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Ipswich Town one point away from Premier League after Cameron Burgess scores winner to help Blues beat Coventry City





Ipswich Town took a huge stride towards back-to-back promotions to the Premier League with a crucial 2-1 victory over Coventry City at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Cameron Burgess’ second-half goal proved decisive as the Blues moved into the Sky Bet Championship’s automatic promotion places, three points ahead of third-placed Leeds United.

The result means Town remain in control of their own destiny and will be promoted back to the top flight for the first time in 22 years if they avoid defeat to Huddersfield Town at Portman Road on Saturday.

Cameron Burgess second-half goal moved Ipswich Town one point off the Premier League. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Cameron Burgess second-half goal moved Ipswich Town one point off the Premier League. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Kieffer Moore’s seventh goal of the season had put the Blues in front early on, but Haji Wright levelled for the Sky Blues only for Burgess to slam home the winner five minutes later.

Victory is the Blues’ 10th in 15 matches and ended a four-game winless run at a crucial stage of the season.

Town boss Kieran McKenna made three changes from the thrilling 3-3 draw with Hull City on Saturday night, with George Edmundson, Nathan Broadhead and Moore returning to the side.

Luke Woolfenden, Conor Chaplin and George Hirst all dropped to the bench, with Harry Clarke and Ali Al-Hamadi not in the Blues’ matchday squad.

Leif Davis, who was forced off late against the Tigers with a rolled ankle, was fit to go again and made his 50th Championship start.

Coventry boss Mark Robins made two changes to his side that were involved in a goalless draw at Blackburn Rovers over the weekend.

Star midfielder Ben Sheaf returned from injury in place of Callum O’Hare, while Joel Latibeaudiere replaced Liam Kitching in defence, who was suspended after picking up his third red card of the season at Ewood Park.

After a brief scare where Ellis Simms and Wright exchanged passes on the right touchline, the Blues were the first to test either goalkeeper, Omari Hutchinson trying his luck from range but was comfortable for Brad Collins.

Three minutes later, the Suffolk side took the lead with man-of-the-moment Hutchinson right at the source.

The Chelsea loanee played through Wes Burns, whose cutback found Moore on the penalty spot to slam home through the legs of the goalkeeper.

As the hosts looked to respond, Massimo Luongo did excellently to throw his body in front of Kasey Palmer’s drilled effort before successfully winning a foul.

The hosts did look threatening on the counter. Milan van Ewijk burst down the right and after Liam Kelly exchanged passes with Josh Eccles, Burgess did well to block behind.

Space then opened up for Sheaf to unleash a strike from more than 25 yards, which flew only inches wide of Vaclav Hladky’s top-right corner.

The Sky Blues began to control proceedings without creating any clear cut chances, until somehow they were denied an equaliser on 32 minutes.

Palmer met Van Ewijk’s cutback, which was blocked twice by Sam Morsy and then Burns on the line, before Hladky pulled off a remarkable save to get in the way of Wright’s point-blank effort when he looked certain to score.

Despite trailing, Coventry’s control of the contest continued. Eccles’s low cross was met by Simms on the edge of the penalty area, but the former Everton striker scooped his effort well over the crossbar.

As the game entered first half stoppage time, the Blues had a golden opportunity to double their lead. Burns’s deep cross was met by the unmarked Broadhead, whose downward header towards the bottom corner was well kept out by Collins.

There was still time for Simms to fire over the bar for the Midlanders before the sides headed into the dressing rooms with the Blues a goal up.

Soon after the restart, the home side went close again. A bouncing ball was pounced upon by Eccles, whose low half-volley slammed into the side-netting.

Moore headed a Davis corner safely wide of the mark, before there was a referee change with fourth official Dean Whitestone replaced starting official James Bell.

Just before the hour mark, the Blues went agonisingly close to doubling their lead after a defensive error. Broadhead was the man who pounced, but his subsequent strike curled onto the crossbar.

Moments later, Eccles went down wanting a penalty but new referee Whitestone turned down the appeals.

But within a minute, the Sky Blues were level. Palmer played through record signing Wright, who struck a fierce effort that snuck under Hladky.

The equaliser brought two Town changes, with Hirst and Jeremy Sarmiento introduced in place of Moore and Broadhead.

Sarmiento was straight into the action, picking up a loose pass on the edge of the penalty area and lashing a strike that was parried away by Collins.

The game had turned into a frantic affair, Sarmiento having poked through an onside Hirst only for Collins to rush out and save one-on-one.

But then Town went in front again through an unlikely source. Davis’s deep free-kick was met by Burgess at the back post, who struck in off the post at the second time of asking to send the travelling supporters into raptures.

Captain Morsy was shown the game’s first yellow card on 75 minutes, his 14th of the season, for a flailing arm on Van Ewijk on the touchline.

Burns was withdrawn with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and was replaced by Kayden Jackson, then Sarmiento’s low strike was held by Collins.

McKenna’s final change of personnel came four minutes into 11 added minutes, with Hutchinson replaced by Jack Taylor.

In the 101st minute, Coventry substitute Aidan Dausch curled wide of Hladky’s right-hand post, then O’Hare was booked for bringing down Luongo.

The final whistle was greeted with an eruption of noise from the Blue Army as Town moved to within touching distance of the Premier League.

Coventry City (4-3-3): Collins; Dasilva, Latibeaudiere (O’Hare 85), Thomas, van Ewijk; Eccles, Sheaf, Kelly (c) (Bidwell 85); Wright, Simms, Palmer (Dausch 90).

Subs: Wilson, Bell, Allen, Godden, Lusala, Andrews.

Booked: O’Hare.

Ipswich Town (4-2-3-1): Hladky; Davis, Burgess, Edmundson, Tuanzebe; Luongo, Morsy (c); Broadhead (Sarmiento 65), Hutchinson (Taylor 90), Burns (Jackson 80); Moore (Hirst 65).

Subs: Walton, Woolfenden, Chaplin, Travis, Humphreys.

Booked: Morsy.

Referee: James Bell (Sheffield) / Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire).

Attendance: 26,457.

Suffolk News Man of the Match: Cameron Burgess. Town’s brick wall at the back faced a lot of Coventry pressure throughout the contest and dealt with almost everything that came at him. Then, he struck the winning goal in off the post that could be remembered for many a year.