since 1878

Tranmere Rovers (0) 0 - 2 (1) Ipswich Town

Division 1 1998-99

Tuesday, September 29, 1998

Referee: A Butler

Manager: Unknown

Prenton Park

Attendance: 5,072

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2761




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L Jones




G Jones


Match Report

Town back in the winning habit

Ipswich Town shock off all the frustrations and disappointments of the previous week to score their expected victory over an injury hit Tranmere Rovers side who are still without a League win this season.

It has been David Johnson's electric speed that caused panic in the Tranmere ranks and it looked as though he might be claiming a deflection for the goal and the certainly deserved to get his name on the scoresheet for an all action display.

After the interval Tranmere went on the attack to such an extent that Ipswich introduced Adam Tanner as a third central defender in the 74th minute.

The home side, desperate for a result, were caught cold after 79 minutes when Jamie Clapham broke down the right and crossed for James Scowcroft to head home at the far post.

It was a simple move, but so effective. In fact Scowcroft might have had a hat-trick but for Dutch goalkeeper John Achterberg.

Unluckiest of all, however, was Mauricio Taricco who let fly with a tremendous drive that rebounded to safety off the inside of the post.

Ipswich looked better balanced with the recall of Clapham while some of Kieron Dyer's work, especially after the interval, must have impressed scouts from Newcastle who were checking on Tranmere before the club's meet in the Worthington Cup. Dyer might have scored a third goal for Ipswich three minutes from the end when be broke through only for Achterberg to bring off a daring save.

It was just the result Ipswich needed to put their promotion bid back on the rails but, to be fair, they did not have to be at their very best to claim the three points. Tranmere will provide easy pickings for most of the top clubs on the Division.

Defensively Ipswich were prone to the occasional hic-cup with Manuel Thetis receiving his fourth bookings since his arrival from Seville and sometimes looking anything but assured.

It was good to see Richard Wright back in a more confident mood. He brought off a couple of good saves although one miskick just after the interval almost proved costly.

Blow by blow

In the second minute a through ball from Koumas, Tranmere's promising youngster, was deflected to safety off the back of Thetis' boot. Then Holland did well to cut out a cross from the left that had taken a ricochet.

After five minutes Irons fouled Stockwell just outside the penalty area but Venus stabbed his left foot drive into the defence wall.

Tranmere broke down the right with Allen, their million pound signing from Everton but Thetis dealt with the low cross at the far post.

From then on Ipswich took command. Stockwell beat Thompson and the ball ran loose to Holland whose shot was charged down by Irons.

It was an unlucky thirteenth minute for Johnson when space opened up for him through the inside left channel but his hurried shot was sliced wide.

Scowcroft was offside when Achterberg dived at his feet as he chased a penetrating ball from Stockwell. Then Koumas tried his luck from 30 yards but sent the ball high over the bar.

Dyer and Taricco combined for Stockwell to earn the first Ipswich corner after 17 minutes but Challinor was there to head the ball away.

Mellon was lectured for a foul on Petta. From the free kick Johnson used his space to cut inside McGreal as he was approaching the six yard box Achterberg was out bravely to smother the ball.

Ipswich almost went ahead in the 20th minute when Johnson supplied Stockwell with a good pass. He got in an angled shot just before Thompson brought him tumbling down. The ball flew wide of the far post with the keeper only able to watch.

There was no luck for Ipswich in the 24th minute McGreal tripped Johnson 22 yards out. Stockwell touched the free kick into the path of Taricco who's scorching first time drive hit the inside of Achterberg's right hand post. Somehow the ball flew across the face of goal and away to safety.

This bit of excitement livened up the Ipswich fans who had been subdued but now began to realise that their side was gaining control.

Johnson held the key with his speed and in the 27th minute be burst round Challinor before testing Achterberg with a chest high drive from 12 yards that the Dutch keeper blocked but could not hold.

Thetis conceded a corner to stop Lee Jones in the 34th minute but the flag kick was headed towards goal by Challinor from the edge of the box which was no problem for Wright.

Tranmere attacks were rare. There was applause for Santos, a Frenchman who does not speak English, who found Allen with a square pass but Venus coped with the cross.

By the 40th minute Tranmere had pulled Hill back into defence to try to stem the Ipswich tide and he did well to clear a cross from Petta.

Then Santos tripped Clapham. Petta's free kick was aimed at Scowcroft's head but he was closely marked.

In the 44th minute Stockwell accelerated onto a square pass from Johnson only to be tripped by Hill who was promptly booked. The free kick from Dyer was turned for a corner by Hill who forced the ball away from Thetis at the far post. Petta's flag kick reached Stockwell on the far edge of the penalty area and Town's longest serving player cracked a right foot shot through a crowded goalmouth and into the net. Johnson turned as if he was claiming a touch but it looked like Stockwell's goal.

Ipswich came close to adding a second in time added on for injuries. Petta slipped a pass to Clapham to chase deep into the penalty area. His driven low cross was met by Scowcroft but Achterberg spread himself and blocked the shot with his legs.

Half-time: Tranmere 0 Ipswich 1

Tranmere brought on Gary Jones and Morrisey in place of Hill and Santos who was, after all, only a make shift forward.

In the 49th minute Thetis received his booking for tripping Lee Jones but Koumas hammered the free kick into the defensive wall.

Scowcroft went close on a couple of occasions from chances laid on by Petta and Taricco. Then Venus put a long shot wide but by now Tranmere knew they had nothing to lose and started to look a more dangerous outfit.

In the 57th minute Morrisey was booked for a foul on Petta but two minutes later Mellon robbed Dyer and it was just as well that Taricco was quick to react to stop Gary Jones.

In the 61st minute a back pass by Thetis was intercepted by Lee Jones but Wright raced from his line to scramble the ball away with his legs.

After 70 minutes Mahon came on for Koumas, an unpopular move with home fans, but Ipswich soon boosted their defence with Tanner taking the place of Petta.

Ipswich were uncomfortable in the 75th minute after Clapham had brought down Allen. The free kick was rolled to Mahon who's rasping drive was just wide.

Two minutes later a breath taking run by Dyer of some 40 yards enabled him to set up Taricco who's cross from the right was headed down by Scowcroft.

Johnson, who had seen little of the ball since the interval, tried a scissors kick but never connected properly.

Scowcroft's goal made the points safe and then Dyer could have made it three but a sliding tackle from Challinor led to a booking.

Tranmere had one last effort when Gary Jones forced the ball past Wright but Tanner was back to boot clear from the goalmouth.

Result: Tranmere 0 Ipswich 2

East Anglian Daily Times

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