Carlos Edwards scores a last-gasp winner for Ipswich at Derby
MICK McCARTHY admitted to daylight robbery after a Carlos Edwards screamer sent Ipswich six points clear of the drop zone.
Jamie Ward missed a first half penalty for the Rams whose three game winning streak came to an end despite a dominant performance at Pride Park.
“We’ve burgled it, McCarthy said. “The police are coming. I think I heard the sirens.There’s a robbery gone on.
“We’ve had to stick at it because we’ve not played particularly well and Derby did play well.
“We managed to fight our corner, but Derby were the better team.
“Did we deserve the three points? Not on our performance.
“But it was a great strike from Carlos who ran his socks off for 90 minutes then did that.
“We worked hard, we fought our corner and we got lucky. But who is bothered how we played?” Derby’s 2-1 victory at Portman Road in October left Ipswich rooted to the bottom of the table and cost Paul Jewell his job.
And although the Tractor Boys have staged a recovery under McCarthy and started proceedings in 17th place, only three points separated the East Anglian outfit from the bottom three at kick-off.
Scott Loach kept them on level terms by tipping Craig Bryson’s volley smartly round the post on 29 minutes.
And after luckless striker Conor Sammon hit the post moments later, Loach took centre-stage again by saving Ward’s penalty on the stroke of half-time following a Tommy Smith foul on Richard Keogh.
The Rams’ bad luck in-front of goal continued on 62 minutes when Chris Martin converted Sammon’s pass from close range, only for the assistant referee’s flag to intervene.
Jake Buxton had been the unlikely hero of Derby’s Easter Monday victory at Leeds with an 88th minute winner. And the former Burton Albion defender almost did it again 15 minutes from time when he headed Paul Coutts’ corner inches wide.
Ward also went close with a header and Jeff Hendrick’s low effort was blocked by Loach as the Tractor Boys’ goal continued to lead a charmed existence.
But despite Derby’s dominance, the visitors almost snatched a smash-and-grab win on 87 minutes when Aaron Creswell’s drive fizzed inches over the crossbar.
And, in the third minute of stoppage time, McCarthy’s men hit the jackpot as Edwards’ mazy dribble and 18-yard thunderbolt handed them a priceless three points and left Nigel Clough searching for a new penalty taker.
“We’ve lost the game but we didn’t deserve to,” he said.
“We had enough chances to get the important goal which would have changed the context of the game.
“But we’ve seen so many games over the years where a team hardly has a shot then, in the 93rd minute, someone raps one into the top corner.
“We gave a needless ball away in midfield and conceded from it. It really sticks in your claw when you lose like that.
“With the mentality we are trying to instill, as much as we would like to win the game, we should have made sure we didn’t lose it.
“We’ll look at changing our penalty taker. It’s a highly unusual stat to miss four on the spin.”
THE WALL: Ipswich goalkeeper Scott Loach saves Jamie Ward’s penalty. Inset: Carlos Edwards hits the winner