Town win at Walsall
Walsall 0 Ipswich Town 2: IPSWICH Town began their bid for an immediate return to the Premiership with a comfortable 2-0 win over Walsall at the Bescott Stadium.
Walsall 0 Ipswich Town 2
IPSWICH Town began their bid for an immediate return to the Premiership with a comfortable 2-0 win over Walsall at the Bescott Stadium.
Teenage sensations Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose combined to set Town on their way on 36 minutes.
Bent cut in from the right edge of the box and hit a left-footed shot which Walsall keeper Jimmy Walker could only palm into the path of Ambrose who tapped into the empty net.
Walsall almost levelled things just a minute into the second-half when Jorge Leitao headed a Walsall corner goalwards but Jamie Clapham cleared the ball off the line.
Ipswich all but confirmed the points just after the hour mark when Darren Bent met Clapham's deep cross to head it back for namesake Marcus who hit a spectacular overhead kick to make it 2-0 to Town.
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Bent was injured as he scored and was immediately replaced by Alun Armstrong.
Walsall tried to fight their way back into the match but rarely sustained pressure on the Ipswich goal.
Ipswich were forced to play the final 15 minutes with only ten men.
Ambrose cut open his lip when the ball bounced into his face and with George Burley having used all three of his substitutes there could be no replacement.
Brazilian Moreira Herivelto brought a spark to Walsall's play but even with ten players Town were able to hold on in comfort.
Ipswich will face tougher tests than this one but a winning start was vital and Burley will be happy with mission accomplished.