The joy came nine minutes into Ipswich’s Championship clash with fellow promotion rivals Brentford as the striker struck for the 22nd time this season to give the Tractor Boys a dream start.
However Ipswich’s lead lasted just 16 minutes as Murphy’s fellow Irishman Jonathan Douglas brought the Bees level. That was a stinging experience but the real agony for Murphy came in the second half. First he somehow shot over an open goal from four yards and then he twice came off second best when one-on-one with the Brentford goalkeeper.
The 1-1 result meant Ipswich stayed one point behind Brentford and one place outside the top six, although they are also just five points off top spot. Asked his thoughts on Murphy’s miss, manager Mick McCarthy refused to criticise his player. “He has been remarkable this season and has scored some unlikely goals along the way. That was one you never would have expected him to miss but that’s football.”
It was a happier weekend for Wes Hoolahan, with the midfielder netting as in-form Norwich hammered a Millwall side that included David Forde 4-1 to move to within a point of top spot.
Keiren Westwood’s 18th clean sheet of the season helped Sheffield Wednesday to a 1-0 win at Blackpool and maintained the Owls’ slim play-off hopes.
A precise finish from Conor Sammon ensured Rotherham took a giant step towards safety after a 2-0 win a Huddersfield side who finished with 10 man after the dismissal of Lee Frecklington for two bookable offences.
The same fate befell Tommy Hoban as the defender was sent off in stoppage time in Watford’s 2-2 draw at Wolves.
In League Two, Barry Corr scored twice to take his tally for the season to 11 but Southend were unable to take full advantage, drawing 2-2 at home to promotion rivals Wycombe.
Elsewhere, a fine strike from Anthony O’Connor put Plymouth on course for a 2-0 win over Northampton that lifted them into the play-offs.