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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 Derby County 14 26
2 Watford 14 26
3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14 26
4 Bournemouth 14 24
5 Middlesbrough 14 24
6 Norwich City 14 23
7 Nottingham Forest 14 22
8 Blackburn Rovers 14 22
9 Charlton Athletic 14 22
10 Ipswich Town 14 21
11 Cardiff City 14 19
12 Sheffield Wednesday 14 19
13 Brentford 14 19
14 Reading 14 18
15 Millwall 14 17
16 Rotherham United 14 17
17 Huddersfield Town 14 17
18 Leeds United 14 16
19 Wigan Athletic 14 15
20 Fulham 14 14
21 Brighton and Hove Albion 14 13
22 Bolton Wanderers 14 11
23 Birmingham City 14 11
24 Blackpool 14 6