Tom Ince netted for a third successive game as Stoke City closed the gap on the top six to just four points courtesy of a comfortable 2-0 triumph over Ipswich Town.
The former England U21 international, who had scored in the recent clashes with Queens Park Rangers and Reading, opened the scoring with a great finish from 12-yards just before the half-time interval.
Welsh international Joe Allen added a second on the hour mark with a sublime finish of his own, rounding off a superb move down the left flank which involved the industrious Erik Pieters.
There were late opportunities to have added to the score-line, although boss Gary Rowett will undoubtedly be happier with the points than the performance. The home side gradually grew into the game, and begun to dictate proceedings, they often struggled to find any real sights of goal, with Ince going closest with a curling strike which flew harmlessly over from 20-yards.
That changed right on the stroke of the interval though when the first passage of genuine quality culminated in Ince firing home with his right foot after Sam Clucas had picked him out with a delightful ball.
The start of the second half was always likely to see something of a response from the visitors as they looked to peg the home side back, but for all of their endeavours they rarely troubled a determined and well-organised City backline and we add another cleansheet and extend the side’s unbeaten run to eight matches.
Four goals, three points and a much improved display was the start of Michael O’Neill’s reign at Stoke City as the Potters overcame Barnsley 4-2 at Oakwell. A penalty from Lee Gregory and a Joe Read more…