Derby was a game we all were in a hurry to move on from and we hoped we could regain some form against Ipswich Town. Since boyhood Leeds fan, Mick McCarthy took the reigns at Portman Road, Ipswich have been on a bit of a roll, only losing one of their last 6.
Our starting eleven included Thomas who had recovered from a hamstring injury and Diouf, who earlier in the week, signed a new 18 month contract with us. Ross McCormack was dropped to the bench after a somewhat poor game against Derby last weekend.
Our first opportunity to open the scoring came on the 6th minute when Diouf had a shot on target saved by Henderson. Diouf takes the corner, Tom Lees gets his head on the ball but it clears the crossbar. We came close three minutes later when Henderson failed to deal with a cross into the box from Diouf and under pressure, fumbled the ball. Luckily though, he did manage to dive on it before any Leeds man could get to it.
Ipswich left back, Aaron Cresswell had an opportunity to score on the 10th minute but his shot never troubled Paddy Kenny as it rose well over the crossbar.
Diouf took a corner on the 18th minute of play and Tom Lees beat the Ipswich defenders to head the ball goalwards, Jerome Thomas was in a perfect position to backheel the ball beyond the reach of Henderson and make it 1 - 0.
Shortly after the goal, Arron Cresswell cleared David Norris' header off the line after some good build up play by Thomas and a great cross into the box from Tonge.
A fantastic ball from Sam Byram on the 40th minute upfield for Luciano Becchio who was waiting in the box, unmarked. Becchio headed the ball and it looked for all the world it was going to be 2 - 0, however, Becchio, un-characteristically headed it well over the crossbar from close range, que 99% of Leeds Fans, including Luciano, with their head in their hands.
Two minutes before half time, Paddy Kenny made a fantastic save to stop Carlos Edwards equalising for the Tractor Boys.
The referee, Langford blew for half time and we went in a goal to the good.
Ipswich were beginning to come into the game late in the first half as we looked to be getting a little bit complacent especially in midfield.
We opened the second half strongly. A Luciano Becchio header was saved by Henderson on the 46th minute, followed by a chance from Diouf a minute later but it was too high. Henderson came to the visitors rescue again saving a cross into the box from Diouf just before the 50 minute mark.
The game then became really quite flat and Ipswich were having the majority of possession, Mick McCarthy brought on Michael Chopra for DJ Campbell on the 62nd minute to beef up their attacks.
There were no clear cut chances for either side until the 67th minute when Jerome Thomas passed to a completely unmarked Paul Green who smashed the ball past Ipswich keeper, Henderson who had absolutely no chance. Green celebrated his goal in front of the jubilant Kop, we all hoped it might inject a bit of life back into our game.
McCarthy responded to the goal by bringing on Jay Emmanuel-Thomas for Daryl Murphy.
Ipswich were trying to find a way to come into the game and on the 79th minute, Lee Martin and Jay-Emmanuel Thomas' respective shots were both saved fantastically by Paddy Kenny.
Neil Warnock changed the team on the 81st minute and brought on Ross McCormack in place of El-Hadji Diouf, almost immediately, Ipswich launched a full scale attack and a fantastic punt upfield met Lee Martin who Alan Tate failed to deal with, Martin passed the ball to Chopra who smashed a shot straight at Paddy Kenny, Kenny managed to save the shot with his legs to keep the score 2 - 0.
Jerome Thomas left the field on the 84th minute for Michael Brown.
McCormack's corner in the closing minutes of regular time, was cleared from danger by N'Daw.
Warnock the last of his substitutions on the 90th minute, taking Luciano Becchio off for Luke Varney.
The Referee blew for full-time and the three points where ours, Not only three points but a clean sheet as well!!
David Haigh & Salem Patel were in attendance to witness the victory, David had tweeted before he made the journey that he had packed his lucky scarf, it seems to have done the job, lets hope he doesn't forget it in the coming games :o)
Though all eyes will be on our midweek game against Chelsea on Wednesday in the Capital One Cup Quarter-Finals, our next league game will be at home against Middlesborough next Saturday.
MOT xx <3 xx