Charlton Athletic 0-3 Ipswich Town: Murphy brace maintains Tractor Boys' good form
Goalscorers Sears and Murphy (second left) celebrate for Ipswich - image via @OfficialITFC

Impressive performances from forward Daryl Murphy and goalkeeper Dean Gerken inspired Ipswich Town to a convincing victory over Charlton Athletic in Saturday's early kick-off in the Championship.

Top scorer Murphy netted either side of a Freddie Sears strike moments before half time, with Gerken making a string of important saves in the second period to ensure the points would be heading back to Ipswich.

The result sees the away side extend their unbeaten run to six matches, but leaves Charlton still well involved in this season's relegation battle.

Lookman bright as hosts start well

It was the hosts who started the game more brightly in the opening exchanges, with teenage forward Ademola Lookman, who made his senior debut earlier in November, seeing the first shot of the game deflected behind for a corner.

Lookman showed some good vision shortly after to thread a ball through for Tareiq Holmes-Dennis in behind, but Christophe Berra used his experience to put his body between ball and attacker to see the danger away for a goal kick.

Murphy went close at the other end, nodding narrowly wide of the target from a Brett Pitman delivery, before Murphy and Sears were both denied from well-hit volleys.

Murphy reacts to open the scoring

Lookman seemed the main threat for the home side as he chopped inside and made room for a shot only to fire wide, but shortly before the half-hour mark Ipswich had a goal which they had been pressing for for some time.

It was by no means a pretty goal but Murphy showed his poacher's instinct amidst a chaotic goalmouth scramble, stooping to nod the ball over the line to the delight of the two and half thousand travelling supporters.

Jonathan Douglas thought he had doubled the visitors' advantage soon after but his flicked header just dropped wide of the post, while Jordan Cousins saw his headed effort at the other end comfortably saved by Gerken as both sides seemed to be favouring a crossing game.

Sears stabs home Ipswich's second

However, on the stroke of half time, Mick McCarthy's side doubled their advantage seemingly out of nothing. A long ball into the box wasn't dealt with by the home defenders and Sears capitalised, picking the ball up and firing in at the near post.

The hosts pressed for a goal back early in the second period but found an in-form goalkeeper in the form of Gerken keeping them at bay.

He twice came out to smother potentially dangerous situations in between denying a well-struck effort from debutant Ricardo Vaz Tê, while Murphy fizzed a shot narrowly wide at the other end.

Murphy scores again, Gerken ensures the points

With 20 minutes to play, though, the away side killed the game off with Murphy grabbing his second of the game, finishing confidently at the end of a well-worked team move around the penalty area.

The final portion of the game belonged solely to Gerken. The home side threw everything at his goal in a desperate attempt to claw something back from the game, but he made a number of sublime stops to deny Vaz Tê and imposing German defender Patrick Bauer.

Contrasting emotions in the dressing rooms

As the full-time whistle sounded, the Tractor Boys departed with a deserved victory, but the gloss of the 3-0 scoreline owed much to the form of the man between the posts.

However, that will have been of little consolation to a Charlton side left looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone from their dressing room, with their back-to-back wins either side of the recent international break seeming an awfully long time ago.

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