Sito seals win at Scunthorpe

IPSWICH Town completed a Championship double over Scunthorpe at a windy and cold Glanford Park this afternoon.The three points keeps Town's play-off dreams very much alive, and it was their third away win of the season.

Scunthorpe United 1 Ipswich Town 2

IPSWICH Town completed a Championship double over Scunthorpe at a windy and cold Glanford Park this afternoon.

The three points keeps Town's play-off dreams very much alive, and it was their third away win of the season. For Scunthorpe they now face a big fight to stay up.

Town took the lead in the 20th minute when Jason De Vos and Alan Lee combined to set up Pablo Counago - with the Spaniard stroking neatly into the net for his 12th goal of the season.

Counago was sent off - along with Jack Cork - in the 55th minute for an off-the-ball incident spotted by an assistant referee with both teams playing the remainder of the game with ten men.

Sito Castro netted a superb solo goal - his first for Ipswich - in the 71st minute to put paid to a second half revival by the struggling home side.

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Substitute Ben May pulled a goal back in stoppage time.

Ipswich were generally in charge and showing some neat passing moves, and when Quinn and Counago combined down the left the Spaniard was spoken to by the referee after complaining about a hand ball decision.

This was Ipswich Town's first league visit to Scunthorpe since 1960 when they lost 4-0 in the season the Blues gained promotion for the first time to the top flight of English football under Alf Ramsey.

In the 15th minute - at this stage it was nearly all Ipswich - Garvan crossed from the left and Lee was unable to get any force in a header after the ball swerved in the wind.

The experienced Horsfield headed two yards wide from beyond the far post after a home side cross from the left. Sito was showing up well at left back going forward, but he lost possession and Scunthorpe won a corner that the towering Bywater clutched way above his head

In the 20th minute COUNAGO stroked Town ahead with his 12th goal of the season. A free-kick was cleared to the halfway line where Sito planted a long ball forward. De Vos used his strength to gain possession and pass to Lee, who skipped beyond his marker and passed back inside to the unmarked Counago. The number nine beat the exposed Murphy with a low left-footed shot from 16 yards.

Soon afterwards Bywater made a hash of trying to collect a long throw, but Bruce was able to head the ball off the line so that the keeper could eventually collect.

Sumulikoski was his usual busy self in the middle of the park, and he was combining well with Garvan. A cross by Haynes after 29 minutes after neat approach work saw Counago send in a looping header that was easily held by Murphy.

A minute later a great pass by Sito from left to right enabled Haynes to beat his man and cross low for Lee to see his shot deflected at the keeper.

Counago then put Lee clear in the box, but the ball got caught between the feet of the number 14, and with Town showing some of their best away form of the season, Quinn got on the end of a superb Garvan cross but failed to find a team-mate when he crossed into the six-yard box.

Home fans were booing their players as all attempts to gain a firm hold on the game were coming to nothing. They did have a spell down the Town end and Bywater had to take two crosses under his own crossbar.

Sumulikoski played Counago down the middle in the 38th minute and there was a chance of a second goal. Counago struck his shot well, but Murphy had his angles correct and dived low to his right to save well.

In the 43rd minute a mistake by Wright allowed Scunthorpe to break down the left and when McCann sent the ball into the middle Town were stretched and Sumulikoski did ever so well to throw his body into the way of a Goodwin drive to stop a likely goal.

Garvan was making his 100th first team Town appearance, having scored seven times since making his debut at the start of the 2005/6 campaign.

He was involved when Town broke in stoppage time, but a pass from Counago intended for the on-rushing Sumulikoski was cut out by an alert Baraclough. The home side were booed at the interval whistle.

In the 50th minute Garvan went running through the middle and carried on to the edge of the 18-yard box before blasting the ball just over the bar.

Before play could restart both sides had been reduced to ten men. In an off-the-ball incident as Garvan was shooting - or just after -- Counago and Cork tangled.

The referee took advice from an assistant - standing in the opposite half of the field - before showing two red cards. Cork went straight off but Counago protested his innocence and was holding his chin as he slowly left the field of play.

As the offence will be deemed violent conduct, Counago will now miss the next three Town games, and on the evidence of his lively show today his presence will be missed.

There were loud cheers when Sparrow, who had been barracked all game, was substituted by Weston after an hour. At the same time May replaced Baraclough.

Most of the game was now being played in the Ipswich half with Paterson signalled offside when he forced his way clear from a Horsfield pass.

In the 69th minute Haynes cut in from the right and Lee and then Garvan had close range efforts blocked. It was now desperation tackling by Ipswich at the back at times, and their measured play of the first half had mainly disappeared.

But in the 71st minute it all came good for the Town when SITO scored his first goal for the Tractor Boys. He received the ball from Garvan and exploited space down the left side to cut in and then go beyond a couple of tackles before poking the ball low past Murphy.

Town now had breathing space, and the immediately made two substitutions with Simpson coming on for his debut in place of Haynes to play on the right of midfield. Miller took over from Sumulikoski who is playing for Macedonia next week.

When Lee headed the ball on, Simpson was close to a goal, almost going round Murphy as he broke forward.

Barring a massive improvement by the home team, Ipswich looked home and dry now with Sito's goal taking the sting out of their play.

Town defender Bruce had emphasised this week the progress the Blues have made over the last 12 months as this time last year they were going to Luton in danger of being dragged into a relegation battle.

With five minutes left, Bywater saved at his near post from Goodwin as the home team made some late in-roads. The hard-working Lee was replaced by 18-year-old Rhodes after 86 minutes.

Bywater pushed a McCann free-kick over the bar and from the resultant dead ball kick, Butler headed over from close range.

In the three minutes of stoppage time, Weston went bursting down the right and crossed to the near post where MAY turned the ball into the net.

A Wright came on for Goodwin as the clock ticked down with Simpson being booked for time wasting.

Star Man: Sito Castro

Scunthorpe United 4-4-2

Murphy, 7; 16 Cork, 5; Crosby, 6; Butler, 6; Baraclough, 6 (May, 60) 6; Sparrow, 6 (Weston, 60) 6; Goodwin, 7; McCann, 6; Morris, 6; Horsfield, 6; Paterson, 7. Subs: Hayes, Wright, Lillis.

Ipswich Town 4-4-2

Bywater, 7; Wright, 7; Bruce, 7; De Vos 7; Sito, 8; Haynes, 6; Garvan, 6; Sumulikoski, 6, Quinn, 7; Lee, 6; Counago, 5; Subs: Colgan, Harding.

Referee: Iain Williamson (Berks)

Attendance: 6,636