Worthy Town win

GAVIN Williams ensured Ipswich Town began 2007 in winning style as they ended league leaders Birmingham City's six-match unbeaten run.The midfielder hauled himself off the bench and ignored a long-standing groin problem to get on the end of a wonderful ball from the jinking Gary Roberts and side-foot a volley home from 10 yards.

By Derek Davis

GAVIN Williams ensured Ipswich Town began 2007 in winning style as they ended league leaders Birmingham City's six-match unbeaten run.

The midfielder hauled himself off the bench and ignored a long-standing groin problem to get on the end of a wonderful ball from the jinking Gary Roberts and side-foot a volley home from 10 yards.

Town left it late to claim their victory but it was well deserved as they rounded off probably their best performance of the season.


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Ipswich will hope this is not another false dawn and that they can find this sort of form consistently.

Too often this season Town have played good football in patches but have failed to deliver. This was different.

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They went through the 90 minutes playing good football, defending well enough and refusing to buckle towards the end as frustration could have settled in.

Right from the off Town took the game to City with Billy Clarke in for Jon Macken and Matt Richards on for the struggling Williams.

Clarke's partnership with Alan Lee provided more of a goal threat in the first 13 minutes than the 13 games Macken has played while on loan. The young Cork man curled a shot wide after combining well with Lee and hit another shot wide when Owen Garvan threaded in a terrific ball and Lee nodded it on.

Town pounded the City defence and Matt Sadler cleared off the line three times and Damien Johnson did so once to deny Richard Naylor, Clarke and Sylvain Legwinski, from Matt Richards corners.

Town also had a strong appeal for a penalty waved away by Andy D'Urso after Stephen Clemence handled in the area from Naylor.

Ipswich dictated the game with Legwinski in particular breaking things up just in front of his back line and helping to set up attacks.

That is exactly how Town's winner came about with Legwinski winning the ball with a gritty tackle and feeding Lee.

He surged forward before playing it wide left for Roberts.

The new £220,000 signing from Accrington Stanley twisted and turned his marker before delivering a peach of a ball deep to the far post area.

In came Williams at full pelt and met the ball with a sweet side-footed volley to angle the ball past Maik Taylor.

It was pure quality from start to finish and thoroughly deserved to end with a goal.

Skipper Jason de Vos got his wish with a clean sheet and a victory and his 33rd birthday party today will be one to remember.

Alex Bruce celebrated the win last night with his mum and his dad Steve in an Ipswich waterside restaurant but the Birmingham boss did not begrudge his son, or Ipswich, the well deserved three points.

It might have been different when Gary McSheffrey got past the young Bruce and laid the ball on for Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner but Lewis Price pulled off yet another top class save to deny City.

Bendtner also headed against the crossbar from a corner but again Price had it covered.

For those who like omens they will be pleased to know that the last time D'Urso officiated at Portman Road Town beat Luton 1-0 almost a year ago to the day.

They then went on an unbeaten run of eight league games through January and into February.

It the Blues can play over the next couple of months as they did against Birmingham then there is no reason it can't happen again.

Manager Jim Magilton will look to bring in new signings this month with George O'Callaghan from Cork City hopefully the first.

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