Victory for Town at last!

Ipswich Town 1 Derby County 0IPSWICH Town enjoyed a Halloween treat when they won in the Championship at the 15th time of asking to create a party atmosphere on the final whistle at Portman Road this afternoon.

Elvin King

Ipswich Town 1 Derby County 0

IPSWICH Town enjoyed a Halloween treat when they won in the Championship at the 15th time of asking to create a party atmosphere on the final whistle at Portman Road this afternoon.

David Wright popped up with his fifth goal for the club in his 100th league appearance in the 66th minute following a perfect cross from the right by Liam Rosenior.

It was a goal that was so vital with the Blues deserving winners against a defence-minded Derby County. Town stay at the foot of the table - on goal difference, but at least they have broken their jinx.

Town made five changes from the side that made it three 1-1 draws on the trot at Home Park, Plymouth last weekend. McAuley (thigh) and Smith (hand) were injured with Colback, Peters and Counago dropping down to the bench.

Most Read

In came Bruce and Delaney to form a central defensive partnership - with Trotter and Quinn brought into midfield and Stead starting up front alongside skipper Walters.

Young defender Troy Brown was on the bench, but there was no place among the substitutes for Balkestein. It was Brown's first involvement in a Town league game since joining the Blues in the summer having been released by Fulham. Martin was again missing from the final party of 18.

Derby striker Hulse was absent through illness and the injury-hit Rams, who had lost on their previous six visits to Suffolk, only named five substitutes.

The visitors started with a certain amount of menace, and after a deep cross from the right in the third minute, Dickov was unmarked beyond the far post but could only strike his effort into the side netting.

In the 11th minute, Quinn went tumbling inside the penalty area after a neat Stead pass. A well-placed referee ruled that Barker's challenge was legal with loud Ipswich appeals for a spot kick ignored.

The game went through a quiet spell with both sides struggling to make any impact in a low-key encounter although Blues' fans were right behind their side at this stage.

Precious little was happening between two poor sides until Edwards and Walters set up Stead for 34th minute cross that Walters headed a foot over from six yards.

It seemed only a matter of time before Town fans got on the backs of the home players, and understandably so with so little skill being shown.

Delaney came to Ipswich from QPR in the summer mainly as a left back, but he has played in the middle at the back before in his career. This was his first return to the side since the 4-0 home defeat to Newcastle on September 26 and he had the first attempt on target with a looping 38th minute header easily gathered by Bywater.

Derby should have scored in the 42nd minute when they broke with men over. Teale crossed low from the left and Savage completely mid-kicked in front of goal as Town players chased back. Bruce had a downward header from a 45th minute corner saved on the line by Bywater, and then Begovic tipped up in the air a fierce 25-yard drive by Savage - catching the rebound as the ball dropped back down to earth.

In the 51st minute Bywater dived smartly to his left to finger tip a Bruce header off the line following the Blues' fourth corner of the match.

Begovic made a great stop from a close range Dickov sliding effort, but any goal would not have counted as an offside flag was raised.

Awful defending led to Teale having an angled 57th minute drive beaten away by Begovic, and a minute later the keeper had to scramble to keep out a cross-cum-shot from the touchline by Barker as Town lived dangerously.

Walters moved to the left of midfield following the 57th minute introductions of Counago and Priskin, and nine minutes Town took the lead. Rosenior crossed from the right perfectly and left-back D Wright headed powerfully into the roof of the net off the fingertips of the keeper.

Wright made his presence felt in the right place at the right time emerging triumphant from a body of players.

Derby were not beaten yet by any means and the impressive Begovic beat away an angled shot from an unmarked Stoor in the 72nd minute and six minutes later Barker headed a foot wide.

Town fans were giving the home team every support after a much better second period as the clock ticked down ever so slowly.

A defensive slip saw Priskin run through on his own, but his eventual shot was saved by Bywater. Hughes shot bovver in the dying seconds from a great chance before the final whistle was greeted with absolute bedlam.