since 1878

Ipswich Town (1) 2 - 1 (0) Derby County

Nationwide League Division One 2003-04

Saturday, December 6, 2003

Referee: MD Messias

Manager: Joe Royle

Portman Road 15:00

Attendance: 25,018

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 3031


 Darren Bent (1)
 Mawene (og) (69)
 Tudgay (73)


JohnsonMills (8)
ValakariHolmes (78)
TudgayMcLeod (87)


 Chris Bart-Williams (43)
 Kelvin Davis (76)
 Shefki Kuqi (78)
 Bradbury (76)
 Taylor (77)





















Match Report

Burley left pointless on return

George Burley received a great ovation from home fans when he returned to Portman Road for the first time as boss of Derby.

Burley, who had seven and a half years in charge at Portman Road, saw the struggling Rams concede what he described as "two diabolical goals" in a 2-1 defeat.

Derby fell behind in 24 seconds when Shefki Kuqi won a high ball in midfield, Westlake knocked it forward for Darren Bent to lob over the head of goalkeeper Lee Grant - who had raced off his line and left himself stranded.

Burley said: "Christmas came early for Ipswich. I can't believe how many errors we managed to make in the opening 24 sectonds of a match.

"For 20 minutes Ipswich were well on top, but in the final stages of the first half we found our feet and got our game going with Ian Taylor twice going close.

"It was a blow when Michael Johnson had to go off after eight minutes with his calf injury after he had passed a late fitness test.

"In the second half I felt we were the only team likely to score, but to say we were unfortunate would be wrong. We gave as good as we got, but then we were punished for another diabolical mistake."

In the 69th minute Simo Valakari knocked the ball into wide-open space to allow Bent to burst through. Burley introduced Bent to league football and said: "Certainly no-one was going to catch him."

Bent's angled drive was blocked by Grant, but the ball struck Youl Mawene running back and he could only knock it into his own net.

Derby pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute when Marcus Tudgay knocked the ball over goalkeeper Kelvin Davis with the Ipswich defence waiting for an offside decision that never came.

Ipswich manager Joe Royle said: "I thought it looked well offside, but I'll reserve judgement until I've seen the video."

Burley was disappointed, adding. "You don't need to be brilliant to pick up points in Division One, but basic errors always prove costly and that was the case today.

"It's a mental thing. I told my players they had to be strong, but mistakes made it difficult for us. Players must be aware of their responsibilities.

"I was looking forward to coming back to Ipswich and appreciate the great reception from the crowd.

"The pressure on me, though, was to get the right result for Derby.

"I am rebuilding the squad and I am optimistic for the future with young players coming through."

Royle, whose side are now third in the Division One table, added: "I don't think we had too many problems, although we were not at our best going forward. I'll take that result when we were so depleted.

"We had two midfield players in our back four and John McGreal was playing his first league game in a year - despite that I cannot recall too many dramas around our box."

Ipswich central defender Richard Naylor limped off after 22 minutes and Royle said: "He was suffering from a spasm in his hamstring and must be doubtful for the visit to Millwall next Saturday."

Royle said he would have introduced attackers Pablo Counago and Martijn Reuser from the bench in the closing stages had there been a two-goal buffer but explained: "Being only one up I had to keep our strongest defensive formation on the field."

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