Brian Laws’ first game in charge of the Owls got off to the perfect start as goals from the in-form Marcus Tudgay and Madjid Bougherra saw Wednesday leave Suffolk with all-three points and leap in to their highest league position of the season.
The former Scunthorpe United boss had promised not to tinker with the side that was guided to three wins and a draw under acting manager Sean McAuley’s reign – and the decision proved successful – although the Owls rode their luck at times with the Tractor Boys missing a number of chances in front of goal.
Laws made just one change to the side that defeated Leicester City last weekend with 37-year-old loanee Mark Crossley taking the number one jersey in place of Brad Jones who returned to Middlesbrough after his three-month loan deal came to an end.
Fabian Wilnis returned to the Ipswich side after returning from suspension while Danny Haynes and Gary Roberts were also handed starts.
Wednesday’s upturn in results, and confidence, was shown early on in the game as Marcus Tudgay low effort forced Ipswich stopper Shane Supple in to an early save after just five minutes. Wade Small was also denied by Dan Harding and Chris Brunt saw a number of dangerous set pieces go harmlessly accross the face of Supple’s goal.
But it wasn’t long before the Owls were rewarded for their early dominance as Tudgay popped up to continue his impressive goalscoring run and give the Owls the early advantage on 11 minutes. Strike partner Deon Burton attacked on the break and fed Small whose low cross allowed the former Derby man to slot home at the near post and send the travelling Wednesday fans in to hysterics.
The hosts were looking for a way back in to the game and almost got it as John Hills denied former Rotherham United man Alan Lee a chance inside the Owls box before youngster Danny Haynes caused Wednesday problems only to see his dangerous cross by-pass the Town attack in the Owls box.
Wednesday were still looking the more dangerous and almost doubled their advantage on 25 minutes as Madjid Bougherra lashed his close-range effort over the bar after Marcus Tudgay’s dummy from a Kenny Lunt free-kick.
Minutes later Alan Lee had the best chance of the game for the hosts but somehow managed to slice his close-range effort wide after Sylvain legwinski released Richards down the wing to provide an inch-perfect cross for Lee.
Ipswich took a hold on the game in the final stages of the first-half but the Owls defence – led by new-boy Mark Crossley – held firm to take the 1-0 advantage in to the break.
Half-Time: Ipswich Town 0-1 Wednesday
Town came out of the traps the quickest in the second half as they looked for the leveller and substitute Jon Mackem fired in to the side netting from close-range in the early stages.
At the other end Chris Brunt saw a low effort easily saved by Supple while the Northern Ireland international almost netted a lucky second of the afternoon for Brian Laws men as his intended cross went just wide of the Ipswich goal.
Midfielder Darren Currie created a fine chance for Town captain Jason De Vos but his close-range headed was easily saved by Crossley and gathered at the second attempt while Alan Lee and and Macken were both crowded out as the home fans grew increasingly frustrated with the stubborn owls defence and the lacklustre Town finishing.
Tudgay saw an ambitious overhead kick that was comfortably held by Supple before Jason De Vos was on hand to block a Deon Burton effort as the Owls looked to secure all three points at Portman Road.
But it was Ipswich who were looking the more likely to net in the latter stages of the half as Lee Bullen was on hand to deny the Tractor Boys on two occassions.
The Ipswich pressur ecame to nothing and it was Wednesday who went on to net the second decisive goal and take all three points back to South Yorkshire. Madjid Bougherra arrived on-cue to power his header by Supple from a Kenny Lunt corner to make it 2-0.
There could have been further goal as Marcus Tudgay’s effort was brilliantly saved by Supple before Lee Bullen almost put in to his own net from an Ipwich cross – but Wednesday took another three-points – just their second on their travels this season – to see them leapfrog Town and move up to 13th in the Championship.
Ipswich Town: Supple, Wilnis, De Vos, Bruce, Harding (Naylor 84), Roberts, Legwinski, Noble (Currie 64), Richards, Lee, Haynes (Macken 24). Subs Not Used: Drobny, Peters.
Wednesday: Crossley, Simek, Bullen, Bougherra, Hills, Small (Whelan 81), Lunt, Folly, Brunt (O’Brien 72), Tudgay, Burton (MacLean 89). Subs Not Used: Adamson, Coughlan.
Brian Laws told the official SWFC site:
‘It was the perfect start. The first points are your most important. We did make life difficult for ourselves but limited Ipswich to minimal efforts and worked hard.
‘The players have trained hard and been attentive since I took over. This is only one game but an important step towards progression.’
Jim Magilton told BBC Sport:
‘We started the game very bright and passed the ball very well and looked very confident.
‘We then got back into the game and had two great chances and if we had taken them it could have been different.
‘What is worrying is that we did not have people taking responsibility when it really mattered.’