Ipswich 2-1 Crystal Palace
Irish eyes were smiling at Portman Road as two goals from teenage sensation Josh Carson stole the show to leave Palace looking anxiously over their shoulders.
Town are well clear of Championship danger zone now, but these are worrying times for the Eagles, especially with Scunthorpe running out unlikely winners against leaders QPR.
Palace manager Dougie Freedman admitted it was a bad day for his side, but insisted they were “cocky enough” to stay up.
Northern Ireland U21 international Carson marked his third first-team appearance with a deadly double and an eye-catching performance.
Delighted Ipswich boss Paul Jewell said: “It makes a nice change to be talking about another 17-year-old, rather than Connor Wickham!
“I still get Josh to clean my boots, although he’s the worst apprentice I’ve ever had - I bet he forgets again on Monday. Mind you, I’ll probably be cleaning his boots soon.”
Palace had their moments too in the opening exchanges, with former Ipswich favourite Darren Ambrose firing wide, and Neil Danns also failing to find the target.
A mis-hit by Wickham found skipper David Norris, whose scuffed effort was comfortably saved by Julian Speroni.
Wickham then thrashed a left-foot volley just wide when he should have hit the target.
But Carson found the net moments later. The youngster registered his first senior goal after making his way menacingly into the box and hitting a right-foot effort that deceived Speroni.
“It was a cross,” said Jewell. “But he deserved that bit of luck because he was a thorn in their side.”
Carson took his burgeoning confidence into the second half and set up a chance for Norris to volley narrowly wide. Carlos Edwards was then denied by the woodwork.
Palace continued to push forward and were denied twice by promising young keeper Arran Lee-Barrett.
Wickham had a header saved by Speroni before Carson made it 2-0 after 66 minutes following a goalmouth scramble.
Palace were given a lifeline 17 minutes from central defender Paddy McCarthy fired home.
Sub Wilfried Zaha went close to salvaging a point, but Ipswich held firm.
Dave Smith (The Mirror)