Who can end Town's unbeaten home run?

JUST as Coventry represented the best chance to break the away-day hoodoo so this game posed the biggest threat to Town's phenomenal home record.But with the league leaders suitably despatched there now doesn't look like any team who are going to beat the Blues at Portman Road.

By Derek Davis

JUST as Coventry represented the best chance to break the away-day hoodoo so this game posed the biggest threat to Town's phenomenal home record.

But with the league leaders suitably despatched there now doesn't look like any team who are going to beat the Blues at Portman Road.

Granted the Baggies didn't play to their potential - on their day they are awesome - but when they have an off day as they did against the likes of Coventry and Stoke recently they are pretty poor and that is what we witnessed at Portman Road, especially in the second half.

Ipswich have shown that on their day they can play some pretty decent football, can defend like demons and have the necessary luck at home to see off anyone.

After a nervous opening few minutes when West Brom really threatened, Town gained in confidence and this time they came out in the second half and did what we all know they can do but frustratingly don't always deliver.

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As you would expect from two teams that have now amassed 99 league goals between then - Town with 43 of them - there were plenty of chances.

The opening 45 minutes was packed with entertainment, and some sloppy play from both sides.

After Neil Alexander tipped a Kevin Phillips effort over the bar, Jon Walters had a good chance as he burst past Bostjan Cesar but shot over the bar.

Ishmael Miller then scorned a great scoring opportunity when he headed high and wide from a Zoltan Gera cross, while the Baggies keeper Dean Kiely beat away a Danny Haynes shot that was hit straight at him.

Pablo Counago hit a post with a terrific shot after carving out space for himself. That was the 13th time that Town have hit the woodwork this season but fortunately it didn't prove to be unlucky.

Kevin Phillips reciprocated with a dipping volley that bounced off the top of the crossbar and the half finished delicately poised with Town proving a match for Tony Mowbray's table-toppers.

Away from home it would most likely have all gone to pot but the Blues are a different animal in front of their own crowd, who used their anger towards the referee Trevor Kettle to get to boiling point and roared the side on.

The players responded and after Phillips had mishit a shot over the bar and hit another at Alexander, it was pretty much one-way traffic.

Cesar almost turned a low Haynes cross into his own net and keeper Kiely was grateful Liam Trotter did not get more power behind a half-volley.

Then came a goal that was as beautifully worked as you will see.

It emanated from Wright pushing forward and finding Walters, who played the ball wide for Trotter, who got beyond the full-back.

His cross was met superbly by left-back Wright who had carried on his run and it was well deserved for the man who came so close on Saturday with a long-range effort that cracked back off the bar.

Wright showed that he was prepared to back his words with action after telling the EADT after the Coventry match that the team needed to do what they say they are going to do, or else they will blow their best hopes of promotion.

West Brom tried to respond and substitute Roman Bednar put the ball in the net but like Phillips in the first half - who had also beaten Alexander - he was offside.

Not wanting to be outdone by his fellow full-back, Sito Castro, excellent at right-back, made a determined run down the wing and laid the ball in for Counago whose shot was well saved by Kiely. The rebound fell to Sito but the Spaniard could not direct it better than to hit it back at the keeper.

Skipper De Vos then ensured 2008 got off to a perfect start for Town by getting around the back of the Albion defence to head in a perfectly-delivered Williams free kick, which had been won by the menace that is Counago.

Ten other Championship teams, and Premiership Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Saturday, will now try and end Town's wonderful home record that stretches back to last March when Southend were the surprise winners.

Ipswich have shown they are more than a match for everyone.