Football: Dowie heads for home

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The Independent Online
Southampton. . . . . 3

Maddison 53, Ekelund 65, Dowie 89

Ipswich Town. . . . .1

Marshall 77

Attendance: 13,246

THEY SAY that it only takes one good result to turn a team's season around. Unfortunately for Ipswich, last week's victory over the champions has not changed frogs into princes. Yesterday, they were well beaten by a Southampton side who have now gone five games without defeat since their own apparent turning point, the 2-1 win at Tottenham three weeks ago.

Southampton's transition into a confident, attractive side is something that Ipswich will need to emulate over the coming winter months. They looked desperately ordinary yesterday, only getting into the game after Neil Maddison and Ronnie Ekelund had put Southampton two goals up. Ian Marshall, on as a late substitute, scored to give Southampton an anxious last 10 minutes, before man-of- the-match Maddison set up Iain Dowie to complete the Saints' first home win of the season.

That Ipswich's stirring win last week had not gone to their heads was evident from the start. Boncho Guenchev was left as the lone forward while Steve Palmer was deployed to do a man-marking job on Matthew Le Tissier. So effective was this non-aggressive stance that it was 20 minutes before the home keeper, Bruce Grobbelaar, got a touch of the ball.

With Le Tissier shackled, Southampton looked to Maddison and Jim Magilton to unpick the Ipswich defence. Maddison took the goal-scoring burden personally, firing in a fierce volley from Dowie's lay- off which needed a twisting save from Craig Forrest.

Only Simon Charlton's 10- minute absence to have a head wound stitched prompted Ipswich forward. But the moment he returned from sick bay, they retreated to their trenches.

And when Le Tissier's 53rd-minute kick was headed straight back to him by John Wark, the Channel Islander had time to place his cross on to Maddison's head for the first goal. Le Tissier also created the second, finding space on the left to send in one of his stunning volleys from 25 yards, which came down off the crossbar for Ekelund to head home.

Southampton looked to have the game won, with Jason Dodd forcing a sprawling save from Forrest, and Dowie heading against the outside of the post. But then Marshall scored, taking Claus Thomsen's neat pass in his stride before driving beyond Grobbelaar.

For the only time in the game Ipswich had the initiative. But Dowie's last-minute goal from a Maddison free-kick ensured that there would be no East Anglian fairy tale this time.