Norris leads hard-working Blues to win

DAVID Norris netted his first goal of the season to give the Blues there first back to back wins in nine months.

Derek Davis

DAVID Norris netted his first goal of the season to give the Blues there first back to back wins in nine months.

In a hard-working display Town also kept a clean sheet to secure a third win in four and extend their unbeaten run to seven.

Even at the best of times the Bloomfield Road stadium struggles to generate an atmosphere and with the music failing over the sound system the crowd had to get things going for themselves.

The 712 travelling Town fans, sat in an uncovered stand, had an easier job of that as the Blues played some bright attacking football.

Blues boss Jim Magilton stayed with the same starting side that beat QPR last week and Plymouth the week before meaning two-goal match-winner from last Saturday Jon Stead had to come off the bench once more.

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Blackpool made one change from the side that beat Watford 4-3 last time out with Mo Camara, a one-time Town target, stepping in for the injured Danny Coid at full back.

The Tangerines had the first good chance when skipper Rob Edwards had a free header at a Claus Jorgensen free kick but nodded over the bar from eight yards.

The same combination provided the same result 20 minutes later only this time Edwards was closely attended.

It was Ipswich who had threatened the most in the first half though.

Kevin Lisbie showed good alertness and skill to break up a Blackpool move and play the ball inside for David Norris, who in turn laid it off for Alan Quinn whose right-footed effort from the edge of the box drifted wide.

Quinn was denied by Edwards who diverted another attempt for a corner and another shot from the former Sheffield United man ended up in the building site behind the goal.

Jon Walters had a decent effort when he controlled with his chest and volleyed but it was an easy take for the keeper.

A mix up between Paul Rachubka and Ian Evatt allowed Lisbie a chance but he headed over, while a Quinn left-footed cross was met by McAuley but his looping header lacked power and was a comfortable take for the keeper.

Walters went over in the box under an Evatt challenge but the well-placed referee waved his penalty claims.

On loan Rangers striker Alan Gow tried a bit of trickery to get past McAuley but the big Irishman recovered to clear.

Richard Naylor also had to be defend well to clear a David Vaughan cross over the bar with Ben Burgess lurking.

The Blues went ahead four minutes before the break from a Garvan corner. McAuley met the in-swinger with a powerful header and thought it had gone over the line before being cleared by Jorgensen but there were no doubts abut Norris' follow up as he drove in from 25-yards.

Adam Hammill went on for David Vaughan at the break and flashed a blistering shot wide as Blackpool pressed early in the second half.

The Seasiders thought they had equalised moments into the second half when Edwards headed in from a free kick but the offside flag controversially denied them.

Shaun Barker got on the end of a corner kick but Wright was well-positioned to save.

Simon Grayson added more firepower by putting on Steven Kabba in place of Jorgensen but it didn't make much difference as Town held on and even went looking for another themselves.

Garvan hit a 25-yard free kick over the wall and the bar, while Lisbie showed god skill in controlling a Walters cross before spinning and volleying but it went over the bar.

Walters hit a tame shot at Rachubka and

After his double Stead is high in confidence and went on for Lisbie eight minutes from time. He almost scored his first away goal for Town with his fist touch but his shot from a Garvan through ball looped over the keeper but it bounced off the top of the crossbar.

Stead also tried his luck with a 30-yard free kick but it went harmlessly wide.

Seconds later Blackpool hit the crossbar when Gary Taylor-Fletcher beat the offside line and headed over Wright but bounced to safety off the woodwork and later sliced a shot wide when open.