Ipswich Town. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
POOR Swindon. Even against depleted opponents also seemingly locked in a downward spiral, the first Premiership win they so deserve eluded them again yesterday.
Swindon's patient, intelligent football, which has brought so much admiration but so few points, enabled them to control play to the extent that defeat would have been an injustice. Ultimately, however, only a penalty spared them.
It had looked as good an opportunity as they will have to end their famine. Ipswich, now with only one win in 12 league games, were deprived by illness and injury of six regulars and seemed soft targets. But the Suffolk side found some fresh resolution and two goals from their veteran Scottish international, John Wark, making his 600th Ipswich appearance.
However, though it may sound a familiar refrain, better times must surely come soon to Wiltshire. John Gorman, still sticking to his admirable principles, dropped his Norwegian international, Jan Age Fjortoft, in favour of Keith Scott, a striker who was playing in the GM Vauxhall Conference only six months ago. Gorman was rewarded not merely with a debut goal from his new man but a performance of promise.
Scott, signed from Wycombe Wanderers last week, negotiated the step up in class, paying handsome tribute to the grooming given him by Martin O'Neill with the league new boys. In a busy first half, he set up Martin Ling for a shot against the woodwork, brought an excellent save from Clive Baker with a back header and directed a snap shot just too high before knocking in the goal he deserved seconds before half- time, defying the shirt-pulling attentions of a defender to head home Terry Fenwick's cross.
This cancelled out Wark's opening strike, taken after 17 minutes when Swindon's hesitant defence allowed the wily 36-year-old to sweep home Simon Milton's corner amid a sea of red shirts.
Ipswich, beaten 4-1 at home by Sheffield Wednesday on their last appearance, had chosen a pragmatic approach, packing their defence and waiting for the chance to counter- attack. They looked adept at it and took the lead again after 62 minutes when Kevin Horlock illegally ended Chris Kiwomya's run and Wark scored from the spot.
However, courageous to the end, Swindon would not be denied. Prompted splendidly from midfield by John Moncur and Luc Nijholt, they continued to probe.
With eight minutes left, when Ling was brought down, Paul Bodin rediscovered the accuracy that deserted him in Cardiff on Wednesday and converted the penalty.Reuse content