Swindon Town 0 Ipswich Town 2
This was a comfortable victory for Town which made amends for the home defeat on Boxing Day.
It means that Town have won four and drawn two of their last six away games. Ipswich were in control against a Swindon side which lacked confidence in a first half where both Kieron Dyer and Bobby Petta missed good chances.
Injuries and suspensions meant that manager George Burley had to make several changes.
He went for a three-at-the-back system with Tony Mowbray and Matt Holland being joined by Mark Venus, back for the first time in three months. Dyer returned to midfield and Danny Sonner was recalled.
The system worked well with Town never under any real pressure from the home side and the breakthrough came three minutes after half-time.
Petta was pushed as he went for a Stockwell cross and David Johnson put away the penalty to make it seven goals in nine games.
There was one moment of danger when Venus cleared a McDonald header off the line, but in the 79th minute, Ipswich went from one end of the field to the other to make it safe.
Taricco blocked two Swindon efforts from a corner and the ball went out to Petta, who burst forward 60 yards before hitting a shot which took a deflection but will go down as the Dutchman's first goal for the club.
Town had other opportunities but could not turn them into goals, and Johnson in particular had two real chances to boost his goal tally.
Burley was naturally delighted by the performance, which again provides him with food for thought when selecting for the two big cup ties that begin 1998.
Ipswich go into the New Year in good heart but with considerable ground to make up if they are going to get into the top six.
TEAM: Wright, Stockwell, Taricco, Williams, Mowbray, Venus, Dyer, Holland, Johnson, Sonner, Petta. Subs: Milton (for Dyer, 83 mins), Naylor (not used), Brown (not used).