taylor reaching it.

It was to be the last notable action as the fervent home support erupted as the final whistle signalled their return to the top flight to complete a magical first season back in the Championship and one of the great football stories of modern times.

Ipswich: Hladky, Davis, Morsy (cpt), Woolfenden, Burns (Jackson 74’), Chaplin (Sarmiento 74’), Burgess, Hutchinson, Luongo (Taylor 84’), Hirst (Moore 84’), Tuanzebe.

Unused subs: Walton (gk), Clarke, Edmundson, Travis, Broadhead.

Booked: None.

Huddersfield: Maxwell, Pearson, Helik (cpt), Rudoni (Matos 30’), Edwards, Kasumu (Iorpenda 61’), Turton, Wiles, Ward (Koroma 61’), Jackson, Healey (Radulovic 61’).

Unused subs: Nicholls (gk), Bellagambi (gk), Spencer, Jones, Eccleston.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 29,011

SuffolkNews Man of the Match: Omari Hutchinson. There were a number of good performances across the board but the Chelsea loanee once again sparkled brightest with the Huddersfield defence unable to get near him. When they did he could have had two penalties. Hopefully it will not be his last performance in a Town shirt.