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Ipswich Town vs Crystal Palace
 1 - 3 
Tue Aug 18 19:45:00 BST 2009
Portman Road
Keith Hill

Darren Ambrose marked his return to Portman Road with a fine brace as Palace left Suffolk with a 3-1 win and, more importantly, the first three Championship points of the season.

Neil Danns got the third in an impressive Eagles performance that sunk a sorry Ipswich Town.

Roy Keane's men were lacklustre, each passing move more often than not frustratingly rounded off with a misplaced pass borne from a notable lack of communication - a good example of which was Richard Wright's throw to right back Damien Delaney when he wasn't even watching.

But Palace were confident. They attacked from the off and closed down the ball whenever they gave up possession. The result meant that the home side rarely had time on the ball and Palace were able to control the tempo of the game.

Neil Warnock also named an unchanged side and the Eagles looked comfortable in a settled 4-3-3 formation.


They almost had an early reward for some good opening attacking play, but Patrick McCarthy's header on seven minutes was acrobatically saved by Richard Wright.

On 21 minutes Ipswich carved out their first of few oportunities when Jon Walters climbed highest at the back post but his header flew over the bar.

Palace though soon regained control of the half and when Shaun Derry picked out N'Diaye with a superb cross field pass they came close to taking the lead.

The young Frenchman took the ball under control beautifully before skipping past two oncoming defenders with a neat piece of skill and then passed a low cross right across the box, but no one was there to tap it in.

The more the half went on the more likely it seemed that Palace would take the lead, especially when Danns began a mazey run from inside own half, sidestepped one challenge, then another to take him into the box. But his last touch took him too wide and his eventual shot from 15 yards on the angle flew wide.

Ipswich though began to work their way into the half towards the later stages and created a series of half chances but never really tested Speroni.

Walters had the first of them on 34 minutes when he turned and volleyed from the edge of the box, but Liam Trotter came closest when he fired just wide from 25 yards out.  

Five minutes of added time needed to be played following some lenghty treatment to Speroni. The Palace keeper had gone to ground under a heavy aerial challenge involving three or four players and Nigel Cox was called to his aid.

But in a bizarre turn of events Palace boss Neil Warnock sprinted out onto the pitch to talk to his number one. Whatever he said appeared to do the trick as Speroni was back on his feet, rather gingerly it must be said, but he carried on until the half time whistle.

Two minutes into the re-start Palace almost had their goal when a fine passing move between Sears, Danns and Ambrose offered up the opportunity for Sears to shoot, but Wright saved well.

Finally though, for all of the Eagles' pressure they finally got their goal on 49 minutes. Alan Lee sold his marker a decent dummy and his low cross was met by Ambrose, whose shot trickled over the line with the help of a slight deflection.

Darren Ambrose

The former Ipswich man then got his second just seconds later when he picked the ball up 20 yards from goal and, surrounded by three Town players, he managed to get the ball out from under his feet and fire a rising drive into the far top corner.

The game had now completely opened up as the home side desperately tried to get back into the game. Keane made two changes, with Jon Stead and Owen Garvan coming on and the former had the ball in the back of the net within minutes of his arrival, but his close range effort was ruled out for offside.  

Speroni then showed that his first half injury had not unsettled him when he pulled off a fine one handed save to deny Walters, but he could do nothing about Ipswich's equaliser on 62 minutes.

A ball to the back post was picked up on left by Garvan, who then clipped in a lofted cross for Alex Bruce to head home from close range.

But Palace sealed the win on 69 minutes when Jose Fonte did well to control the ball inside a crowded box and play in Ambrose on the right hand side.

His cross was met by Danns who climbed highest to nod into the near post.

Freddie Sears had a glorious opportunity late on to make it four when he slipped past the final defender and into a one-on-one situation, but his knock round the keeper took him too wide and the defender was able to clear.

Ipswich pushed in the final stages and Derry had to clear off the line from a Stead, who also drew a fine block from Danny Butterfield with his shot from 10 yards, but otherwise Palace were able to see out the game and record their first win of the season.


Ipswich: Richard Wright, Bruce, McAuley, Balkestein, Delaney, Walters, Healy (Garvan 52), Trotter, Martin (Quinn 72), Priskin (Stead 52), Wickham.

Subs Not Used: Supple, David Wright, Colback, Smith.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Hill, McCarthy, Fonte, Butterfield, N'Diaye, Derry, Danns, Lee, Sears, Ambrose.

Subs Not Used: Flahavan, Clyne, Carle, Moses, Scannell, Lawrence, Ertl.

Booked: Hill.

Att: 20,348   Referee : Keith Hill (Hertfordshire).

Watch Neil Warnock's post match press conference exclusively on Palace Player as well as extended highlights, which will be on later in the week,


Neil Danns
A brace from Darren Ambrose and a Neil Danns header seal the first three points for Neil Warnock's men...
 Match Information
  Ipswich Crystal Palace
Goals : 1 3
Possession : 50% 50%
Shots On Target : 9 9
Shots Off Target : 5 3
Corners : 10 9
Fouls : 12 12
Most Fouls : Wickham (4) N'Diaye (3)
Yellow Cards : 0 1
Red Cards : 0 0
Scorers :
Bruce 62
Ambrose 49
Ambrose 50
Danns 69
Full Match Stats
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