Ipswich Town 1 Stockport County 0
A GOAL of Premiership pedigree from Jim Magilton saw Ipswich regain the second automatic promotion place in Division One.
The two-horse race to accompany Sunderland into the big time saw George Burley's men take full advantage of their game in hand on Bradford and they now have a three-point cushion with three matches left.
Though they failed to rubber-stamp their superiority by adding to Magilton's spectacular first-half strike, Ipswich's hopes of finishing above Bradford were further boosted by the successful return of Kieron Dyer, starting his first game for seven weeks after recovering from a cracked fibula.
Ipswich were in command from the outset, Dyer showing no obvious effects of his lay-off in a midfield monopolised by Magilton. David Johnson's ability to twist defenders into knots proved a real handful.
Their patient, passing football finally brought a reward six minutes from half-time when Jamie Clapham was forced to check his cut-in from the left to find Magilton.
The former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder, having earlier set his sights with a drive from similar distance, unleashed a fierce shot from 30 yards that tucked inside the near-post.
Goalkeeper Carlo Nash's handling was otherwise exemplary and he saved well from Clapham and Johnson.