Funny old game, says Jewell

LEE Bowyer handed Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell the perfect birthday present by scoring a late winner at Championship promotion favourites West Ham.

The Blues put in a superb display at Upton Park, defending resolutely and dictating possession for long periods, before Bowyer silenced the boo boys at his former club right at the death.

It’s hard to believe that only a month ago Ipswich were the laughing stock of the division after conceding 12 goals in two games against newly-promoted Southampton and Peterborough.

Now, transformed by the superb centre-back duo Ibrahima Sonko and Danny Collins, they have kept three clean sheets in succession for the first time since March 2005 to move to within a point of the play-off places.

Jewell, who turns 47 on Wednesday, joked: “It makes my 40th birthday an even happier one!

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“It’s strange because when I was manager of Wigan we always used to win here, while I’m told Lee Bowyer always scores against them too.

“Football’s a funny old game, as they say. A month ago we looked bereft of ideas and looked as though we couldn’t pick our feet up.

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“We’ve had a little bit of a change in fortune though and the players are full of confidence again.”

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, who has seen his side concede late goals on four occasions already this season, conceded: “Credit to Ipswich, they are as a good a side as we’ve met.”

– For full-match report and reaction, see tomorrow’s EADT and Evening Star.

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