Sunday 16 December 2018

Ireland's Matt Doherty on target as Wolves surge 12 points clear in Championship

Ipswich 0 Wolves 1

Matt Doherty of Woverhampton Wanderers celebrates his opening goal
Matt Doherty of Woverhampton Wanderers celebrates his opening goal

Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolves moved 12 points clear at the top of the table after Matt Doherty's goal was enough to secure victory at Ipswich.

Doherty's 15th-minute header was enough to clinch the points for the high-flying visitors in a high-energy encounter at Portman Road.

Wolves created several chances in the second half but were denied by some excellent goalkeeping by Ipswich's Bart Bialkowski.

Ipswich remained 12th following the defeat ahead of next week's trip to Sunderland.

The leaders pressed straight from kick-off and Helder Costa was brought down by Jonas Knudsen, but the resulting free-kick was charged down.

Ipswich's Callum Connolly tested visiting goalkeeper John Ruddy from 25 yards in the 11th minute, the Wolves stopper gathering at the second attempt.

Martyn Waghorn then tried to beat Ruddy with an audacious lob after the ball fell to him, but the Wolves keeper easily gathered.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side took the lead on the quarter-hour mark after a slick move down the left led to Barry Douglas crossing for Doherty to head home at the far post.

Home midfielder Stephen Gleeson was then booked for a foul on Ruben Neves, with the free-kick that followed from Douglas well saved by Bialkowski.

Bialkowski, who signed a new three-year deal with the Tractor Boys this week, made another good low stop from Diogo Jota soon after as Wolves broke quickly.

Bersant Celina went close to a leveller in the 33rd minute when he fired across the face of the goal after a short corner routine.

David McGoldrick's long-range effort was tipped over by Ruddy just before half-time as the home side sought a way back into the game.

Jota brought two smart saves from Bialkowski as the visitors looked to extend their lead after the break.

The hosts were carved open just before the hour mark by a flowing Wolves move, but Jota's pass went behind Costa in the box.

Bialowski was brought into action again in the 68th minute when he rushed out to save at the feet of Costa.

Waghorn drove the ball into the side-netting for the Blues before substitute Leo Bonatini's fierce volley was blocked.

Bonatini was denied again by an excellent save from Bialowski before the Ipswich keeper kept out substitute Bright Enobakhare's dipping volley.

McGoldrick curled an effort straight at Ruddy late on as the hosts continued to search for an equaliser.

The Wolves keeper failed to claim a cross in stoppage time, but Ipswich were unable to force the ball home.

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