Bent's winner no accident

DARREN Bent overcame a bizarre training ground accident to fire in the winner against Leeds United and put Ipswich Town joint top of the Championship.The EADT can reveal that the 20-year-old Blues striker had a lucky escape after driving a medi-cart into the side of a bus less than 48 hours before knocking in the winner on Saturday.

By Derek Davis

DARREN Bent overcame a bizarre training ground accident to fire in the winner against Leeds United and put Ipswich Town joint top of the Championship.

The EADT can reveal that the 20-year-old Blues striker had a lucky escape after driving a medi-cart into the side of a bus less than 48 hours before knocking in the winner on Saturday.

Bent suffered no more than a bruised ego after the little prang and spent the day worrying he would get it in the ear from the manager after causing minor damage.


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But he was quickly forgiven and told to focus on the game, which he duly did and netted his fifth goal in as many matches with the 51st minute winner.

Bent admitted: “I had a little accident with the cart but I was fine though.”

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The England Under-21 striker, who will be looking for his eighth international goal in 10 appearances for his country, in a friendly against Spain in midweek, was also relieved that the goal against Leeds United was given.

He admitted he was concerned that the goal may have been ruled out after he nudged the ball out of keeper Neil Sullivan's hands after beating Danny Pugh to a loose ball.

A relieved Bent said: “Sometimes you get those decisions and sometimes you don't.

“I looked towards the linesman when the ball went in the net because I wasn't sure it would stand. Shefki had a goal disallowed at Leicester recently which wasn't as close as mine.”

The goal rightly stood, just as the one at Leicester should have, and Town have now gone unbeaten in the league for 11 games, a record going back two months, to September 14 when they lost at Stoke.

Bent has been prolific in that spell knocking in five in five games, ironically the only game he has not scored in recently was the 5-1 win against Sheffield United. In the main, Bent's goals tend to be of the classy variety, he described his second at Burnley as the best he has ever scored, but this one was a determined poacher's finish, although probably the scrappiest he has ever netted.

Bent said: “The gaffer is always telling me that I don't score enough scruffy goals - I think this one hit both shins before it went in - but they all count and I was delighted it proved to be the winner.”

The Blues star with more assists than anyone else, just ahead of Kevin Horlock, almost set Dean Bowditch up for a goal after a second-half reshuffle.

Town went three up front and reaped immediate rewards. Bent said: “It was a really tight game. There was no space anywhere in the first half but when we changed it the game opened up a little.”

The forward also played his part in helping Town to their third clean sheet in four games.

He said: “Jason De Vos has come in and has been fantastic. You always know with Bam Bam you are going to get 100 per cent and Kevin Horlock sits just in front of those two and does so much. They are a big reason why we are keeping clean sheets now.”

n Pablo Counago, Matt Richards, Lewis Price and Aidan Collins, who were all unused substitutes in Saturday's win over Leeds United, are expected to play for Town reserves against Spurs at Stevenage tonight.

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