Matt finish puts Town in top six

IPSWICH TOWN 1 STOKE CITY 0FIVE weeks after hitting the bottom of the First Division table Ipswich Town reached a play-off place with victory over Stoke City.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH TOWN 1 STOKE CITY 0

FIVE weeks after hitting the bottom of the First Division table Ipswich Town reached a play-off place with victory over Stoke City.

A goal two minutes from the interval by Matt Richards – his first in senior football – was enough to give Town their seventh victory in eight league matches.

They could have scored several more with Pablo Counago the main culprit in front of goal, but the first home clean sheet in the Nationwide League ensured that three points were collected.

Ipswich suffered a blow when Alan Mahon limped off after 11 minutes with a hamstring injury, while skipper Jim Magilton failed to appear in the second period.

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While Counago and Shefki Kuqi ran riot at times up front and continued to build what promises to be and exciting partnership, Town were also well served by Richard Naylor and Georges Santos at the back.

Stoke made it much more difficult for Ipswich than Burnley last Tuesday when six goals rattled into the net.

However, apart from one huge scare right at the death when Andrews struck both posts, Town keeper Kevlin Davis was not unduly troubled.

The Ipswich midfield worked well against a team that battled for all their worth and Kuqi and Sky TV Man of the Match Counago had some sparkling moments.

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