Scotland too good for Ipswich in Wales

Swansea City 3 Ipswich Town 0IPSWICH Town lost valuable - maybe even defining - ground in their quest for a play-off place in their Coca-Cola Championship game at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.

Elvin King

Swansea City 3 Ipswich Town 0

IPSWICH Town lost valuable - maybe even defining - ground in their quest for a play-off place in their Coca-Cola Championship game at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.

Town went behind in the third minute when full back Albert Serran found acres of space down the right and Jason Scotland showed his natural goal scoring prowess with precise finish.

Scotland added a second in the 73rd minute to settle the issue - with the goal received with relief as Town were still very much in the game at that stage without creating chances.

Jordi Gomez scored a third goal with an 86th minute left-footed free-kick with Swansea worthy winners, but with the score line slightly unkind to the efforts of the visitors.

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Town made two changes with last week's strike force of Stead and Counago dropping to the bench. In came Quinn and Lisbie for a side that travelled to Swansea on Thursday and trained at Port Talbot yesterday.

Their hotel was near the beach and across the road from Swansea's former ground at Vetch Field, which is still standing.

There was no place in the final 16 for Shumulikoski and Civelli for a game that is scheduled to be the main match of ITV's Championship tomorrow morning.

Ipswich were seeking their fourth consecutive away win against a side that has been unbeaten in their previous 14 matches.

Rangel was suspended for the Swans with Spaniard Serran coming in for his league debut.

It was fine day in south Wales with the sun breaking through at the start and no sign of snow on a perfect looking playing surface.

The Severn Bridge on the M4 was closed because of ice dropping off the girders making the trip across country difficult for Town fans who still turned up in goodly numbers.

Inside three minutes Swansea took the lead. Balkestein was unable to stop a Serran cross from the right after the right back broke forward and Scotland got ahead of McAuley at the near post to fire into the roof of the net from five yards.

Lisbie had the ball in the net in the 12th minute but was offside after receiving a pass from the forward playing Garvan - with Miller, Garvan and Quinn forming a diamond shape in midfield.

Ipswich were seeing plenty of the ball in a game that flowed from end to end, and when Lisbie broke free down the right in the 23rd minute he should have done better than pull the ball back to a grateful defender.

R Wright twice saved lengthy shots as Swansea exploited openings when it was their turn to go forward.

Williams cleared hastily for a corner as D Wright broke at the end of a flying Ipswich 28th minute move. Balkestein held up Scotland as the danger man broke in the 32nd minute - with R Wright able to collect the eventual half-blocked effort in what was turning into a cracking contest.

In the 39th minute Bruce did expertly well to take the ball away from Gower in front of goal after a right wing cross from then raiding Serran.

Just before the break Norris broke with Town having men over, but he shot over from 20-yards.

Swansea boss Martinez was named Championship of the month this week, and was keeping his fingers crossed that the usual jinx would not affect his team.

Walters did not look 100% fit and was replaced after the break by Counago, and it was the Spaniard who set up Norris for a chance to cut in from the left in the 16th minute and send a 20-yard angled shot a foot wide of the far post.

Neither keeper had yet had a good save to make since the goal, and in the 55th minute de Vries could only watch as Miller's low 21-yard shot from Counago's touch back missed the post by a whisker.

Town had lost one of their previous seven games - the FA Cup game at Chelsea - and were up against a side that entertains Fulham in the FA Cup next weekend.

The last time these two teams met in Wales was in April 1983 when the game ended 1-1 with Mariner scoring for Town in the time when Bobby Ferguson was the Blues manager.

Gomez left D Wright on his backside in the 63rd minute and R Wright dived to his right to make a low save from a 16-yard shot where the Swansea player should have done better.

De Vries had yet to be called into making a save despite Town's neat play and having plenty of the ball. But it still came as a relief to home fans when Scotland netted his second goal in the 73rd minute.

He took a pass form the right with his back to goal, and created just enough space ahead of D Wright to turn and fire low left-footed beyond the right hand of R Wright for his 16th goal of the season.

Teams news was announced in Welsh as well as English prior to the start with Swansea trying to protect their record of having lost just once at home this campaign.

Stead sped down the right to cross in the 80th minute with Monk scrambling the ball away at the near post ahead of Lisbie.

In the 84th minute de Vries saved full length after a 22-yard Quinn shot and within seconds he had stopped a low angled drive by Stead.

Star midfielder Gomez put the icing on the cake for the home side when he scored direct from a left-foot free-kick with four minutes left - with the ball going over the wall and to the right of a diving R Wright.


Swansea City: de Vries, Tate, Williams, Monk, Serran; Dyer (sub Bauza 90 mins), Gomez, Britton, Allen (Pintado 82), Gower (Butler 75); Scotland. Substitutes: Orlandi, Bessone.

Ipswich Town: R Wright; Bruce, McAuley, Balkestein, D Wright; Miller; Quinn, Norris (Stead 74); Garvan (Haynes 65); Walters (Counago 46), Lisbie. Substitutes: Supple, Thatcher.

Referee: Mr K Wright (Cambridgeshire).

Attendance: 14,020 (649 Ipswich)