Town keep their unbeaten run at Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace 1 Ipswich Town 2

IPSWICH Town kept up their unbeaten start to the season against George Burley’s Crystal Palace in their Championship fixture at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Grant Leadbitter from the penalty spot in the 51st minute and Carlos Edwards four minutes later put the Blues into the driving seat after a quiet first period.

Claude Davis had been sent off for pulling down Jon Stead in the foul that led to the penalty – with the impressive Arnos Townsend also shown red for a foul of Julian Speroni after 73 minutes.

With their first attempt on target Palace pulled a goal back in stoppage time through Danns after some indecisive keeping by Fulop.

Town have a 100% away record and despite being hit by injuries are now well set for a successful campaign.

Leadbitter was a surprise name on the Ipswich team sheet after hobbling away from Portman Road seven days ago with what appeared to be a chipped bone in his ankle.

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The key midfielder was written off by manager Keane on Friday, but was able to keep his place beside skipper Norris in midfield.

Edwards return on the right of midfield after recovering from a groin problem while O’Dea (wearing 48) made his Blues debut four days after joining the club from Celtic on loan until January at left back.

Stead, who appears set to join Bristol City next week, kept his place in the starting line-up with Priskin starting on the bench where he was joined by O’Connor, who was also omitted from the side that drew 1-1 against Burnley last weekend.

Palace were missing Wright, who damaged a calf in training on Friday, and Ambrose who was also left out also thought to be because of injury.

Counago, another Town player also on the Eagles’ books, was not eligible to play on the terms of his season-long loan deal completed on Friday night.

Lee and Garvan – also ex-Ipswich players – did start while keeper Price was on the bench for a side managed by George Burley.

Davids, the former Dutch star and signed on Friday on a play and pay basis, did not feature, but O’Keefe, Marrow and Obika who were both also signed this week were named as Palace substitutes.

Within 20 seconds, Edwards lost out in a midfield challenge and Garvan missed the target by inches with a right foot 25 yard shot.

It had been an open start with Stead testing Speroni with a low 20 yard effort that skimmed off the surface and was heading for the far corner.

Three minutes later – in the 11th minute – Leadbitter put Stead clear down the left. He reached the by-line and his low cross was met by a stretching Edwards at the far post. The number seven made contact but the ball hit the ground and bounced over the bar.

Dorman rounded Fulop to place the ball into the empty net in the 24th minute and while the home fans behind the goal rose as one to signal a goal, an offside flag had been correctly raised for a good five seconds.

Palace were knocking the ball about well with Garvan at the heart of matters, but Ipswich struck the bar in the 32nd minute when Stead’s cross from the right caused Speroni all sorts of problems as the ball ran along the bar to be put over the top as it bounced high at the far post by Townsend.

The game came to life in the 49th minute when McAuley headed forward Peters’ hopeful cross. Stead turned Davis and was pulled back by the Palace defender.

Stead looked offside when McAuley made contact and the home players protested when the referee pointed to the spot and flashed a red card to Davis for a professional foul.

After the dust had settled, Leadbitter stepped calmly up to beat Speroni from the spot to the keeper’s right – with the keeper going to his left.

A delightful move in the 55th minute ended with Ipswich doubling their lead against ten-men Palace.

Townsend did the spadework with a lengthy run and when he played Leadbitter in well down the left, the midfielder’s low cross was placed into the roof of the net by Edwards at the far post.

Zaha fired well over when well placed, but the points looked secure for Town with their enchanted 2020 fans singing ‘There’s only one Keano’.

But Hyam and Garvan were booked for a spat in midfield, Townsend went for a loose high bouncing ball with a little too much zealous and his studs went into the chest of Speroni.

Townsend was sent off leaving Ipswich still with work to do.

Ipswich controlled the later stages but when Fulop came and failed to gather, Danns pulled a goal back for the home side in the third minute of five minutes of stoppage time.


Crystal Palace: Speroni; Clyne, Davis, McCarthy, Bennett; Cadogan (Barrett 51), Danns, Garvan, Dorman (Obika 74); Lee (Marrow 83), Zaha. Substitutes: Andrew, Price, O’Keefe, Dijilali.

Ipswich Town: Fulop; Peters (Eastman 90) McAuley, Smith, O’Dea; Hyam (O’Connor 90); Edwards, Leadbitter, Norris; Townsend; Stead Priskin 88). Substitutes: Murphy, Hourihane, O’Connor, Brown, Healy.

Referee: Mr J Moss (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 15,781 (2,020 Ipswich)

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