Marcus watches Town get back on track

THE reclusive Marcus Evans saw first-hand how his investment is doing as Ipswich produced a big win to keep their promotion hopes very much on track.The Town owner is well aware that he will only get a big return on his money when, if, Ipswich get into the Premiership and victory over play-off rivals Charlton pushed them up on to the shoulders of the top six, and three points away from fifth-placed Hull City.

Derek Davis

THE reclusive Marcus Evans saw first-hand how his investment is doing as Ipswich produced a big win to keep their promotion hopes very much on track.

The Town owner is well aware that he will only get a big return on his money when, if, Ipswich get into the Premiership and victory over play-off rivals Charlton pushed them up on to the shoulders of the top six, and three points away from fifth-placed Hull City.

The tax exile doesn't get to many games but he was there in person to see Town beat West Brom and now Charlton at home and draw with Blackpool away, but will be glad he wasn't at Barnsley on Tuesday.


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If had been though he would have seen a marked difference in not just the performance but Town's resolve.

After the debacle at Oakwell the Blues needed to make amends and even if they got the luck of the Irish, they did just that against Charlton whose aspirations of automatic promotion have been well and truly blown apart.

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Alan Pardew will rightly feel aggrieved that his side did not get more out of the match after having three goals disallowed for offside and Greg Halford hitting the crossbar with a header from a Darren Ambrose cross.

The Addicks also had a claim for penalty denied when Jerome Thomas looked to have been impeded but then Town will feel unfortunate not to have had a spot kick when Alan Lee was brought down by Patrick McCarthy.

Instead Lee was booked for diving and the defender later cautioned for a blatant elbow that if the referee and not his assistant had seen him throw could have resulted in a red card.

Lee and McCarthy's tussle was an interesting microcosm of the match itself that swung from end to end entertainingly in the first half.

It was not Town's best performance of the season but straight from Charlton's kick off it was clear they were determined to put the Barnsley result and showing behind them.

Lee epitomised that when he dispossessed Portuguese midfielder Jose Semedo and hit a dipping volley from 25-yards that went over the bar.

Fellow Irishman Alan Quinn was also bubbly in the first half putting in a cross that Lee could have done better with from just six yards out, while Nicky Weaver made a fine stop to deny Pablo Counago who had worked himself an opening.

Quinn headed wide from a Danny Haynes cross and Counago flicked over the bar from a Garvan free kick.

Garvan took charge in the 20th minute when he combined with Garvan on the left flank.

He shaped to cross but the ball deceived everyone and crashed in off the inside of the far post.

Only Garvan will really know if it was deliberate but either way it made the difference.

Ambrose, who along with former Town team-mate Matt Holland, caused problems and it was his corner that Halford crashed against the crossbar.

Ambrose also had the ball in the net with a sharp angled finish but was ruled offside, it was it was tight.

Lita was also ruled offside in the first half and that looked more clear-cut, while another Ex Colchester United player in Chris Iwleumo will feel aggrieved that his effort was disallowed.

Ambrose played an unintentional part in Town's second goal when a Garvan corner was only half cleared to Danny Haynes who caught the ball superbly on the volley from the edge of the area.

Haynes was on for David Norris who limped off with a recurrence of a heel problem that could keep him out for the rest of the season.

Coupled with the loss of Jon Walters, quite probably Richard Naylor and of course Shefki Kuqi, injuries could hamper Town's promotion hopes unless Jim Magilton can get in replacements, helped my Mr Evans' cash.

The biggest roar of the afternoon was reserved for the returning Kuqi who went on as a substitute after rejoining Ipswich on loan from Crystal Palace.

They turned to groans of disappointment 12 minutes later when the Finn pulled up sharply while chasing a Tommy Miller through ball and the prognosis is not good with a torn hamstring that could see him finished for the season.

Ironically it was an injury to Kuqi that many feel cost Town automatic promotion under Joe Royle as Ipswich lost impetus, and top spot, while he was out and James Scowcroft was in on loan.

The loss of key players will only hurt Town this time if they allow it to but if they show the 'bouncebackability' they did against Charlton then they have still got a good chance.

Apart from Richard Naylor who was missing with a neck injury, Magilton kept faith with the side that lost 4-1 at Barnsley.

Even keeper Stephen Bywater kept his place and he answered the criticism by putting in an assured display, commanding his area in a way he has not previously done and helping to inspire the back line into keeping just his second clean sheet since arriving on loan from Derby.

Sito Castro was the one who came in as Alex Bruce reverted back to centre-half and the Spaniard twice came to Town's rescue block Holland who was dancing through the heart of the defence and then Ambrose at the far post.

The watching Mr Evans would surely have been impressed.

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