Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Ipswich Town: Conor Chaplin sends the Tractor Boys to Championship summit

An early first-half goal from Conor Chaplin saw the Tractor Boys rise to the top of the EFL Championship table, following Leicester City’s lunchtime defeat to Bristol City.

Having finished 2nd in EFL League One last season, Ipswich Town remain on course for back-to-back promotions – and Kieran McKenna’s side look more than capable of putting up a fight for silverware too.

Ipswich Town will host Southampton at Portman Road on Monday.

As it happened

Leading the division’s goalscoring charts with 80 goals across the current Championship campaign, Ipswich Town needed fewer than nine minutes to hit the back of the net again. The returning figure of Conor Chaplin fired a routinely-struck first-time effort towards goal, which Aynsley Pears inexplicably allowed to bypass him at his near post.

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In response, Blackburn Rovers were made to wait as they tried to get back into the game while the Tractor Boys farmed possession. However, to the frustration of the majority within Ewood Park, Rovers had not one, but two, goals controversially disallowed for offside in the space of five minutes.

First, Tyrhys Dolan was adjudged to have strayed marginally beyond the shoulder of the last defender – prior to one of the opposing defenders putting the ball into his own net before Joe Rankin-Costello saw his effort chalked off the scoresheet due to Szmodics adjudged to have impeded the vision of Ipswich Town goalkeeper Václav Hladký.

Surprisingly, McKenna replaced three of Ipswich’s four-pronged attack – including goalscorer Chaplin and then Leif Davis – shortly after the hour-mark as he looked to avoid any late scares. However, it was nearly his ever-so-reliable goalkeeper who gifted Blackburn an equalising goal in the 80th minute, as Hladký gifted the ball to Szmodics in the penalty area but instinctively had the awareness to stick out a glove to force the Rovers’ striker effort behind for a corner.

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Ultimately, 4,500 supporters in the away end at Ewood Park were left celebrating at the sound of the final whistle, as Ipswich Town boarded their team coach for the completion of their 500-mile round-trip above Leeds United – for at least a few hours.

Meanwhile, Blackburn remain only three points above the relegation zone – ahead of their must-win match at Sunderland on Easter Monday.

The lineups

BLA: Pears; Hyam, Wharton, Chrisene; Pickering, Brittain, Rankin-Costello, Tronstad; Dolan, Hedges; Szmodics

IPS: Hladký; Tuanzebe, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Davis; Luongo, Morsy; Hutchinson, Broadhead, Chaplin; Moore