Town's play-off hopes dented

IPSWICH Town's chances of making the Championship play-offs took a big knock last night, due to Wolves coasting to a 3-0 home win over Cardiff.

Carl Marston

IPSWICH Town's chances of making the Championship play-offs took a big knock last night, due to Wolves coasting to a 3-0 home win over Cardiff.

Mick McCarthy's men leapfrogged Town into seventh spot, thanks to first-half goals from Andrew Keogh and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, and a third from Michael Kightly before the hour mark.

Wolves are now one point ahead of Ipswich, and two points behind Crystal Palace, who currently occupy the final play-off berth in sixth spot.

It all boils down to the last two weekends of the season. Town really need to win both games and hope that both Palace and Wolves slip up.

Fifth-placed Watford would only come into the equation if they failed to win both of their final fixtures.

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Ipswich, Palace and Wolves are all away from home this Saturday. Palace have perhaps the hardest test, at promotion rivals Hull City, who still harbour ambitions of winning automatic promotion.

Town travel to mid-table Preston, while Wolves are at Coventry City, who clambered clear of the relegation zone with a thumping 5-1 victory at Colchester United last weekend.

Similarly, the final weekend of the regular season sees all three major contenders for the sixth position at home. Palace will entertain Burnley on Sunday week, while Town will host Hull and Wolves will play Plymouth.

Sheffield United are the only other club who could gate-crash the top six, although that would require them beating Bristol City and Southampton, and then hoping for a very unlikely set of results. They are five points adrift of the play-off zone.

Keogh broke the deadlock last night by heading home Kevin Foley's cross after eight minutes. Ebanks-Blake doubled Wolves' lead just before the break, and then set up Kightly for the third in the 56th minute.

Defeat ended Cardiff's slim hopes of reaching the play-offs.