Championship
IpswichIpswich Town1BirminghamBirmingham City0
Joe Garner
Joe Garner left Rangers one year into a three-year deal, having scored 10 goals in 37 appearances for the club last season

Joe Garner marked his return to English football by scoring the winner for Ipswich Town against Birmingham City.

Blues were the more threatening side before the break, with Che Adams and Clayton Donaldson both going close.

Ipswich suffered a first-half blow, with Andre Dozzell leaving the field on a stretcher with a knee injury.

Town returned from the interval buoyant and Garner met a Jonas Knudsen cross to slide home, while Freddie Sears failed to add a second from close range.

Ipswich goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski made a series of saves either side of the break to ensure Ipswich, a side that lost their final pre-season match 6-1 to League One side Charlton a week earlier, claimed all three points in their Championship opener against Harry Redknapp's Blues.

Marc Roberts, one of thee summer arrivals to start for Blues, and Emilio Nsue were among those to be denied by the home goalkeeper.

Eighteen-year-old midfielder Dozzell, who helped England win the Under-19 European Championship title last month, looked bright for the hosts and played with poise, but needed treatment once before eventually being forced off in first-half injury time.

While it made for a miserable end to the first half, Garner ensured the second started positively, scoring his first goal in the Championship since April 2016, in what was his last full campaign in England's second-tier before leaving Preston for one season in the Scottish Premiership with Rangers.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy:

"For me it was vital we won and played well. I've had lovely support but there would have been an element waiting for me and I wouldn't blame them because we were rubbish last year.

"Somebody asked me about my ambition and that is to build a team and win games.

"I've had lovely support from everybody at the club and the fans. They turned up and it humbles me. It was nice to repay it with a good performance and a win."

Line-ups

Ipswich

  • 33Bialkowski
  • 2IorfaSubstituted forWebsterat 74'minutes
  • 12SpenceBooked at 48mins
  • 4Chambers
  • 5Smith
  • 3Knudsen
  • 18Ward
  • 8Skuse
  • 23DozzellSubstituted forDownesat 45+5'minutes
  • 20Sears
  • 14Garner

Substitutes

  • 1Gerken
  • 6Webster
  • 10McGoldrick
  • 11Celina
  • 21Downes
  • 22Nydam
  • 30Kenlock

Birmingham

  • 13Stockdale
  • 2Nsue
  • 28Morrison
  • 4RobertsBooked at 89mins
  • 3Grounds
  • 26Davis
  • 17Ndoye
  • 8Gardner
  • 19MaghomaSubstituted forKeitaat 79'minutes
  • 14Adams
  • 9Donaldson

Substitutes

  • 5Shotton
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 29Kuszczak
  • 33Keita
  • 44Brock-Madsen
  • 45Harding
  • 50Gleeson
Referee:
Tim Robinson
Attendance:
18,153

Match Stats

Home TeamIpswichAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home12
Away13
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ipswich Town 1, Birmingham City 0.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City) with an attempt from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Craig Gardner with a cross following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Tommy Smith.

  5. Booking

    Marc Roberts (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Marc Roberts (Birmingham City).

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Freddie Sears (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  10. Post update

    Delay in match Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town) because of an injury.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Marc Roberts with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Flynn Downes (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Craig Gardner (Birmingham City).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town).

  15. Post update

    Che Adams (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Post update

    Offside, Ipswich Town. Grant Ward tries a through ball, but Freddie Sears is caught offside.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Cheick Keita replaces Jacques Maghoma.

  18. Post update

    Joe Garner (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Michael Morrison (Birmingham City).

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Freddie Sears (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Spence.

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