since 1878

Ipswich Town (2) 3 - 0 (0) Preston North End

Coca-Cola Championship 2004-05

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Referee: Iain Williamson

Manager: Joe Royle

Portman Road 15:00

Attendance: 23,745

Manager: Billy Davies

Match Number: 3077


 Shefki Kuqi (44)
 Tommy Miller (45)
 Darren Bent (72)


Ndumbu-NsunguLynch (67)
ONeilSkora (69)
CurtisDaley (77)


 Drissa Diallo 





















Match Report

Town win at a canter

Ipswich ended a run of three successive draws in emphatic style at Portman Road as goals from Shefki Kuqi, Tommy Miller and Darren Bent ensured Joe Royle's side kept pace at the top.

It was another miserable afternoon in Suffolk for Preston, who have not won or even scored a goal at Portman Road for over 40 years.

Inspired Preston keeper Gavin Ward appeared to have kept Billy Davies' side level going into the break, but following several fine first-half saves he was beaten by Kuqi in the 43rd and again by Miller in the 44th minute, with Bent sealing the points with a stunning third midway through the second half.

Jim Magilton played Kuqi in for the opener, the former Sheffield Wednesday striker sliding the ball home from close range, while Miller latched onto Bent's pin-point cross soon after.

Bent struck the killer goal in the middle of Preston's best spell, firing home into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area in the 72nd minute.

After Preston's Paul McKenna and Kuqi had traded shots from distance that flew over the crossbar, Ipswich went on to dominate.

Kuqi tested visiting keeper Ward with another effort from the edge of the penalty area, while Ian Westlake's shot was cleared by Youl Mawene.

Dickson Etuhu was next to put his body on the line as Preston struggled under the early onslaught, blocking Miller's 30-yard blockbuster before Richard Cresswell offered some respite for the visitors, firing in on target from even further out.

Ward then pulled off an eye-catching save to deny Bent's left-foot curler, while Kuqi hit the woodwork with a thumping 20-yard drive.

Jason de Vos was next to test Ward, who did well to hold the defender's header from Magilton's corner.

But Preston reminded the home fans they were capable of ending their dismal run at Portman Road when Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu, another former Sheffield Wednesday forward, forced home keeper Lewis Price to turn his shot from the edge of the area round the post.

Ipswich's veteran schemer Magilton - rested in midweek following knee trouble - was orchestrating midfield, while Bent went close to breaking the deadlock with a 25-yard shot which the impressive Ward parried for a corner.

But Ward was beaten twice in as many minutes when first Kuqi and then Miller converted close-range chances to rock Preston just before the break.

Fabian Wilnis, Kuqi and Westlake all peppered the Preston goal with long-range shots after the break as Ipswich went straight on the offensive.

Shortly after the hour-mark Davies swapped Ndumbu-Nsungu with Simon Lynch and then Eric Skora for Brian O'Neil and the visitors enjoyed their best spell of possession without carving out any chances.

But Ipswich made sure of the points when grabbing a third goal against the run of play.

Westlake fed Bent on the edge of the area and the home striker unleashed a right-footed shot which flew into the top right-hand corner.

Ipswich boss Royle then took Magilton off for Dean Bowditch and sent on Pablo Counago for the injured Wilnis, while Davies replaced John Curtis with Omar Daley.

Kuqi saw another 25-yarder snaffled by Ward, while Etuhu's scuffed shot from six yards summed up Preston's afternoon.

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