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Portman Road (ATT 17,399) 25th March 2014 - Kick off 19:45

Ipswich Ipswich Town vs Derby County Derby

Ipswich 2

J Williams (68)
C Berra (90+1)

ft

Derby 1

P Bamford (1)

Sky Bet Championship: Ipswich down Derby 2-1 late on

Last Updated: 25/03/14 10:48pm

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Christophe Berra: Headed a late winner for Ipswich

Christophe Berra: Headed a late winner for Ipswich

Christophe Berra claimed a dramatic stoppage-time winner to keep Ipswich's Sky Bet Championship play-off dreams well and truly alive at the expense of fellow promotion hopefuls Derby.

The Rams got off to a dream start when Patrick Bamford scored with just 34 seconds on the clock.

But a spectacular strike from Crystal Palace loanee Jonny Williams drew Ipswich level before Berra's late goal made it 2-1 at Portman Road.

Derby had started the match just as they ended their last Championship encounter - a 5-0 hammering of local rivals Nottingham Forest.

Just 34 seconds had elapsed when Craig Forsyth found space down the left and his low cross was turned in by Bamford.

A hard-fought 20 minutes ensued with Derby's Chris Martin going toe-to-toe with Berra in an incident which saw the Town defender go to ground and the striker shown a yellow card.

Bamford was proving to be a real handful for the home side and his low shot after 27 minutes was well held by Dean Gerken at his near post.

But the first half was largely forgettable with the match littered with fouls and Ipswich playmaker Williams targeted by some rough defending from Derby - a fact not lost on Town boss Mick McCarthy who had words for referee Fred Graham as the players went off at the interval.

The visitors had a great chance to double their advantage in the 52nd minute when Bamford found himself through on goal but his attempted chip over Gerken was thwarted by the Town keeper.

Minutes later, Ipswich found a way through the Derby defence as Williams broke clear down the left but Luke Chambers just failed to make a clean contact to the playmaker's clever chip.

On the hour mark, Town finally carved out a shot at goal as Anthony Wordsworth and Paul Anderson combined to release Daryl Murphy and his deft right-footed shot was tipped round the post by Lee Grant.

McCarthy introduced attacking firepower in Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Frank Nouble, but Derby hit back with half-chances through Jeff Hendrick and Forsyth before Ipswich grabbed an equalizer out of nothing in the 68th minute.

Aaron Cresswell laid a short free-kick off to Williams who found the corner of the net from almost 30 yards.

Derby almost restored their lead in the 73rd minute when Martin's low cross was turned goalwards by the dangerous Bamford but his shot went agonisingly wide.

They went even closer two minutes later after Nouble's poor pass led to Forsyth breaking clear but his fierce drive cannoned off the near post.

The post then came to Derby's rescue when Ipswich's two subs combined, Ebanks-Blake striking the woodwork with a header from Nouble's teasing cross.

But Ipswich claimed a winner in the first minute of stoppage time, Berra rising highest to meet Cresswell's corner to send the ball past the diving Grant.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 27 51
2 Derby County 27 51
3 Middlesbrough 27 50
4 Ipswich Town 27 50
5 Brentford 27 49
6 Watford 27 47
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27 44
8 Norwich City 27 43
9 Sheffield Wednesday 27 38
10 Blackburn Rovers 27 36
11 Birmingham City 27 36
12 Nottingham Forest 27 34
13 Cardiff City 27 34
14 Fulham 27 34
15 Huddersfield Town 27 34
16 Bolton Wanderers 27 33
17 Charlton Athletic 27 32
18 Reading 27 31
19 Brighton and Hove Albion 27 29
20 Leeds United 27 29
21 Rotherham United 27 29
22 Millwall 27 24
23 Wigan Athletic 27 21
24 Blackpool 27 17