Walters alters the mood for lucky Jim
Ipswich manager Jim Magilton must have felt like chanting 'can we play you
every week' to Bristol City counterpart Gary Johnson after his rejuvenated
side turned the atmosphere of unease at Portman Road into one of relieved
Losing lamely at Norwich on Sunday could have been the tipping point for
Magilton, with angry supporters on his back and billionaire owner Marcus Evans
feeling twitchy about the meagre return on his investment.
So the incredible flurry of goals at the start of the second half was well
timed from an Ipswich team booed off at the break and trailing to Stern John's
Magilton said: 'We knew we had to lift the crowd after Sunday and it was
pretty quiet at first. But no one took the Norwich defeat to heart more than
me and the players. This was our opportunity to right a wrong and we've done
The game turned when Jon Walters equalised and Pablo Counago put Ipswich
in front with goals on 49 and 51 minutes respectively.
Then Liam Fontaine's comical 20-yard own goal turned the supporters' jitters
Just after referee Paul Taylor waved away their appeals for a goal when Counago's
header looked as if it had crossed the line before being scrambled clear,
Ipswich found themselves a goal behind in the fifth minute.
Winger Ivan Sproule scampered away on the right and the Irishman's cross
was nodded home by the unmarked John.
It was the 20th minute before Ipswich found their rhythm and, after they
did, the pressure on City barely let up.
First Counago's clever reverse pass put through Darren Ambrose, whose curling
shot was saved by Adriano Basso.
It was the start of an incredible duel between the pair as Basso pulled off
five wonderful saves to deny Ambrose before the break.
At the start of the second half Basso was beaten at last - first by Walters
from a narrow angle, then by Counago who was given the freedom of the penalty
area to head home.
Ipswich's third goal came when Fontaine tried to divert the ball back to
Basso and only succeeded in sliding the ball past his startled colleague.
Ipswich defender Alex Bruce was sent off on the hour after his reckless lunge
at Nicky Maynard but City were unable to take advantage.
Johnson said: 'I was pleased with how we started but that's it. Our keeper
kept us in it and we were no better against 10 men.'
Mark Taylor (Daily Mail)