EFL

Ipswich return to winning ways by mauling Millwall

By Sports Desk February 14, 2024

Ipswich moved to within three points of the Sky Bet Championship automatic promotion places as they returned to winning ways by thrashing struggling Millwall 4-0.

Kieran McKenna’s early season challengers had won just one in nine league games but survived a slow start to run out deserved victors at The Den.

Nathan Broadhead scored one and made another in the first half while in-form Bournemouth loanee Kieffer Moore headed home and Ali Al-Hamadi converted a stoppage-time penalty as Ipswich eased to just a second league win of the calendar year.

Despite their drop-off in form, McKenna’s side lost just twice in that run and the former Manchester United assistant will be hoping this result heralds a return to form – with a trip to Swansea next up on Saturday.

Millwall started the better of the two sides and the recalled Ryan Leonard hammered an effort over the crossbar after an early corner was cleared to the edge of the Ipswich box.

The home side showed four changes from their loss at Coventry and another returnee came close on four minutes as George Saville’s drive was saved by Vaclav Hladky.

With the hosts on top, Tom Bradshaw should have done better as the Lions countered an Ipswich corner but the ball got caught under his feet and Harrison Clarke got back to clear.

Hladky was forced into action again to save low from Leonard as Millwall maintained their head of steam.

But despite their dominance, Joe Edwards’ men fell behind at the midway point of the first half with Broadhead’s accurate back-header from Omari Hutchinson’s cross putting Ipswich ahead against the run of play.

The lead was doubled soon after as Harding inadvertently turned Broadhead’s low cross into his own goal.

The points were all-but secured on the stroke of half-time, Moore heading into the ground and over Sarkic for his third goal in as many games.

The second half was a much more even affair as Millwall matched their visitors, who had taken their foot off the gas.

Still, though, the home side could not find a way to beat Hladky, the former Salford keeper going largely untested after the interval other than preventing a Bradshaw consolation.

Ipswich could have extended their advantage as Wes Burns and Conor Chaplin had decent chances before referee Sam Barrott pointed to the spot for a Murray Wallace foul on substitute Al-Hamadi. The January signing from AFC Wimbledon dusted himself down to score his first goal for his new club.

While Ipswich continue to look up, Edwards has now seen his side take just one point from their last six league games and – with Stoke and Huddersfield both winning – they have dropped to 21st in the table.

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