Workmanlike Town move up to eighth

Ipswich Town turned in a workmanlike display to move up to eighth place in the Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road this afternoon.

Elvin King

Ipswich Town 2 Derby County 0

By Elvin King

Ipswich Town turned in a workmanlike display to move up to eighth place in the Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road this afternoon.


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There was not much atmosphere but Town deserved to beat a disappointing Derby side with goals from Pablo Counago in the 27th minute and Jon Walters in the 66th minute.

Town skipper McAuley failed to recover from a hamstring tweak and Bruce remained at the heart of the Blues defence beside Naylor, who again captained the side.

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There were three changes with Thatcher, Ambrose and Counago coming in for the suspended Volz, Quinn (not on the bench) and Lisbie, who was on the bench with Supple, Miller, Stead and Balkestein.

Derby were unchanged after their 3-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday last week with former Town loanees Bywater and McEveley named as substitutes - as was defender Powell, who was signed this week.

In the fifth minute, Naylor was unmarked beyond the far post from Garvan's free-kick and his knock-back intro the six-yard box saw Walters challenge Carroll with the ball going out for a goal kick.

Two minutes later Wright crossed the right and Ambrose had a free header from 12 yards that was directed straight into the arms of keeper Carroll

When Stewart's back header fell a bit short in the 11th minute, Norris stepped in but saw his effort blocked by Carroll as the pair collided.

A splendid Town ended with Walters finding Norris, and Carroll's hands were stung by the latter's 24th minute right-foot shot.

Ipswich were playing their best football of the game now and in similar fashion to how they passed Blackpool of the park a couple of weeks ago.

And they took the lead in the 27th minute after Walters touched on Bruce's forward ball. COUNAGO took advantage of indecision by Davis to maintain possession and stride forward to slip the ball neatly low beyond Carroll.

The ball rolled just inside the post to the right of a well-beaten keeper. It was Counago's fifth of the season putting him level with Stead and Garvan.

Town could not keep up the pace as the game slipped back into an low key fashion with little to raise the pulse up to the interval.

Bruce and Shumulikoski had both been on international duty during the week, with Town boss Magilton happy that the latter, who he had left out after previous European ventures, was fresh enough to keep his place beside Garvan in midfield.

The pitch had been covered since yesterday mid-morning and was in perfect condition despite a few sleet morning showers and a cold wind blowing down from the arctic.

In the 54th minute, Garvan puts Walters clear for a long run at goal. He cuts in towards Carroll's goal from an angle but shoots wide of the far post.

Soon after referee Russell leaves the field presumably with an injury and fourth official Mr C Francis takes over in the middle

Garvan puts D Wright clear down the right in the 66th minute and when Derby fail to clear a low cross into the middle, WALTERS needs no second invitation to turn and slam the ball low into the net from six yards.

The goal gave Town breathing space and was Walters third of the season.

Green fires wildly over in the 77th minute from the latest in a long line of Derby free-kicks. At the other end, Carroll dived full length to save from Norris.

In the four minutes of stoppage time, Carroll saved well from Lisbie.

Teams

Ipswich: R Wright; D Wright, Bruce, Naylor, Thatcher; Norris (sub Miller 82), Shumulikoski, Garvan, Ambrose; Counago (Stead 73), Walters (Lisbie 88). Subs: Supple, Balkestein.

Derby County: Carroll; Connolly, Davis (Powell 35), Nyatanga, Stewart; Barazite, Green, Addison, Commons (Kazmierczak 50); Villa (Ellington 70), Hulse. Subs: Bywater, McEveley.

Referee: Mr M Russell (Hertfordshire)

Attendance: 20,239

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