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sql/match-reports/2004-05/2004-12-28-0.htm

Ipswich Town (1) 1 - 0 (0) Stoke City

Coca-Cola Championship 2004-05

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Referee: Lee Mason

Manager: Joe Royle

Portman Road 12:15

Attendance: 26,217

Manager: Tony Pulis

Match Number: 3087

Goals

Home
 Shefki Kuqi (34)
Away
 

Substitutions

Away
BrammerHenry (55)
RussellEustace (73)
Noel-WilliamsGreenacre (74)

Cards

Home
 
Away
 Buxton 
 Henry 

Teams

Away

Simonsen

Buxton

Thomas

Duberry

Hill

Russell

Bramner

Clarke

Asaba

Noel-Williams

Akinbiyi

Substitutes

Away

DeGoey

Neal

Eustace

Henry

Greenacre

Match Report

Tractor Boys pull clear

Ipswich extended their lead at the head of The Championship after a narrow 1-0 win over Stoke at Portman Road.

The Tractor Boys now have a five-point advantage over their nearest rivals courtesy of Shefki Kuqi's first half winner, although that gap should be closed later on Tuesday.

Ipswich were good value for their victory having demonstrated the kind of free-flowing football that has become something of a trademark this term, but were left holding on a little in the closing stages as the visitors pushed forward for an unlikely leveller.

Darren Bent should have had the hosts ahead after just four minutes after Kuqi touched on a long ball to set his strike partner clear, but the striker placed his shot too close to Steve Simonsen who saved low down to his right.

Moments later Tommy Miller saw his goalbound effort well blocked by Wayne Thomas following a neat pull-back from Darren Currie.

Ade Akinbiyi was forced to head off his own line on 25 minutes to prevent a Currie corner curling in.

Eight minutes later the crucial breakthrough arrived, Jim Magilton fed Kuqi who played a neat one-two with Dean Westlake on the edge of box before slotting past Simonsen from 12 yards.

Bent missed another very presentable chance just past the hour mark when he got ahead of marker Lewis Buxton to meet a Fabian Wilnis cross, but could not direct his header on target.

Shortly afterwards, Richard Naylor had to be aware to snuff out an opportunity for Akinbiyi and responded well to clear for a corner after the striker had threatened to break clear.

As the visitors pushed on in search of an equaliser, Bent broke clear and capped a fine run with a fierce shot that Simonsen had to tip over, but it proved immaterial as Ipswich emerged victorious.

Mark Kendall (Sky Sports)

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