First-half Parry strike sinks Town

By ELVIN KINGA GOAL by Paul Parry in the 31st minute denied Ipswich Town any reward at Ninian Park this afternoon.It was another depressing away display by the Blues, and they have now gone 12 games away from Portman Road without a victory.

By ELVIN KING

A GOAL by Paul Parry in the 31st minute denied Ipswich Town any reward at Ninian Park this afternoon.

It was another depressing away display by the Blues, and they have now gone 12 games away from Portman Road without a victory.

The match kicked-off at noon, and inside the first minute Alan Lee struck the bar and the post. If Lee had netted it could have been a different match, but apart from a late Tommy Miller shot cleared off the line Town never looked like scoring.

Ipswich had no control of midfield and this is one department that manager Jim Magilton will be looking to improve if he wants to see his side pick up any away wins.

Town manager Magilton sprung a surprise when he named Williams in the side on the left of midfield. It was the former Welsh international and schoolboy Cardiff supporter's first start of the season after rupturing ankle ligaments in pre-season.

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Williams for Clarke was the only change from the side that thrashed Bristol City 6-0 in the last match - with the Championship enjoying a two-week international break.

Magilton, who insists it is about attitude and players rather than systems, opted to use a 4-4-2 formation against a Cardiff side that had won just once at home in the league this season.

Ipswich had lost just one of their last eight league games against Cardiff, who had no place in their squad for former England striker Fowler. Another ex-England player - Sinclair - pulled out of the squad yesterday through injury.

The game got of to an eventful start with Lee bursting through the home defence to lob the keeper. The ball took an age to drop but when it did it struck the far post and a relieved Cardiff defence was able to clear.

Cardiff then won a corner off Harding, and there were strong appeals for a penalty as the ball was played back into the danger area.

De Vos was furious with Loovens as he thought the home player had dived. They went nose to nose, with the referee waving play on and then speaking severely to Loovens.

In the eighth minute De Vos was booked for a foul, and as the tempo stayed high, Alexander made a full length diving save to his right to deny Thompson from netting with a 20-yard shot.

Ledley was the next name to go into the referee's book for a late lunge at Harding, with Ipswich under considerable pressure. But they went up field in the 13th minute to fashion a chance with Counago finding Lee, the number 14 having his left-foot 18-yard shot saved high by Schmeichel.

Parry was seeing plenty of the ball on the Cardiff right, but it was Rae who provided the next danger in the 14th minute, when it took a swift challenge by Wright to snuff out the danger as the number four threatened to run clear deep inside the penalty area.

It had started to drizzle as Town began to gain more control of the ball in what had started as a fast and furious contest.

Williams had to clear hastily for a corner as Parry moved into the danger area with menace, but this came tio nothing with skipper Purse pulled up for a foul on his opposite number De Vos.

Ipswich were breeched in the 31st minute PARRY made the most of the room he was finding on the right to put the home team ahead.

The goal stemmed from a left-sided throw, and after Thompson did a neat back flick on the centre spot, Rae moved forward to find Parry, who cut in from the right and curled an 18-yard left-footer around the diving Alexander and into the far corner of the goal.

It was a deserved goal, and it should have been two a minute later when Ipswich struggled to clear their lines.

The ball found a way to Hasselbaink in acres of space to the left of the goal. He delayed his shot and Wright was able to get back to cover.

The early start to today's game was caused by the rugby union game between Wales and South Africa taking place at the nearby Millennium Stadium with a 2.45pm start time.

The Welsh rugby team was staying in the same hotel as the Ipswich party on the outskirts of the city.

After the very early strike against the post Ipswich had not worried the home defence unduly, with Cardiff breaking smartly and finding plenty of space down their right side.

Building work is taking place outside Ninian Park as Cardiff await the construction of a new stadium with the usual parking facilities much

Williams, in full flow, was tripped five yards outside the penalty area with Walters shooting just wide after Miller's free-kick had been blocked. Half-time:

Cardiff City 1 Ipswsich Town 0

There were no changes at the interval although Ipswich came out with a bit more fight as they now attacked the goal where their fans were situated behind.

Ipswich had scored against Cardiff every time they met them in the last 41 years, but they needed to pick up their play if they were going to keep this impressive run going.

Cardiff had won ten corners to none in the first half, with Ipswich gaining their first when Lee broke down the right side.

This was cleared by a leaping Purse - the home skipper climbing above his Ipswich counterpart De Vos.

Counago was unable to reproduce the command he finds at Portman Road although he was trying to get involved as much as possible.

But it was no surprise when Counago was taken off after 58 minutes to be replaced by Haynes, the newcomer moving up front to partner Lee.

The floodlights were on despite the time to signify the gloominess of the afternoon with a drizzle now increasing in strength.

It was cold as well with little to lift the gloom for Ipswich fans as the poser as to why Town can be so good at home and so poor away continuing.

Williams went into the book for a trip, and in the 68th minute Haynes joined him in the book for a heavy challenge on Loovens. There were calls for Haynes to be sent off, but Mr Bates was happy to show a yellow card.

Whittingham replaced Ledley after 64 minutes and it was the substitute who drove a free-kick right across the six-yard box with neither friend nor foe able to get a touch as the ball went through to the other touch line.

Garvan had been unable to stamp any authority on to the game, and was taken off after 70 minutes with Clarke coming on and taking up a role on the left side of midfield.

This allowed Williams to move into the centre of midfeld. Clarke brought a good save out of Schmeichel soon afterwards, but the whistle had gone for a foul by Walters.

Bruce was error free at the back, and he found his way to the right corner flag before getting in a cross that was caught by the keeper.

In the 85th minute Ipswich came close to a late dramatic equaliser. Bruce sent a superb 50-yard ball forward to Lee who won Town's second corner of the game.

This was not cleared and Miller thumped a shot with power from 12-yards. It had the strength to beat the keeper, but Parry was able to block the ball on the line.

Johnson came on to replace Thompson a minute later with Ipswich enjoying their best spell of the game.

Cardiff had conceded late goals in recent home matches and they were obviously nervous as the clock ticked down.

For most of the two minutes of stoppage time, home fans were whistling for the final whistle, with Haynes denied by Purse as he tried to go through the middle.

The final whistle was greeted with relief by home supporters - with Town and their gallant fans left to reflect on a poor aftetrnoon during a long journey home. Result:

Cardiff City 1 Ipswich Town 0

Attendance: 15,173.

Cardiff man of the match: Parry. Ipswich man of the match: Bruce.

TEAMS

Cardiff City: Schmeichel; Gunter, Purse, Loovens, Capaldi; Parry, Rae, McPhail, Ledley; Hasselbaink, Thompson. Substitutes: Oakes, McNaughton, Whittingham, MacLean, Johnson.

Ipswich Town: Alexander; Wright, De Vos, Bruce, Harding; Walters, Miller, Garvan, Williams; Lee, Counago. Substitutes: Supple, Wilnis, Legwinski, Haynes, Clarke.

Referee: Mr A Bates (Staffordshire)

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