since 1878

Ipswich Town (1) 5 - 0 (0) Luton Town

Coca-Cola Championship 2006-07

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Referee: Iain Williamson

Manager: Jim Magilton

Portman Road 13:15

Attendance: 20,975

Manager: Mike Newell

Match Number: 3173


 Sylvain Legwinski (20)
 Jaime Peters (50)
 Alan Lee (66)
 Alan Lee (76)
 Alan Lee (90)


EmanuelBrkovic (60)
FeeneyBoyd (69)
MorganPerrett (79)


 Alex Bruce (13)
 Sylvain Legwinski (49)





















Match Report

Ipswich fired by Lee's 24-minute hat-trick

While a Mexican wave and the "Ole!" chants reverberating around Portman Road yesterday were a touch premature as far as promotion chances are concerned, the manner of Ipswich Town's emphatic victory here is sure to send shockwaves through the Championship.

A 24-minute hat-trick from Alan Lee propelled Jim Magilton's team up seven places to 11th and consigned the visitors to their first defeat since mid-September. In his programme notes Magilton pointed to the mixed fortunes his side had had in front of the Sky television cameras, but the ease with which they dismantled a Luton side that had looked solid play-off contenders going into the game made for splendid viewing.

It was barely two weeks since Ipswich had conceded five goals at home to West Brom, and only one week after Luton put as many past Leeds United at Kenilworth Road, but here the roles were reversed as Magilton's inconsistent side displayed a ruthless streak not hitherto seen.

The volatile nature of the Championship ensured that Ipswich were only five points clear of the relegation zone at the start of the day but are now within six points of an automatic promotion position with this victory.

Magilton's side offered Luton ample warning of their intentions before Sylvain Legwinski opened the scoring with a precise angled header from Matt Richards' corner after 20 minutes. Before that, Billy Clarke had wasted a glorious opportunity when he spun and blasted over the bar from six yards and Dan Harding dragged a shot inches wide after intricate build-up play. Alex Bruce saw his towering header come back off the woodwork and, although Ipswich took the lead from the resultant corner, they squandered a host of chances before the end of the half.

The visitors almost punished Ipswich for their inability to capitalise on sustained pressure when Carlos Edwards crossed for Rowan Vine to slot in to an unguarded net, but the Luton striker was controversially ruled offside for the position he adopted at the start of the move - when he was offside but inactive - rather than when the ball was played to him.

"It wasn't offside, I know that for a fact," said the Luton manager Mike Newell, who had to contend with his defender Sol Davis suffering a stroke on the team bus while travelling to Ipswich on Saturday.

"I haven't got an explanation from the linesman yet but I'm sure it will be a good one. If he was given offside for being offside when the move started I don't understand the rules."

That decision proved the turning point and spurred the home side on to a rousing performance. Seven minutes later a Harding cross was headed down by the irrepressible Lee and Jaime Peters was on hand to turn the ball home for the first goal of his professional career.

Ipswich then moved up a gear and Legwinski's endeavour sent Lee through on goal to drive in a third goal with his left foot. Barring Marlon Beresford in the Luton goal, Newell's team appeared to have all but given up on finding a way back into the game, and when Richards' precise corner found the substitute Danny Haynes unmarked Beresford could do little more than palm the ball to Lee, who was perfectly positioned to lash home.

Kevin Foley's careless trip on Gary Roberts at the end gave the Republic of Ireland international an opportunity to register his first hat-trick for the club and he obliged with aplomb, scoring his eighth goal in seven games.

"One-nil up is always a dangerous position to be in, but once we got away with a lucky break I thought we were excellent," said Magilton. "We got on the front foot, scored some very good goals and we're delighted with the result, but it's only three points."

A constant menace to Luton's defence, a hat-trick was the least the Irish international deserved and his performance will surely have caught the eye of Steve Staunton.

Man of the match: Alan Lee

Best moment: Breaking the offside trap to fire his second goal with the swagger of the division's in-form striker

David Ornstein (The Guardian)

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