Football: Holland keeps Ipswich on track

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The Independent Online
SUNDERLAND MAY have had a relatively quiet afternoon at Selhurst Park yesterday but the alternative First Division promotion race below the runaway leaders gathered steam, as the leading two contenders for the remaining automatic promotion place both won.

Second-placed Ipswich, fresh from a 6-0 demolition of Swindon on Saturday, were made to work a little harder for their 3-1 win over Queen's Park Rangers at Portman Road, a result which maintains their three-point advantage over Bradford City, despite the Yorkshire side's victory at Bury.

The former Ipswich forward Chris Kiwomya gave Rangers a surprise lead after four minutes but David Johnson equalised just eight minutes later. After the break, Ipswich stepped up the pace and two goals, from James Scowcroft and Matt Holland, in the space of 10 minutes mid-way through the half secured three vital points for the Suffolk side.

Bradford kept up the pressure with their second win of the Easter weekend, Dean Windass scoring twice to add to Bury's relegation worries at Gigg Lane.

It was a bad day for the Holdsworth family, with David scoring for Birmingham, but unable to stop the Blues losing at home to Watford. Meanwhile his brother, Dean, the Bolton forward, missed a penalty in his side's 2-1 home defeat by Stockport. Tony Ellis opened the scoring for the visitors before Bob Taylor equalised four minutes after the break. Colin Woodthorpe hit County's winner 15 minutes from time.

There were angry scenes at The Hawthorns during and after a humiliating 5-1 home defeat for West Brom at the hands of relegation-threatened Crewe. During the game, one angry Albion supporter threw his club shirt in disgust at the manager, Denis Smith, and afterwards more than 500 fans demonstrated outside the club's main entrance, where glass doors were smashed and police were called in to restore order. "It really doesn't get much lower than this," was Smith's assessment of the result. A sorry day for West Brom was concluded by their Dutch striker, Fabian de Freitas, who missed the match after getting the kick-off time wrong.

The events overshadowed a fine Crewe performance, whose goals came from Dave Wright, Seth Johnson, Mark Rivers and two from Jermaine Wright.

At the relegation end of the table, Port Vale's Martin Foyle scored the 200th goal of his career at Barnsley to lift Brian Horton's side out of the bottom three. Adam Locke secured a crucial win for Bristol City at Portsmouth with an 86th-minute header but other results conspired to keep the Robins at the bottom of the table.