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sql/match-reports/1999-00/1999-9-18-0.htm

Ipswich Town (0) 0 - 1 (1) Birmingham City

Division 1 1999-00

Saturday, September 18, 1999

Referee: B Knight

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road

Attendance: 19,758

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2811

Goals

Home
 
Away
 Furlong 

Substitutions

Away
FurlongHughes
NdlovuAdebola

Cards

Home
 
Away
 

Teams

Away

Poole

Rowett

Lazaridis

Holdsworth

Purse

Johnson

McCarthy

OConnor

Furlong

Hyde

Ndlovu

Substitutes

Away

Hughes

Adebola

Match Report

Ipswich Town 0 Birmingham City 1

IPSWICH, fallers at the final play-off hurdle for the last three seasons, are intent on seeking automatic promotion this time and Birmingham, having similarly missed out last May, are equally determined to take the direct route to the Premiership.

The meeting of these Division One pace-setters, therefore, always promised to be a passionate affair. Sadly, quality was sacrificed in a bruising encounter - not that City manager Trevor Francis will mind after Paul Furlong's early penalty proved enough to inflict Ipswich's first league loss of the season.

The defeat not only knocked Ipswich off the top of the First Division but also left them back in third place, with Birmingham moving up to second behind new leaders Manchester City.

Early warning that this was to be a far from tepid affair came in the first minute, Furlong clattering into Manuel Thetis and earning himself a deserved booking.

The same two adversaries were involved when Birmingham took a surprise ninth-minute lead. Stan Lazaradis glided past Fabian Wilnis down the left and as the former West Ham winger entered the area, he attempted to do likewise against Thetis. However, he found the French defender to be the proverbial immovable object, and went crashing to the ground.

It looked a clear case of obstruction, but referee Barry Knight decided that there was illegal intent and pointed to the penalty spot, from where Furlong sent Richard Wright the wrong way for his fourth league goal of the season.

The home team showed signs of regaining their poise and twice inside a couple of minutes they threatened to equalise, as first James Scowcroft drilled a shot against Kevin Poole's legs and then David Johnson headed wide from Richard Naylor's flick on.

Ipswich were never really allowed to settle into a pattern, though, and Thetis' battle with Furlong continued, the Ipswich man this time receiving a yellow card for a foul just outside the penalty area. Garry Rowett curled the resulting free-kick a yard wide.

Thetis did not reappear after the break, perhaps to save him from further disciplinary embarrassment, and Wayne Brown took his place at centre-back. But it was at the opposite end that the first significant second-half action took place, Johnson hooking in from Scowcroft's knock down, only to be deemed offside. Furlong's thumping header against the crossbar from a Lazaridis cross showed that Birmingham were not going to relinquish control that easily.

The woodwork was later disturbed again by Scowcroft's deflected header, while Johnson's header was rolling in when Darren Purst cleared off the line.

Daily Telegraph

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