Football: Round-up: Mathie opens box of tricks

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The Independent Online
LOCAL derbies are, by tradition, hard-fought affairs with few goals scored and little to choose between the sides. However, few folk in East Anglia would agree with that analysis this morning. The Nationwide First Division clash between Ipswich Town and Norwich City at Portman Road was won, thumpingly, by Ipswich as Suffolk punch proved much too strong for the Canaries of Norfolk.

Alex Mathie was the star with a first-half hat-trick that set George Burley's side on the way to a 5-0 win. The Scottish striker was substituted at half-time - he'd had a calf strain from the 10th minute and one dreads to think what would have happened if he'd been fully fit - but there was still no respite for Norwich as George Petta scored twice after the break.

"The pace and energy we showed was fantastic and we overran Norwich," Burley said. "We have young boys who are very fit, have bags of ability and can score goals. We had a flying start and never looked back."

Nottingham Forest lost the First Division leadership when they were held 1-1 at Stoke City. Dean Crowe, in only his second senior game, gave the Potters the lead when he fired in from six yards after Kyle Lightbourne, signed from Coventry for pounds 500,000, flicked on a corner. Ian Moore, in for Pierre Van Hooijdonk, absent on Dutch international duty, grabbed Forest's equaliser three minutes from time.

Few of the chasing pack took advantage of Forest's slip. Fifth-placed Charlton lost 3-0 at Stockport, Kevin Cooper scoring a couple while the centre-back Jon Dyson's 90th-minute header helped Huddersfield Town reverse their recent slump to beat Wolves 1-0 at the McAlpine Stadium. West Brom's failure to finish off Bury after Lee Hughes had given them the lead on the stroke of half-time at the Hawthorns cost them two points as Tony Ellis equalised early in the second half to give Bury their 17th draw in 33 games.

At the bottom, Portsmouth won their second match of the week, and only their second away game all season, when Adrian Whitbread's first goal for the club - a low shot after Martin Allen's strike hit Steve Claridge - proved to be the only goal of the game, seven minutes from time, at Reading.

Alan Ball, the Pompey manager, gambled by putting on a third striker with 17 minutes left. "I could be looking back and saying that we'd lost a game we could have drawn. But if you work hard in football, you sometimes find you get that little bit of luck you need. What more can a new manager ask for than back-to-back victories?"

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