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Vicarage Road Stadium (ATT 12,422) 21st August 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: R East

Watford Watford vs Ipswich Town Ipswich

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Ipswich 1

M Chopra (90)

Old boy Chopra haunts Hornets

Last Updated: 21/08/12 10:09pm

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Chopra: Hit the winner for Town

Chopra: Hit the winner for Town

Ipswich finally ended their losing sequence against bogey side Watford, with former Vicarage Road loanee Michael Chopra earning Town a 1-0 win.

The ex-Newcastle striker had not found the net in his previous 12 outings, but popped up in the 90th minute to turn in a low cross from Carlos Edwards from six yards.

The effort made up for an earlier bad miss when Chopra sent a 69th-minute shot over the crossbar from 12 yards.

Paul Jewell's Tractor Boys had lost their last five matches against the Hornets - and were without a victory over their Championship rivals in their previous 15 meetings.

But they held the upper hand for long periods.

The Hornets, now under the stewardship of Italian Gianfranco Zola, had won their opening two matches of the season, a 1-0 success over Wycombe in the Capital One Cup and a 3-2 victory away to Crystal Palace in the league, but it was Ipswich who had the better of the first half.

A right-footed 30-yarder from Lee Martin was superbly tipped over the crossbar by Hornets keeper Manuel Almunia in the third minute.

Both Martin and striker Michael Chopra then sent edge-of-the-box drives flashing narrowly wide, before a Jay Emmanuel-Thomas 25-yard free-kick flew past Almunia's left-hand upright.

And Emmanuel-Thomas drove another 20-yard shot wide as Ipswich continued to have the edge in terms of possession.

After 29 minutes Massimo Luongo produced a right-footed shot from outside the penalty area but again Almunia was not called upon to make a save.

But five minutes later Almunia was alert to punch clear an inswinging free-kick from Martin.

Ipswich also had the first real effort of the second half, the impressive Emmanuel-Thomas lashing another left-foot shot from outside the penalty area wide of the target.

Almunia then pulled off a good save in the 55th minute to keep out Luongo's left-footer.

Watford needed to try and gain the initiative and Zola opted to bring on Chris Iwelumo for the ineffective Joe Garner, and the big substitute immediately created an opening for Almen Abdi, who fired over the crossbar from 12 yards.

After 65 minutes a shot by Matej Vydra from the left-hand side of the penalty area was well blocked by Ipswich midfielder Luke Hyam.

Ipswich goalkeeper Scott Loach, who had left Watford for Portman Road in the summer, was called into action four minutes from the end of normal to deal with a 20-yard shot from Matej Vydra.

Ipswich had conceded 45 goals on their Championship travels last term, more than any other club in the division, but Loach was all smiles on the final whistle as he gained a clean sheet on his return to Vicarage Road.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 12 24
2 Derby County 12 23
3 Middlesbrough 12 23
4 Norwich City 12 21
5 Nottingham Forest 12 21
6 Ipswich Town 12 20
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 20
8 Charlton Athletic 12 19
9 Bournemouth 12 18
10 Brentford 12 18
11 Sheffield Wednesday 12 17
12 Cardiff City 12 16
13 Blackburn Rovers 12 16
14 Leeds United 12 15
15 Rotherham United 12 15
16 Reading 12 15
17 Huddersfield Town 12 15
18 Millwall 12 13
19 Wigan Athletic 12 11
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 12 11
21 Birmingham City 12 11
22 Fulham 12 10
23 Bolton Wanderers 12 8
24 Blackpool 12 6