Magic Jim's magic wand

'OH, Oh, Oh, It's Magic'.So sang Pilot over the loudspeakers as Portman Road celebrated its biggest win in two years.Ipswich were in wonderland as they enjoyed a party at the expense of the Mad Hatters, as Jim Magilton celebrated his biggest win as Blues manager and Town moved up seven places in a five-goal romp.

By Derek Davis

'OH, Oh, Oh, It's Magic'.

So sang Pilot over the loudspeakers as Portman Road celebrated its biggest win in two years.

Ipswich were in wonderland as they enjoyed a party at the expense of the Mad Hatters, as Jim Magilton celebrated his biggest win as Blues manager and Town moved up seven places in a five-goal romp.


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With a game coming up tomorrow, Alan Lee has to celebrate with a cup of tea rather than the sponsor's French Champagne, while Frenchman Sylvain Legwinski, who has a cellar full of the stuff, could bask in his glory of a second goal in as many games, and French-Canadian Jaime Peters his first goal for the club.

Ooh là là, c'est trés bon.

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The win, though, was tempered somewhat by a serious illness to Luton player Sol Davis, who was recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke on the team bus on the way to Ipswich.

Mike Newell insisted he would not use that, or the flu bug and injuries that had swept through his side, as an excuse for his side's lack-lustre display.

Nor did he look at the goal that was disallowed for Luton just after half-time, when it was only 1-0, as a reason why Town went on to nap his team.

Newell looked crestfallen as he spoke after the game but it was more than just the five-goal thrashing his team had suffered. It was clear the stroke that Davis had suffered had hurt the manager personally and it must have had an effect psychologically on his players.

The Blues started with the same side that finished at Southend, with Simon Walton in for the suspended Mark Noble and teenagers Shane Supple and Billy Clarke replacing Lewis Price and Jon Macken, who were injured early on at Roots Hall.

Luton, unbeaten in the previous five league games, made just one change from that side that crashed out of the Carling Cup last week, with Lewis Emmanuel in for Davis.

For all that, this is not to take anything away from Ipswich, who took the confidence gleaned from the win at Southend and accepted the good fortune that came their way.

They were not to know about Davis' illness until after the game. They did not influence the linesman to flag for an offside that should not have been.

By then, they could have been four or five up anyway, after Legwinski and Alex Bruce had both hit the frame of the goal.

The single first-half goal came from a Peters' cross that Bruce headed onto the crossbar and away for a corner. Matt Richards delivered perfectly and, with Jason De Vos using his body to distract a defender, Legwinski got in front of his marker to steer his header in.

The free signing from Fulham has steadily improved after a tepid start to his Town career but now looks as if he has adjusted to the demands of the Championship and has added a touch of the artisan to his artistic ability.

Added to that, he and Walton seemed to have defined their roles and no longer get in each other's way, with the Charlton loanee sitting a bit deeper, allowing the former Fulham man freedom to roam.

Legwinski might have had another when a ball from Billy Clarke found him in space and he hit the base of a post with a shot.

Clarke was once again terrorising the defence and on another day might have had a hat-trick.

He blazed over the bar from eight yards after Bruce headed down a Richards corner and twice went one-on-one with the keeper. Marlon Beresford pushed away the first effort and the follow-up clipped the top of the bar.

The 18-year-old beat him on another occasion but Emanuel got back to clear.

Not to be deterred, Clarke showed plenty of persistence and, along with Peters, helped put in Walton, whose shot was blocked for a corner and Jason De Vos hit a spectacular volley from the flag-kick.

Ipswich were fortunate to escape two minutes after the break when Dean Morgan played a brilliant ball to send Carlos Edwards scampering away. He pulled the ball across goal for Rowan Vine to run on to and score but a linesman's flag cut short the celebrations.

The Blues took full advantage and 12 minutes later Peters and Lee combined to double Ipswich's advantage. Emanuel cleared off the line after Clarke beat Beresford and Town quickly worked the ball out wide to Harding. Bereford's could not hold his cross under pressure from Lee and Peters swivelled to finish from inside the six-yard box.

After a fairly quiet opening half, Lee exploded into life to grab the first of his three with a classic finish after more exceptional work from Legwinski

Substitutes Roberts and Haynes combined to put the ball in the net but the new signing from Accrington Stanley had pushed the ball over the by-line before crossing for the returning striker, who scored twice on loan at Millwall.

Lee showed his poaching instinct by gobbling up his second when Haynes flicked on a Richards' corner, which Beresford saved but could not stop the Irishman's follow-up.

Accrington's Roberts looked a lively lad and won a penalty when he went down easily under a Kevin Foley challenge and Lee won the battle for the ball before sending Beresford the wrong way.

Cue Mexican waves, chanting of names and general jollity as Magic waved his wand but the suddenness of Davis' illness puts everything into perspective.

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