Ipswich edge Rams in thriller
By Andy Clarke. Last Updated: 02/04/05 5:15pm
Ipswich moved level on points with Wigan Athletic in second place in the Championship by beating Derby 3-2 in a hugely entertaining encounter at Portman Road.
Marcus Tudgay headed Derby in front after seven minutes, but Ipswich hit back with goals from Jim Magilton, Darren Bent and Tommy Miller before Inigo Idiakez ensured a frantic finale with a late goal for the Rams.
Both teams also missed a hatful of chances in a bright and open match, with Derby showing just why they have won 10 times away from home in the league this season.
However, Ipswich made better use of the goalscoring opportunities and also hit the woodwork twice as they took full advantage of Wigan's defeat to West Ham.
Derby made the brighter start and were rewarded with a goal after only seven minutes. The lively Morten Bisgaard cut in from the right wing and when his shot was deflected it fell perfectly for Tudgay to head past Kelvin Davis.
George Burley's side continued to force the pace and should have been two ahead when Tommy Smith crossed from the left and Bisgaard somehow missed the target from six yards.
That brought Ipswich to life and after Shefki Kuqi missed a similar chance at the other end, Richard Naylor crashed a header against the bar from close range after meeting Darren Currie's corner.
Grzegorz Rasiak headed over when he should have done better from Smith's right-wing cross, before Magilton equalised with the aid of a slight deflection after good work by Kuqi and Bent.
Adam Bolder cleared a Naylor header off the line as Ipswich threatened again and Derby immediately broke away - Idiakez getting clear down the right only to blaze a right-foot shot high over the bar.
Derby were caught cold right at the start of the second half when Miller played the ball forward for Bent and he clipped a first time shot beyond Camp to give his side the lead.
Bisgaard should have equalised for the visitors but volleyed over after meeting a clever flick from Rasiak while at the other end Kuqi rattled the bar from 20 yards, before Miller scored the decisive third goal for Ipswich, volleying in from the edge of the area after a Currie corner was half cleared.
Idiakez looped a header over Davis with just a few minutes left to play, but Derby could not force an equaliser to boost their play-off claims and Ipswich held on.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 2nd Apr
Leicester3 - 1Millwall
Coventry2 - 1Brighton
Stoke City1 - 2Rotherham
Wigan1 - 2West Ham
Plymouth1 - 1Cardiff
Burnley3 - 1Watford
Reading0 - 0Sheff Utd
QPR1 - 3Sunderland
Crewe1 - 1N Forest
Leeds1 - 1Wolves
Preston1 - 1Gillingham
Ipswich3 - 2Derby
Sky Bet Championship
|4||Queens Park Rangers||33||60|
|8||Brighton and Hove Albion||33||50|