Ipswich 3 Newcastle 1: Rafa Benitez's side continue bout of promotion jitters

Jon West
The Telegraph
Newcastle have gone three league games without victory - Rex Features
Newcastle have gone three league games without victory - Rex Features

Newcastle's promotion jitters show no sign of abating after Rafa Benitez's side were deservedly beaten at mid-table Ipswich.

Daryl Murphy, the striker bought from Ipswich for £3million last summer, netted his sixth Newcastle goal to make it 1-1 but it was Mick McCarthy's side who went on to win it, with David McGoldrick and Emyr Huws adding to Freddie Sears' opener.

That made it just two wins in the last eight games for Newcastle - at home to relegation-threatened Wigan and Burton; a poor haul from a side that were overwhelming pre-season favourites for the title, not just promotion.

Newcastle remain in second but trail Chris Hughton's Brighton by seven points. The Toon Army's gaze was immediately transferred to Huddersfield's 5pm kick-off at Derby in the hope that the Terriers might drop points from the first of their two games in hand.

Ipswich won a trio of early free-kicks in promising positions but on each occasion were penalised for penalty-area infringements by fussy referee Tim Robinson, including the time Tom Lawrence's delivery went straight into the net.

Newcastle looked nervous and goalkeeper Karl Darlow had to dive at McGoldrick's feet to snuff out another Ipswich attack.

<span>Freddie Sears scored the first of three Ipswich goals</span> <span>Credit: rex </span>
Freddie Sears scored the first of three Ipswich goals Credit: rex

Benitez's side eventually carved out a decent reply but Murphy saw his header flick a defender and go over. Ipswich cleared the corner as far as Paul Dummett, whose drive whistled past a post.

Half-time was approaching when Newcastle finally carved out a goal-scoring chance as Dummett swung in a cross from the left. Matt Ritchie, having swapped flanks with Christian Atsu, got ahead of his marker but his header bounced off the turf and over.

Ipswich's reply was the opening goal seconds later. Lawrence, previously feeding off scraps, made it with a run at the heart of the Newcastle defence and a pass to Sears on his left. The former West Ham man lashed the ball beyond Darlow in the 42nd minute.

McGoldrick saw another effort deflected over as Newcastle limped in at half-time deservedly trailing.

<span>David McGoldrick doubled the home side's advantage</span> <span>Credit: rex </span>
David McGoldrick doubled the home side's advantage Credit: rex

Lawrence curled a free-kick over just before the hour mark after Jonjo Shelvey's dead-ball strike at the other end had poleaxed Huws.

Newcastle sent Yoan Gouffran on for Isaac Hayden and immediately equalised when Atsu found Murphy six-yards out at the back post for a simple finish in the 62nd minute. The Republic of Ireland international, in keeping with fans' favourites returning to old clubs, kept his celebration low key.

Parity did not last long however as McGoldrick tapped home at the far post at the other end after Sears sprung the offside trap and rolled the ball across as Newcastle chased shadows in their own box.

<span>Daryl Murphy's goal was scant consolation for Newcastle</span> <span>Credit: rex </span>
Daryl Murphy's goal was scant consolation for Newcastle Credit: rex

Benitez sent on striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, but only with eight minutes remaining.

Ipswich made sure of victory with an emphatic finish from Huws after substitute Brett Pitman's cross was too high for Sears but perfect for the Welshman at the back post.

That left Newcastle with plenty of work to do, starting on Monday at home to Preston.

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