Town give Joe ideal start

Ipswich Town 1 Slovan Liberec 0: JOE Royle got off to a winning start as manager of Ipswich Town as he saw his side battle to a 1-0 win over Slovan Liberec in the second round of the UEFA Cup.

Ipswich Town 1 Slovan Liberec 0

JOE Royle got off to a winning start as manager of Ipswich Town as he saw his side battle to a 1-0 win over Slovan Liberec in the second round of the UEFA Cup.

A great finish from young Darren Bent just moments after coming on as a second half substitute gave the Blues the decisive goal and a 1-0 lead to take to Liberec in two weeks time.

Ipswich gave a solid performance in a tight first half with few chances. Alun Armstrong came closest to scoring when he ended a flowing Town move with a powerful header which was well saved by Antonin Zinsky in the Liberec goal.

Town continued to look strong after the break and still appeared the most likely side to score. Hermann Hreidarsson nearly gave them the lead when he arrived late in the Liberec box and lashed a shot goalwards but Kinsky was again there to save.

But it was Darren Bent who got the vital breakthrough after coming on for Pablo Counago in the 65th minute. Just four minutes later he had added to his prolific goalscoring record.

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Jim Magilton released Armstrong out wide and the powerful striker cut inside before setting up Bent who lashed home the finish.

Liberec were nearly straight back on level terms when just a minute later a fumble by Andy Marshall gave Baffour Gyan a golden opportunity to equalise but he hit the bar and Jan Nezmar failed to turn in the rebound.

That was the last real chance for the Czechs and Ipswich were able to maintain their lead with relative comfort.

Town were certainly not back to their best but this performance showed evidence that Royle can help the Blues turn the corner. Confidence is the key for Town and every win can only increase confidence in the Ipswich camp and increase the chance of a belated bid for promotion.

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