First half goals see Town back to winning ways PLUS full match facts

Ipswich Town 2 Preston North End 1

IPSWICH Town returned to winning ways after their Easter weekend disasters with a narrow success over bottom club Preston at a sunny Portman Road on Saturday.

Jason Scotland and David Norris put the Blues two goals ahead inside 19 minutes and the game looked over with the home side playing attractive first half football.

But a young Preston came alive after the break and after Paul Coutts pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute the home goal had rather a charmed life.

It was Town’s last home game and it summed up their season - pretty mundane.


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Town made five changes as manager Jewell rang the changes in a rare move for him. Out went Lee-Barrett, Healy and Drury all dropped and McAuley and O’Dea who are both injured.

In their places were Fulop in goal for his first senior game since the home Watford defeat in the middle of March, T Brown, Kennedy, a fit again Bullard and Murray who was recalled from Torquay last weekend and was making his full Ipswich debut.

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Murphy came into the squad for the first time this year while Eastman was also on the bench having not featured in the final 18 since the defeat at Millwall in mid-January. Former Copleston High School pupil Whight, 17, was also recalled to the bench.

Preston included Mayor, fresh from scoring a midweek hat-trick for the reserves, plus fellow youngsters Devine and Barton.

There was no place for experienced strikers Hume and Ellington in the final squad for a Preston side that was relegated after losing twice over the Easter weekend.

The visitors had been beaten just once by Town in their previous 12 meetings.

Town started in a 4-4-2 formation after mainly playing 4-5-1 under Jewell’s management. Scotland and Murray were up front with Norris and Carson the wide midfield players.

In the tenth minute Scotland netted his tenth goal of the season after a superb long raking pass by Kennedy. Carson’s run was well timed and he was able to pull the ball back from the left by-line with Scotland unmarked in front of goal and able to beat Turner comfortably with a low left foot shot to the keeper’s left.

Skipper Norris went back to being top score nine minutes later after the inexperienced Preston defence was carved wide open. Scotland did the early work and his pass released Bullard down the left. Murray was on the receiving end of a square pass with Turner doing well to block Murray’s shot with his left boot. The ball ran out to Norris who fired his 11th goal of the campaign into an unguarded net from 16 yards.

There was very little pressure in the bright sunlight on the players of either side, with Ipswich playing the ball around neatly in midfield with Scotland showing nice touches. In the 33rd minute Leadbitter blasted a low shot a yard wide after a busy Murray had made ground down the right.

In the 43rd minute Bullard’s ball released Murray from a square defence with Turner making a block after his defence had been breached far too easily again.

Out of the blue Preston pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute. Coutts turned Kennedy just inside the Town half and ran into space before aiming his low shot between the legs of Delaney and into the net at the far post from 19 yards.

Five minutes later the visitors were close to a leveller when skiiper Jones reached the left by-line and Fulop was unable to hold on to the driven cross. The ball loitered around the six yard box before Brown was able to boot clear.

Town lived even more dangerously in the 62nd minute causing Preston’s 200 fans to make more noise than home supporters when a misplaced Leadbitter pass allowed Barton to set up Nicholson with Fulop coming out to block well.

After playing impressively in the opening period Ipswich were now often at sixes and sevens with an equaliser looking likely.

From Coutts low 74th minute cross from the right, Proctor got a touch right in front of goal and Fulop looked behind him as if to expect the ball to be entering the net. But it had been slowed going through his legs and the keeper was able stretch and pick up the ball.

There were loud cheers when Peters came on having been an unused substitute so many times since January. He took his place on the right of midfield as the game petered out.

Teams

Ipswich Town: Fulop; Edwards, T Brown, Delaney, Kennedy; Carson (Peters 84), Bullard, Norris, Leadbitter, Murray (Drury 65), Scotland (Civelli 86). Substitutes: Murphy, Healy, Whight, Eastman

Preston North End: Turner; Leather, Morgan, Devine, Jones; Coutts, Nicholson, Barton (Middleton 69), Treacy (Proctor 28); Mayor, C Brown (Hayes 46). Substitutes: Arestidou, Miller, Carter, Clucas.

Referee: Mr K Wright (Cambridgeshire)

Attendance: 18,431 (228 Preston)

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FULL MATCH IPSWICH TOWN v PRESTON NORTH END

Marks

Ipswich Town: Fulop 6; Edwards 6, T Brown 6, Delaney 6, Kennedy 5; Norris 7, Bullard 8, Leadbitter 6, Carson 7; Murray 6, Scotland 6.

Preston North End: Turner 6; Leather 5, Morgan 6, Devine 6, Jones 7; Coutts 7, Nicholson 6, Barton 6, Treacy 6; Mayor, C Brown 5.

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STATS

Ipswich Town 2

Goals: Scotland 10, Norris 19,

Bookings: Brown 1,

Sent off: -

Shots on target: 6

Shots off target: 7

Woodwork: -

Corners: 7

Free-kicks conceded (including off sides): 13

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Preston North End 1

Goal: Coutts 52.

Bookings: Mayor 64.,

Sent off: -

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 7

Woodwork: -

Corners: 7

Free-kicks conceded (including off sides): 5

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