Ipswich Town crept to within four points of the play-off spots with a win over Birmingham City as Daryl Murphy hit his ninth goal of the season.

Murphy had an open goal after being played in by Frank Nouble's cross.

Mick McCarthy's men had not won since 1 February but Birmingham are in greater trouble, having won just two Championship matches in 2014.

They are nine points clear of the relegation zone - but have played three more games than 22nd-placed Charlton.

Mick McCarthy: Ipswich Town manager on Birmingham win

Birmingham had the better opportunities early on, Lee Novak having the first real chance after a good piece of control, only to shoot wide.

But Ipswich kept at it, Nouble going close himself, before linking with Paul Taylor to set up Murphy.

Post-match: Birmingham boss Clark

Nouble's cross was so perfect, it left Murphy at the back post with a clear goal to fire into.

After the break, Ipswich looked to build on their lead, Taylor forcing Darren Randolph into a smart save, before another attempt whistled wide.

Novak missed another opportunity for Birmingham from Chris Burke's cross, before Randolph denied Ipswich sub Paul Anderson with his fingertips.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy: "I think it was the right result - just. But I don't think we dominated Birmingham by any stretch of the imagination.

"The top five are clear and Wigan are the favourites for the sixth spot. They are ahead of us and they still have players from the Premier League last season, but we are still in there, scrapping away."

Birmingham boss Lee Clark: "We were a little toothless. We didn't have enough quality. The defence was solid and we stood up to a big physical team in Ipswich.

"We did the ugly stuff well but we didn't do enough when we had possession. We lacked that quality and I don't think we deserved anything from the game."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Ipswich Town

  • 22 Gerken
  • 04 Chambers
  • 03 Cresswell
  • 08 Skuse Booked
  • 06 Berra
  • 05 Smith
  • 18 Tabb (Hunt - 68' )
  • 16 Green
  • 09 Murphy
  • 26 Taylor (Mings - 88' )
  • 35 Nouble (Anderson - 52' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Loach
  • 11 Anderson
  • 12 Hunt
  • 14 Wordsworth
  • 15 Mings
  • 24 Richardson
  • 27 Ebanks-Blake

Birmingham City

  • 01 Randolph
  • 23 Spector Booked
  • 04 Robinson
  • 36 Huws
  • 06 Martin
  • 14 Packwood
  • 31 Caddis (Ibe - 45' )
  • 20 Lee
  • 19 Zigic Booked
  • 09 Macheda (Burke - 59' )
  • 12 Novak (Howard - 79' )

Substitutes

  • 07 Burke
  • 08 Ibe
  • 10 Howard
  • 13 Doyle
  • 22 Shinnie
  • 24 Adeyemi
  • 37 Blackett
Ref: Keith Stroud
Att: 15,596

Match Stats

Shots

13 4

On target

7 1

Corners

3 5

Fouls

14 9

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Ipswich Town 1, Birmingham City 0.

90:00 +5:38 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Ipswich Town 1, Birmingham City 0.

90:00 +3:54

Offside, Birmingham City. Darren Randolph tries a through ball, but Nikola Zigic is caught offside.

90:00 +3:21

Paul Anderson (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +3:21

Foul by Brian Howard (Birmingham City).

90:00 +2:30

Foul by Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town).

90:00 +2:30

Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:58

Attempt saved. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Cresswell.

88:08 Booking

Booking Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

87:55

Foul by Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town).

87:55

Emyr Huws (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

87:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ipswich Town. Tyrone Mings replaces Paul Taylor.

85:33

Offside, Birmingham City. Aaron Martin tries a through ball, but Jordon Ibe is caught offside.

84:26

Attempt blocked. Paul Taylor (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Chambers.

83:48

Stephen Hunt (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

83:48

Foul by Oliver Lee (Birmingham City).

81:06

Attempt saved. Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich Town) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Paul Green with a cross.

80:13

Hand ball by Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town).

79:25

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Aaron Cresswell.

78:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Birmingham City. Brian Howard replaces Lee Novak.

76:32

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Darren Randolph.

76:14

Attempt saved. Paul Anderson (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

74:20

Foul by Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town).

74:20

Chris Burke (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

70:09

Foul by Paul Taylor (Ipswich Town).

70:09

Chris Burke (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ipswich Town. Stephen Hunt replaces Jay Tabb.

67:27

Attempt missed. Luke Chambers (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Paul Taylor.

65:06

Attempt blocked. Paul Taylor (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jay Tabb.

64:29

Foul by Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich Town).

64:29

Chris Burke (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:48

Offside, Birmingham City. Lee Novak tries a through ball, but Chris Burke is caught offside.

62:12

Attempt missed. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Chris Burke with a cross.

60:10

Foul by Paul Green (Ipswich Town).

60:10

Emyr Huws (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:09 Booking

Booking Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

59:05

Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

59:05

Foul by Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City).

58:25

Foul by Paul Anderson (Ipswich Town).

58:25

Jordon Ibe (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

58:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Birmingham City. Chris Burke replaces Federico Macheda.

57:31

Attempt missed. Paul Taylor (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Daryl Murphy.

56:05

Attempt saved. Jordon Ibe (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

52:22

Attempt saved. Paul Taylor (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

51:43

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

51:41 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ipswich Town. Paul Anderson replaces Frank Nouble because of an injury.

50:34

Delay in match Frank Nouble (Ipswich Town) because of an injury.

49:21

Attempt saved. Jay Tabb (Ipswich Town) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Paul Taylor.

45:52

Foul by Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town).

45:52

Emyr Huws (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00

Second Half begins Ipswich Town 1, Birmingham City 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Birmingham City. Jordon Ibe replaces Paul Caddis.

45:00 +1:32 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Ipswich Town 1, Birmingham City 0.

45:00 +1:01

Attempt missed. Luke Chambers (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Paul Green.

43:26

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Aaron Cresswell.

42:48

Foul by Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich Town).

42:48

Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

41:40

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Christophe Berra.

39:54

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

38:59

Offside, Ipswich Town. Luke Chambers tries a through ball, but Frank Nouble is caught offside.

38:49

Paul Green (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:49

Foul by Emyr Huws (Birmingham City).

38:32 Booking

Booking Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card.

37:44 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Ipswich Town 1, Birmingham City 0. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Frank Nouble with a cross.

36:31

Attempt saved. Frank Nouble (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Aaron Cresswell.

33:46

Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

33:46

Foul by Paul Caddis (Birmingham City).

32:40

Offside, Birmingham City. Jonathan Spector tries a through ball, but Federico Macheda is caught offside.

32:14

Foul by Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich Town).

32:14

Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:51

Attempt missed. Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Aaron Cresswell with a cross following a set piece situation.

29:04

Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:04

Foul by Paul Caddis (Birmingham City).

24:00

Foul by Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town).

24:00

Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:22

Offside, Birmingham City. Aaron Martin tries a through ball, but Federico Macheda is caught offside.

21:00

Offside, Birmingham City. Darren Randolph tries a through ball, but Nikola Zigic is caught offside.

20:36

Foul by Luke Chambers (Ipswich Town).

20:36

Paul Robinson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:10

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Paul Caddis.

16:52

Attempt missed. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Paul Caddis.

15:33

Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:33

Foul by Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City).

14:57

Offside, Ipswich Town. Cole Skuse tries a through ball, but Frank Nouble is caught offside.

12:12

Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:12

Foul by Federico Macheda (Birmingham City).

11:33

Dean Gerken (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:33

Foul by Aaron Martin (Birmingham City).

11:12

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Frank Nouble.

10:49

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Christophe Berra.

9:53

Paul Green (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:53

Foul by Emyr Huws (Birmingham City).

8:55

Offside, Birmingham City. Darren Randolph tries a through ball, but Nikola Zigic is caught offside.

8:24

Offside, Ipswich Town. Luke Chambers tries a through ball, but Paul Taylor is caught offside.

6:53

Offside, Birmingham City. Aaron Martin tries a through ball, but Federico Macheda is caught offside.

2:42

Attempt missed. Lee Novak (Birmingham City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Nikola Zigic with a headed pass.

0:27

Foul by Frank Nouble (Ipswich Town).

0:27

Emyr Huws (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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