Santos feels great after first Town goal

GEORGES Santos described scoring his first goal for Ipswich Town as a "great feeling," after he hit the target in a terrific 3-2 win at Cardiff City on Saturday, writes Carl Marston.

GEORGES Santos described scoring his first goal for Ipswich Town as a "great feeling," after he hit the target in a terrific 3-2 win at Cardiff City on Saturday, writes Carl Marston.

Frenchman Santos, who was a major doubt during the week due to a foot injury, felt no ill effects as he prodded home Town's second goal. He then played a huge part in rebuffing a Cardiff onslaught in the second half.

Town were good value for their win, prompted by goals from Tommy Miller (penalty) and Santos in the first period, and a third from Chris Bart-Williams on 81 minutes.

Cardiff, played off the park during a one-sided first 45 minutes, forced the pace after the break. They pulled the game back to 2-1, and then 3-2, but the Suffolk side always had their noses in front.

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For Santos, it was the perfect afternoon for himself and the team.

"To score my first goal for Ipswich Town is a great feeling. It was a lovely goal," enthused Santos.

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"I want to watch it on television now, to appreciate it. I managed to slip my marker from a corner and beat him to the ball. The next moment, it was in the net.

"The goal was good for the team, and brilliant for me," added Santos.

It was his first goal in 21 senior appearances for Town, and his 10th since his move to this country from his native France in 1998. Now the former Tranmere, West Brom, Sheffield United and Grimsby defender is looking forward to the rest of the season at Portman Road.

"It looks very good for us at the moment. We are up to fourth place and going well," continued Santos.

"I think we will be well up there at the end of the season. We played some excellent football in the first half this afternoon, and I believe we are capable of repeating that in other games.

"In fact, we could have scored one or two more goals than the two we scored in the first half. It was different in the second half, because we had to stay focused.

"I thought that Cardiff's penalty was very harsh. It brought them back into the game. But we concentrated on trying to keep the ball.

"Cardiff put us under pressure for the final five minutes, but then that will always happen in those circumstances.

"I was just happy to be playing. My foot was still painful on Friday, but I desperately wanted to play. I had worked hard all week, and it has paid off.

"Now I'm looking forward to going to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, and getting three more points!" added Santos.

Even Robert Earnshaw's 100th goal for Cardiff, via the penalty spot, could not prevent the Bluebirds from nose-diving to their first defeat in nine games.

While the Welshmen have slipped down to ninth in the table, having begun the afternoon ahead of Town on goal difference, Joe Royle's men are up to fourth.

The immediate future is to register another away win at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night; the long- term future is to claim one of the two automatic promotion slots.

Santos is certain that Town have the pedigree to make the top two; and don't bet against the 33-year-old celebrating another "lovely goal" before this season is over!

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