Stead sends Rs packing
Improving Ipswich see off QPR
Last Updated: 28/12/09 5:41pm
Stead: Second-half brace
Jon Stead helped himself to a brace as Ipswich Town continued their improved form with a 3-0 win over disappointing QPR.
Roy Keane's men were on the front foot from the off with Jonathan Walters opening the scoring with just four minutes played.
Town continued to dominate and Stead scored twice in the second half to wrap up a richly-deserved success over Paul Hart's men.
The win keeps Ipswich three points clear of third-from-bottom Plymouth while QPR are now 10th, four points adrift of sixth spot.
The home side got off to the perfect start when they took the lead inside the opening four minutes.
Sixth of the season
Stern John fed Walters and he ran towards goal, beat his full-back and fired past Radek Cerny into the bottom corner to notch his sixth goal of the season.
Keane's men continued their early dominance and had three golden opportunities to extend their lead.
First Gareth McAuley headed over from a corner when unmarked, before Walters wasted a fine chance as he dawdled and after a scramble the ball hit the post and was cleared.
And from the resulting corner Damien Delaney headed over when he should have at least tested Cerny.
Having found themselves lucky not to be 3-0 down, QPR finally began to stir and fashioned out two fine chances to equalise, with both falling to Adel Taarabt.
The midfielder put the ball just wide of the post with a glancing header from a good position and 90 seconds later he fired over from close range.
QPR were keen to get back into the game and controlled the opening period of the second half.
However, they were unable to produce anything telling in the final third and Ipswich keeper Arran Lee-Barrett was not tested.
And then Ipswich stuck the knife in when they doubled their lead just after the hour and it was a fine finish by Stead.
Owen Garvan fed the ball into the striker's feet and he managed to turn his defender with ease before slamming home from the edge of the area.
Ipswich then made sure of the three points when Stead got his sixth of the season by tapping the ball home after good work from Walters with 12 minutes remaining.
And the former England Under-21 striker really should have bagged a hat-trick but he wasted two good opportunities late on in the game.
Sky Bet Championship
Mon 28th Dec
Swansea0 - 0C Palace
Ipswich3 - 0QPR
Plymouth4 - 1Reading
Scunthorpe1 - 3West Brom
Bristol C2 - 2Watford
Barnsley2 - 1Middlesbro'
Peterboro4 - 4Cardiff
N Forest2 - 0Coventry
Sheff Utd1 - 0Preston
Newcastle0 - 0Derby
Sky Bet Championship
|4||Queens Park Rangers||43||73|
|6||Brighton and Hove Albion||43||65|