Ipswich 1-2 Preston
Promotion hopefuls Ipswich Town got the new campaign off to the worst possible
start with defeat at home to Preston North End.
Last year's promotion push was underpinned by a superb home record and Jim
Magilton was seething after a sloppy 10 minutes of schoolboy defending cost
his side maximum points at Portman Road.
He moaned: "Because of our fantastic home record last year, some of our lads
thought automatically it would just happen again and we got punished for a
sloppy 10 minutes"
"You can't afford to switch off - we did and got punished twice, the second
goal was schoolboy stuff"
"Our better players should have dominated the game and we start off with
a defeat, maybe that's the wake up call they all need."
The afternoon started well for the home side when new boy Kevin Lisbie headed
home from close range after two minutes following a neat cross from Danny
That should have set the tone for the rest of the game but Ipswich failed
to capitalise on their early advantage.
Preston somehow got back into the game in the 21st minute when Chris Sedgewick
squared the ball to skipper Paul Mckenna whose brilliant strike thundered
past keeper Richard Wright, on his second home debut for Ipswich after his
move from West Ham.
On 34 minutes Preston took the lead - a combination of Ipswich falling asleep
and quick thinking from McKenna freed Billy Jones down the right.
His low cross gave Simon Whaley a simple tap in from four yards.
Substitute Alan Lee nearly made an instant impact as he found himself with
time and space in the box but his shot on 75 minutes just bent round the far
Preston had an awful start to last season but have got off to a flyer at
Boss Alan Irvine was delighted with his teams response to such an early
setback in the game.
He said: "We've laid a few ghosts to rest, our season started at quarter
past three and then we played well and scored two good goals.
"It's a magnificent result for us. It's a hard place to come - and their
record here last season was outstanding and will be so again this season."
Warren Haughton (sundaymirror.co.uk)