Pablo proves he's the daddy

ONE of life's little conundrums is why teams don't produce away from home as they do on their own patch.Because if Ipswich could find the sort of form that has seen them win seven straight home league games on the bounce then they would surely be up there challenging for the automatic promotion places.

By Derek Davis

ONE of life's little conundrums is why teams don't produce away from home as they do on their own patch.

Because if Ipswich could find the sort of form that has seen them win seven straight home league games on the bounce then they would surely be up there challenging for the automatic promotion places.

Perhaps they should try and get more games shown live on the telly too, after notching their fifth victory in six Sky games over the past two years. The only blip was at Layer Road last season.

The Blues showed that when they click they are a formidable attacking unit and few teams can live with Pablo Counago and Jon Walters when they are in such devastating form.

Ironically, Town started a little nervously and the goal after ten minutes came against the run of early play.

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Owen Garvan played in an excellent free kick to the back stick for skipper Jason De Vos to rise above everyone and beat Greek keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos, even though he got a hand to the downward header.

The confidence surged through the side then and Ipswich produced some dazzling football.

Sharp movement, quick tempo, and a good range of passes from Tommy Miller and Owen Garvan in the middle aided by David Wright down the right.

Counago was playing higher up the pitch than he tends to do away from home and conjured up a magnificent second goal.

Walters, who is being watched closely by a couple of Premiership clubs, nodded down and the Spaniard showed the quick and clever feet of a Flamenco dancer to evade two tackles and finish with a deft touch with the outside of his right foot.

His goal celebrations marked the fact that he is going to be a father next year and was repeated when he got his second.

In between Walters rose to meet a good Roberts cross and underlined what a good header of the ball he is, which is one of the reasons Town signed him after demonstrating those skills at Chester.

Roberts remains something of an enigma because it was another telling contribution, but overall his play lacked the conviction of earlier days.

His presence on the left though gives the team better balance and even through these tough times he has not hidden and has shown

perseverance.

It also seemed to help Dan Harding bomb forward more and only a reaction block by Stephen Hughes on the goal-line prevented the left back from hammering in a pile-driver from 25 yards.

After dominating the first half Town made sure they didn't let slip, although they survived a scare straight after the break when an under-hit header by Bruce was almost pounced upon by Dele Adebola and it needed a tackle worthy of the Rugby World Cup by Bruce to deny the striker.

Referee Trevor Kettle waved the claims away and it was clear it was going to be Town's day.

That was underlined when City only cleared a corner as far as Miller, who played it wide for Garvan and Walters flicked his cross on.

The keeper made a good save from Lee but Counago pounced to nod in unmarked from six yards, for his third of the season after returning from Malaga.

Even though Leon Best, in for Leon McKenzie who picked up a knee injury in Friday training, had chances the Town defence showed they had recaptured their resilience.

Bruce, in particular, made blocks and tackles of the highest order and Neil Alexander had little to be concerned about.

They were only beaten by a ferocious 30-yard drive by Hughes after a free-kick was touched to him. It screamed past Alexander who may be disappointed to have been caught out from that distance.

City finished with a flurry but Ipswich saw out the game without any big concerns, which is another sign of their maturity following last season's late slips.

Hull away on Saturday, where they emerged 5-2 victors last season, could be the ideal place for the Blues to replicate their home form, even if the kick-off time has been changed to 12.30pm to accommodate a rugby league match later in the day.

Magilton is not happy about the switch so hopefully Town will use the anger felt at having to play earlier in the day, and the knowledge of just how well they can play - to stuff the Tigers.

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