since 1878

Ipswich Town (1) 5 - 1 (1) Huddersfield Town

Division 1 1997-98

Saturday, February 14, 1998

Referee: M Pierce

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road

Attendance: 10,509

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2729
























Match Report

Ipswich Town 5 Huddersfield Town 1

Ipswich Town roared to their biggest League win for over a year to continue their climb up the table, and raise hopes of making the play-offs.

Town crushed Huddersfield 5-1 at Portman Road on Saturday - no mean feat against much-improved opponents who had not lost an away game for three months.

The game had a quiet start, with the only real moments of note involving Alex Mathie, who saw a low cross shoot along the six-yard box with no-one able to get a touch, and a mis-hit lob sail wide.

Huddersfield had looked well-organised in defence but had showed little in attack, so it was a surprise when they took the lead on 37 minutes.

Marcus Stewart collected the ball in midfield, and ran on and on, beating two challenges before slipping the ball beyond Richard Wright.

Ipswich almost hit back immediately when Mathie burst through before scooping a shot wide, but they were level on 42 minutes.

Leading scorer David Johnson was this time the provider, sending in a pinpoint cross which found Matt Holland stealing in at the far post unmarked, and buried his header into the net.

The pair teamed up again on 53 minutes to put Ipswich ahead. Holland's long ball left Johnson one-to-one with defender Kevin Gray, who he shrugged off with ease before firing past Steve Harper.

It was 3-1 on 61 minutes when Danny Sonner sent Mathie away down the right, he waited until the keeper advanced and then unselfishly slid the ball across for Johnson to tap into an open net.

That took Johnson to 12 goals for Ipswich, and 20 in all this season when his eight at Bury are taken into account, but amazingly it was the first time in his career that he had ever scored more than once in a match.

Huddersfield had a chance to hit back on 66 minutes with what would have been a bizarre goal indeed.

A long ball forward forced Wright to dash out of his area to head away from sub Paul Barnes.

The ball dropped to Sonner who took too long and was robbed by Barnes, whose goalbound lob was spectacularly headed away by Jason Cundy.

Almost immediately Ipswich went back to the other end to score a fourth.

Mathie got the goal his display deserved when he received a Kieron Dyer pass with his back to goal, turned and fired into the corner.

The remainder of the game saw a succession of substitutions, but apart from a disallowed goal from Barnes near the end, there was little goalmouth incident until the final seconds.

Then Town cut Huddersfield open once again, and subs Bobby Petta and Richard Naylor teamed up, Naylor sliding home Petta's square ball.

The win means that the gap between Ipswich and the top six has now shrunk to seven points, having been double that only a few weeks ago.

Town have games coming up thick and fast at present, with Manchester City away on Wednesday, the big one with Norwich at home next Saturday and then Oxford at home the following Tuesday.

Some good results there could set up an exciting last couple of months for Town followers, and more form like that shown against Huddersfield could yet secure one of those coveted play-off places.

TEAM (PLAYED IN 4-4-2 FORMATION, LISTED IN FORMATION ORDER): Wright, Taricco, Cundy, Mowbray, Clapham (sub Uhlenbeek, 65), Stockwell, Holland, Sonner (sub Petta 84), Dyer, Mathie and Johnson (sub Naylor 79).

Attendance: 10,509.

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1997-98 Reports