Ipswich 1 West Brom 2: Jay Rodriguez’s 100th career goal kick-starts Baggies’ promotion charge

JAY RODRIGUEZ’S ninth of the season and Harvey Barnes’ slick strike kick-started West Brom’s charge for automatic promotion.

With the rest of the contenders playing today, Darren Moore can sit back and put his feet up with his Baggies sitting pretty in second.

Ipswich 1 West Brom 2: Jay Rodriguez’s 100th career goal kick-starts Baggies’ promotion chargeReuters3 Jay Rodriguez scored his 100th career goal in West Brom's win over Ipswich

Rodriguez poked home from close range after 26 minutes to claim his 100th career goal, while Barnes smashed late into the bottom corner for his seventh of the campaign.

While Wet Brom spent spells under the cosh it was a comfortable night for English footballs top scorers.

Ipswich were full of energy and endeavour but simply don’t possess anywhere near the quality at West Brom’s disposal.

Whereas they looked clueless under Paul Hurst, new boss Paul Lambert has instilled an identity which the whole squad, and fans, have got behind.

Ipswich 1 West Brom 2: Jay Rodriguez’s 100th career goal kick-starts Baggies’ promotion chargeReuters3 Jay Rodriguez opens the scoring for West Brom against Ipswich

But wins are the order of the day right now and before they know it the Tractor Boys could be cut adrift and staring down the barrel of League One.

And while life is looking rosy for West Brom going into the weekend, the opposite is true for Ipswich.

Still winless at home, rooted to the bottom and five points behind their closest rivals, things could look even bleaker come this evening if results go against them.

With over 22,000 at a lively Portman Road it was Moore’s side which started the calmer.

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They had their first sniff after Ipswich youngster Flynn Downes carelessly gave the ball away in midfield.

And he was almost made to pay after Jay Rodriguez nodded over from the resulting corner.

But after some early nerves the Tractor Boys settled and had their first shot courtesy of a fizzer on the half-volley by Jonas Knudsen, which went narrowly over.

West Brom hot shot Harvey Barnes, so impressive this season on loan from Leicester, then went close for Moore’s side.

After a neat one-two with Rodriguez the England U21 star, 20, could only drag his shot wide from the edge of the box though.

Ipswich 1 West Brom 2: Jay Rodriguez’s 100th career goal kick-starts Baggies’ promotion chargeReuters3 Harvey Barnes doubles the lead for West Brom against Ipswich

And the Baggies should have been ahead after 23 minutes – after Rodriguez had it swotted it from his path as he was about to let rip, the ball fell kindly to Ahmed Hegazi, but the Egyptian sliced horribly wide from six-yards out.

But Moore’s free-scorers were in the lead through Rodgriguez, 29, just three minutes later, their 38th of the campaign already.

After Kieran Gibbs had bamboozled Jordan Spence, his cross was over hit out to the right.

Matt Phillips swung a looping ball back in to the far post and Rodriguez was in the right place to tuck home unopposed after Gibbs nodded it square.

The Baggies looked a huge threat whenever playing through the lines on the break.

And they should have doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time.

After an Ipswich corner was cleared Harvey Barnes led a rapid counter with the Tractor Boys all at sea, only saved by Trevor Chalobah’s last-gasp block to deny Rodriguez a second.

The Tractor Boys came out all guns blazing after the break and came the closest they had to scoring.

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