Ipswich Town 3, Norwich City 2

Chris Lakey City's hopes of staying in the Championship are hanging by a thread after defeat at the home of their nearest rivals this afternoon. Bryan Gunn’s men stay third from bottom, a point behind Barnsley who have a game in hand, and three behind Nottingham Forest – and they have just two games of their own to make up the difference.

Chris Lakey

City's hopes of staying in the Championship are hanging by a thread after defeat at the home of their nearest rivals this afternoon.

Bryan Gunn's men stay third from bottom, a point behind Barnsley who have a game in hand, and three behind Nottingham Forest - and they have just two games of their own to make up the difference.

The odds will be stacked against them and all eyes will be on Barnsley's game against Coventry on Tuesday night.


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Bryan Gunn recalled right winger Lee Croft, with no place for David Carney, even on the bench.

Gunn looked to have settled for a 4-4-2 formation, with Alan Gow in a nominal left flank role with licence to roam behind front pair Alan Lee and David Mooney.

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There was only one striker on the bench, Cody McDonald getting the nod, sitting alongside keeper Stuart Nelson, defender Adrian Leijer and midfielders Simon Lappin and Korey Smith.

Town boss Jim Magilton was missing injured right back David Wright and midfielder Jon Walters - so Alex Bruce moved across from centre-half, where there was a recall for Ivan Campo. Giovani Dos Santos started in midfield, with Kevin Lisbie and Pablo Counago up front.

The Canaries got off to a terrific start, going ahead after just 15 minutes, when David Mooney headed home Sammy Clingan's free-kick from all of 12 yards - a terrific effort which he buried into the far corner beyond Richard Wright.

City were boosted by the goal and gave a good account of themselves before the wind was taken out of their sails 10 minutes later, when their defensive frailties were cruelly exposed.

Giovani Dos Santos flicked the ball into the path of Alan Quinn on the left side of the area and the midfielder fired past David Marshall and into the far corner.

The Canaries would be disappointed not to be ahead, certainly on the balance of play.

Both sides had their nervous moments but Alan lee, returning to his old club, went close with a shot from the edge of the area, while Jason Shackell and Gary Doherty were causing the home defence problems at set-pieces.

Darel Russell had a snap-shot tipped over by Wright, but at the other end Pablo Counago wasted a great chance to give Ipswich the half-time lead when he headed over from Jaime Peters' cross.

Ipswich lost left back Ben Thatcher just before the interval because of injury, while there were bookings for Counago, after a studs-up tackle on Lee, and Gow, for a foul on Alex Bruce.

t Half-time: Ipswich Town 1, Norwich City 1

Darel Russell and Alan Gow had gone close in the opening period, but Ipswich were stronger after the break and went ahead from the penalty spot after 55 minutes, Giovani Dos Santos firing home after City keeper David Marshall was adjudged to have fouled Kevin Lisbie.

City were often at full stretch but it wasn't until the final minutes that the scoreline was completed. Ipswich sub Jon Stead was given far too much space in the final minute and curled a low shot past Marshall.

Moments later City had their own spot-kick, Quinn penalised for a push on Alan Lee. Sammy Clingan converted, but it was too little, too late - and City face an anxious run-in.

City boss Gunn headed straight for referee Neil Swarbrick at the whistle and it was some minutes before he headed for the tunnel, applauding the travelling City fans who must now be wondering just when they will visit Portman Road again.

t Result: Ipswich Town 3, Norwich City 2

t Ipswich Town: Wright, Bruce, Campo, Balkestein, Thatcher, Dos Santos, Shumulikoski, Quinn, Norris, Lisbie, Counago. Subs: Bialkowski, Garvan, Peters, Stead, Haynes.

t Norwich City: Marshall, Otsemobor, Doherty, Shackell, Bertrand, Croft, Russell, Clingan, Gow, Mooney, Lee. Subs: Nelson, Lappin, Leijer, McDonald, Smith.

t Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).

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