David Nugent the nugget for Middlesbrough

Ipswich 0 Middlesbrough 2: Daryl Murphy may be the darling of Portman Road but the prolific Irishman’s record at Portman Road is nothing on David Nugent’s.

David Nugent the nugget for Middlesbrough

The forward has scored on every single occasion he has turned out on this ground.

And that was good news for current employers Middlesbrough, who claimed top spot in the Championship as a result of his second half clincher, adding to Christin Stuani’s opener.

The first half was a cagey, goal-less affair that will not linger particularly long in the memory.

Aitor Karanka’s men looked the more comfortable on the ball and replied with a long-ranger from Nugent that home keeper Dean Gerken was able to pouch with little alarm.

And that was also the case when Albert Adomah set up Stuani at the back post for a volley that was well-executed but lacked venom.

Konstantopoulos beat away another Pitman effort after Daryl Murphy had run behind the Boro back line and the Greek then saved a certain goal when LukemChambers, the Ipswich right-back, stole in to meet Jonathan Douglas’ delivery on the volley from just a few yards out.

A double defensive error almost allowed Ipswich to take the lead within a minute of the restart.

Ben Gibson carelessly conceded possession to Maitland-Niles on the right flank and the winger’s cross was missed by central defensive partner Daniel Ayala.

That allowed Pitman to connect at the back post but once again Konstantopoulos was able to save.

Poor defending almost cost Ipswich straight away as Christophe Berra failed to clear in his own box. Grant Leadbitter swivelled to fire in a well-struck shot but Gerken reacted superbly to divert the ball over.

A goal was coming however with Stuani stealing in behind Jonas Knudsen at the back post to squeeze Adomah’s delivery between Gerken and the back post in the 54th minute.

Boro wrapped up the points in the 74th minute when Ipswich were caught on the counter attack by Downing, who sent Nugent away, although his shot needed a deflection off Tommy Smith, the last defender, to beat Gerken.

There was a late let-off for Ipswich when Adomah hit a post but it made no difference to the result.

IPSWICH:

Gerken, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Maitland-Niles (Coke 63), Skuse, Douglas, Pitman (McGoldrick 86), Murphy, Sears.

MIDDLESBROUGH:

Konstantopoulos, Nsue, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Clayton, Leadbitter, Stuani (Forshaw 85), Downing, Adomah, Nugent.

Ref:

Tim Robinson.

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