Football: Marshall picks up the baton

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Ipswich Town . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Southampton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

MAXIMUM points from their first two games is better than many would have forecast from last season's draw specialists, particularly after the sale of Jason Dozzell, and for that Ipswich are indebted in no small way to their strapping pounds 750,00 record signing Ian Marshall, who followed up his debut goal on Saturday with last night's matchwinner at Portman Road.

The margin of victory secured by his 58th-minute header was poor reward for the Suffolk side's overwhelming superiority from start to finish, but it mattered not to the locals, who went off merrily into the night chanting: 'We are top of the League.' Manchester United, and one or two others, might have something to say about that tonight.

The Saints defence was knocked from pillar to post, surviving a particularly hair-raising escape in the seventh minute when Marshall headed against a post and then Chris Kiwomya and the new signing Paul Mason were denied at point-blank range as Southampton defenders flung their bodies this way and that to block the shots.

Seconds before that farcical episode there had been another when Kiwomya, rediscovering the form which put him into the England frame last season, was presented with the ball directly in front of goal courtesy of a moment's aberration on the part of Richard Hall, the Southampton central defender. But Kiwomya, taken aback by such shocking generosity, allowed himself to be crowded out.

Ipswich supporters must have feared the worst. They have dominated matches in such a manner before only to finish up losers, as a header by Micky Adams against the bar in the 15th minute had reminded them.

Playing towards their favoured Churchman's end in the second half, David Linighan gave the same bar a twang with another header following a leap as prodigious as any of brother Andy's before Ipswich achieved the breakthrough. It goes without saying they scored easily, Marshall nodding in Neil Thompson's corner.

Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Baker; Stockwell, Linighan, Whelan, Thompson; Palmer, Williams, Wark, Mason; Marshall (Guentchev, 81), Kiwomya. Substitutes not used: Morgan (gk), Whitton.

Southampton (4-4-2): Flowers; Kenna, Hall, Monkou, Benali; Maddison, Cockerill, Widdrington (Banger, 61), Adams; Le Tissier, Dowie. Substitutes not used: Andrews (gk), Charlton, Banger.

Referee: A Wilkie (Chester-le-Street).