Courage gives Ipswich just rewards

BY showing courage in their convictions Ipswich got their just rewards.

Derek Davis

BY showing courage in their convictions Ipswich got their just rewards.

By adjusting to the more familiar Town set up with a 4-4-2, they showed their attacking intent and it paid off with three goals.

By making just the two changes the Blues looked a settled, well balanced and confident side.

The result catapulted Town up five places to 13th and with home games this week against a struggling Charlton side and then managerless QPR; they are in prime position to shoot up to, in, or around the play-off places where they should be.

The Blues have been promising to put on a performance and also get all three points for a while and after riding their luck a little got both.

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When Richard Wright saved with his knees a shot driven straight at him by Paul Gallagher, and Rory Fallon headed a Chris Clark free kick into the side netting you knew it was going to be Town's day.

Ipswich capitalised on some dreadful Plymouth play and Jon Walters hit the woodwork for the second game running when he pounced on a mistake and burst clear before shooting.

It can't be long before Walters gets his just reward and one goes in.

Walters, playing up front when Town had the ball, and tucking in on the right flank when they didn't, was involved in both Owen Garvan goals.

He played a cheeky back-heel in the build up to the first which came when Karl Duguid inadvertently cleared a lob in by David Wright to Garvan while under pressure from Kevin Lisbie.

The 20-year-old Irishman tucked his 20-yard shot away expertly.

Walters later muscled his way into the area before pulling the ball back to Lisbie, who in turn played it into Garvan's path and again he showed wonderful technique to drive home the 25-yard shot.

Pure class and the talented Irish midfielder totally bamboozled Argyle midfielder Luke Summerfield all afternoon, as Norris did a terrific job in keeping Duguid quite and Veliche Shumulikoski controlled things from deep.

The Blues survived a scare just before half time when the referee gave another of his baffling decisions.

He blew for a foul by Gareth McAuley on Fallon as the two tussled for a Clark free kick, onto the penalty spot.

But then the official gave the free kick outside the area to everyone's astonishment.

Lisbie promised that if he got a regular start he would score regularly and he was as good as his word, getting his fourth of the campaign.

Not only did Lisbie snap up the chance when David Norris' initial 10-yard shot was saved by Larrieu, but he played a big part in both of Garvan's goals.

It was the former Colchester United striker's first goal since he netted against the U's on August 26. It was also his first start for a month, when he lined-up at the kick-off for the 1-1 draw at home against Crystal Palace.

His work off the ball also caught the eye as he unsettled the central defence and he will be desperate to face his old club Charlton tomorrow evening after giving his all and looking shattered when he came off.

His goal three minutes after the break ended the game as a contest and Ipswich were comfortable for the most part although will be angry at not keeping a clean sheet.

A long distance Marcel Seip free kick found an unmarked Craig Cathcart and his glancing header beat a blameless Richard Wright.

Garvan was denied a deserved hat-trick when the Argyle keeper made a terrific save to push away his left-footed free kick curled in with pace accuracy and seemed headed for a top corner.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, on the verge of a senior cap, picked up his third booking of the season when the referee booked him for taking a free kick when he had already told Shumi to wait for the whistle.

It appeared to be another example of the pedantic referee's over-zealousness.

Mr Miller booked 10 players and, as is the norm it seems for Ipswich at Home Park, sent off a Town player. The third time a Blues player has been dismissed in three games at Plymouth with David Norris taking over from Fabian Wilnis as the fall guy.

Norris had already been booked for a meaty challenge on Duguid, who was yellow carded for a foul on Norris in the first half, and then as the clock ticked down he was shown a second yellow for kicking the ball away after a free kick had gone against him.

The referee was at least consistent - he was poor for both sides - and his display was even worse than Plymouth who had won their past three home games without conceding.

Ipswich will take a lot from their performance and while they will know they still need to tighten up defensively, they once more demonstrated that when they impose their game on a team and show positive intent, few sides in the Championship will be able to live with them.

It is onwards and upwards now and if they can sort out the home form and add consistency to their ability then a return to the play-off places must surely beckon.