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Sky Bet Championship

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 Bournemouth 21 39
2 Middlesbrough 21 39
3 Derby County 21 38
4 Ipswich Town 21 38
5 Brentford 21 37
6 Watford 21 35
7 Norwich City 21 33
8 Blackburn Rovers 21 31
9 Nottingham Forest 21 30
10 Charlton Athletic 21 30
11 Cardiff City 21 30
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 30
13 Sheffield Wednesday 21 28
14 Fulham 21 25
15 Birmingham City 21 25
16 Reading 21 25
17 Huddersfield Town 21 24
18 Bolton Wanderers 21 23
19 Leeds United 21 23
20 Millwall 21 23
21 Rotherham United 21 21
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 21 18
23 Wigan Athletic 21 17
24 Blackpool 21 13