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Portman Road (ATT 16,821) 19th February 2013 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: R East

Ipswich Ipswich Town vs Watford Watford

ft

Watford 2

I Anya (18)
N Chalobah (72)

Championship: Watford secure 2-0 win at Ipswich to keep pressure on Cardiff

Last Updated: 19/02/13 10:40pm

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Nathaniel Chalobah: Hit the second

Nathaniel Chalobah: Hit the second

A goal in each half helped Watford gain a vital 2-0 victory at Ipswich in the battle for promotion which saw them close the gap on Championship leaders Cardiff to eight points on Tuesday night.

The visitors flew out the traps with Jonathan Hogg hitting the crossbar before Ikechi Anya scored for the second time in four days with a fine curling finish.

Nathaniel Chalobah then put the game to bed in the 73rd minute, slotting past Stephen Henderson to secure three valuable points in the Hornets' push for promotion.

Ipswich, looking for their first win over the Hornets at Portman Road since 2004, recalled Michael Chopra to their starting line-up after the former Cardiff striker netted the only goal in their 1-0 win over Blackpool on Saturday.

Hogg was another of the players recalled to the starting line-up by Gianfranco Zola and the midfielder came agonisingly close to the opening goal after just four minutes but his 25-yard effort rattled the bar.

And two minutes later Troy Deeney, making his 250th club career appearance, had a shot deflected wide as the Hornets continued to show what a danger they are on the break.

But after surviving the early scares the Tractor Boys began to feel their way back into the match and David McGoldrick fired over after linking up with strike partner Chopra, who scored the only goal when the sides last met.

But the visitors took the lead on 18 minutes when a slick move down the left hand side ended with loanee Anya bending the ball into the far corner from inside the box for his fourth of the season and his second in four days.

Mick McCarthy's men came close to an equaliser on the stroke of half time when Chopra met Richard Stearman's cross with an acrobatic attempt 10 yards out that flew straight at Manuel Almunia.

Ipswich started the second half the stronger and Tommy Smith had the ball in the back of the net in the 66th minute, but the offside flag was raised to spare the blushes of Almunia who had spilled McGoldrick's shot into his path.

McCarthy, knowing his side are far from safe in 18th position, made two attacking substitutes to try and swing the game back in their favour with Aaron Mclean and Frank Nouble entering the fray.

In the 68th minute Forestieri had a great chance to put the game to bed but he smashed the ball wide after drifting past Aaron Cresswell.

But Chalobah did just that five minutes later, the Chelsea loanee finishing a flowing move that he began for his fourth of the season.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 43 93
2 Burnley 43 86
3 Derby County 43 78
4 Queens Park Rangers 43 73
5 Wigan Athletic 42 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 65
7 Reading 43 64
8 Ipswich Town 43 64
9 Nottingham Forest 43 62
10 Bournemouth 43 62
11 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
12 Watford 42 60
13 Middlesbrough 43 58
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 43 53
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 42 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Millwall 43 43
21 Charlton Athletic 42 42
22 Blackpool 43 42
23 Barnsley 43 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37