Gallery: Blues hold on for vital victory

A BLISTERING first-half display from Ipswich Town proved just enough to secure a precious three points for Roy Keane's men at Loftus Road.

QPR 1 Ipswich Town 2

by Carl Marston

A BLISTERING first-half display from Ipswich Town proved just enough to secure a precious three points for Roy Keane's men at Loftus Road.

Town were in complete control before the break, thanks to goals from David Norris and Daryl Murphy. It was Murphy's second goal in as many games since his loan move from Sunderland.

But it then turned into the classic "game of two halves" as hosts QPR tore into Town during the second period. It was suddenly one-way traffic in the other direction, and Jay Simpson's close range goal on

67 minutes set up a very nervous last quarter of the game.

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However, this time, after so many late disappointments already this season, Town held on gamely to record only their sixth league victory of the season.

It was a win that Town needed so badly, although they are still only one point clear of the bottom three, due to Reading's win over Plymouth.

Town fully deserved their early lead, handed to them by livewire Norris' deadly finish after just eight minutes.

It may have taken seven-and-a-half minutes later than their opener against Middlesbrough just four days earlier, but this time it was to send them on their way to a vital three points.

A slick pass from skipper Jon Walters found Norris in acres of space, just inside the penalty area, and the ex-Plymouth midfielder rammed home his shot from 16 yards out. The ball took a deflection on its way past keeper Carl Ikeme.

Town looked dangerous whenever they ventured forward - and they spent almost the whole of the first half on the attack - so it was no surprise when Murphy doubled the lead in the 38th minute.

Murphy actually started the move by spreading the ball out to the left flank. Jack Colback slid the ball across the edge of the penalty area and Norris dummied for Murphy to stroll in and guide his shot beyond the reach of Ikeme with his sweet left foot.

But it was all change in the second half, as QPR finally clicked out of first gear.

And the nerves began jangling when Simpson made it 2-1 in the 67th minute. Town failed to clear a corner, with the ball ricocheting off Jaime Peters and into the path of Simpson, who bundled home from close range.

Yet QPR could not find an equaliser, much to the relief of Town's big away following.

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