West Bromwich Albion striker Jay Rodriguez netted his ninth goal of the season to open the scoring at Portman Road

West Bromwich Albion moved up to second place in the Championship with victory at bottom club Ipswich Town.

Jay Rodriguez scored Albion’s first-half opener, netting his ninth goal of the season from six yards after Kieran Gibbs had nodded a right-wing cross back across goal.

Rodriguez and Ahmed Hegazi wasted good opportunities before Harvey Barnes, who had earlier struck the post from 10 yards, fired low into the corner from a similar range to double Albion’s lead.

Ipswich substitute Kayden Jackson pounced on Tosin Adarabioyo’s error to cause a nervy finale and youngster Jack Lankester clipped the post with a stoppage-time free-kick, but Albion held on to move within two points of leaders Norwich.

Meanwhile, Paul Lambert’s first defeat in three games as Ipswich boss leaves the Suffolk side still without a home win this season and five points adrift at the foot of the second tier.

Albion beat fellow promotion challengers Leeds 4-1 just before the international break and, although they could not replicate the clinical finishing of that impressive victory, two well-worked goals at Portman Road were enough to secure their ninth league win of the campaign.

Middlesbrough, Leeds and Sheffield United could all overtake the Baggies again if they win their respective matches on Saturday.

Ipswich manager Paul Lambert told BBC Radio Suffolk: “I thought in the first half we were a little bit tentative.

“You look at their bench – they’ve got guys that have actually won the Premier League coming on and we’ve got young academy kids making a name for themselves.

“I said to the lads sometimes people say the table doesn’t lie, well it does lie at times.”

West Brom head coach Darren Moore told BBC WM: “I thought it was an excellent away-day performance.

“I thought we dominated the game once it settled down after 10 or 15 minutes and we created chances – we scored two goals, I think we could’ve got more.

“I said to the boys that Paul Lambert’s got this team (Ipswich) in the ascendancy – they won’t be where they are for much longer because they work hard, they press and they’re an honest team.”

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