The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Paul Green

DARYL Mur­phy’s re­turn to form con­tin­ued with a dou­ble at The Val­ley – and Ip­swich boss Mick McCarthy in­sists he never doubted his front-man.

Mur­phy strug­gled at the start of the cam­paign af­ter fin­ish­ing as last sea­son’s top scorer in the Cham­pi­onship with 27 goals to his name.

But the striker’s sur­prise bar­ren spell is now well and truly a dis­tant mem­ory, as ev­i­denced by his six goals in three Cham­pi­onship games.

Trac­tor Boys boss McCarthy ex­plained: “We had a goalscorer who hadn’t scored in 13 games, and now he has scored six in three.

“There lies the dif­fer­ence – we’ve put to bed the chances that we’ve cre­ated and we did de­fend well to­day.

“Daryl came back late from his pre­sea­son be­cause he played in the sum­mer with Ire­land.

“There was a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge when he got back with Fred­die Sears who had been bril­liant, and Brett Pit­man who has been ex­cel­lent.”

McCarthy added: “I think Brett Pit­man has been a big part of him (Mur­phy) get­ting back to form be­cause when I put him in I felt he would take a bit of weight off him.

“What he has ben­e­fited from is our be­lief in him and our con­sis­tency in just keep­ing him go­ing.”

Charl­ton fans held a sec­ond minute protest against the way their club is be­ing run by ab­sen­tee Bel­gian owner Roland Duchatelet.

They suf­fered a blow on the pitch 11 min­utes later when in­flu­en­tial skip­per John­nie Jackson limped off to be re­placed by Chris Solly. Jackson’s de­par­ture de­flated the hosts and they fell be­hind in com­i­cal cir­cum­stances.

Goal­keeper Stephen Hen­der­son ini­tially did well to deny Fred­die Sears, but the dan­ger was only half cleared as Ains­ley Mait­land-Niles whipped the ball back into the box where a game of head ten­nis en­sued.

It even­tu­ally ended with Mur­phy head­ing past Hen­der­son, al­though re­plays showed Solly had been shoved in the face by Tommy Smith as he flicked it on to the goalscorer.

The visi­tors dou­bled their ad­van­tage in first half stop­page time when Luke Cham­bers’ long pass found Sears in­side the box and his shot took a slight de­flec­tion off Pa­trick Bauer on its way past Hen­der­son.

Ip­swich pulled fur­ther clear mid­way through the sec­ond half as a great pass­ing move ended with Mur­phy sweep­ing home af­ter Jonathan Dou­glas had clev­erly dum­mied the ball into his path.

Dean Gerken had to be alert to keep out Bauer and Ri­cardo Vaz Te twice as the hosts tried in vain to give their dis­grun­tled fol­low­ers some­thing to cheer.

But they were ul­ti­mately un­able to get them­selves back in the game, leav­ing in­terim head coach Karel Fra­eye to ad­mit ev­ery­thing that could have gone wrong for his side had done so.

He said:“All the sta­tis­tics are in our favour ex­cept one and it is un­be­liev­able that we did not score and that they scored three goals out of this game.

“The first goal is very im­por­tant for ev­ery team and I think the first goal should never have been al­lowed be­cause there was a clear foul and then it is very dif­fi­cult to de­fend.

“I think that might have been de­ci­sive for the game.The sec­ond and the third goals we didn’t look too good our­selves and it was one of the games where things were against us.

“Firstly with the in­jury of Jackson, who really was the heart of the team last week, and los­ing him was a blow, al­though I think the team re­acted very well.

“Then the first goal and the tim­ing of the sec­ond goal was very bad.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

BANG: Ip­swich’s Jonathan Dou­glas col­lides with Alou Diarra. Inset, in-form Daryl Mur­phy cel­e­brates one of his two goals

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