Keane turns a corner with first away win

Cardiff City 1 Ipswich Town 2: Ipswich come back from a goal down to beat Cardiff after hosts run out of ideas in worst display at new stadium, reports Gordon Tynan
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The Independent Football

How Roy Keane must wish he could play in Wales every week.

The under-pressure Ipswich manager had last tasted success on the road during his first game at the helm against Cardiff last April. Now six months on, Keane continued to have the wood on the play-off hosts as his side, who have now extended their unbeaten run to seven games, pulled off a surprise away win.

Even the most dyed-in-the-wool Ipswich supporter would not have expected them to cure their long-term travel sickness here thanks to substitute Jon Stead's late winner.

"I've had my fair of luck playing Cardiff," admitted Keane. "I've also had some good wins here as a manager and as a player at the Millennium Stadium. It's been a happy hunting place for me.

"The conditions didn't help, but it was a case of who took their chances. We've had a poor start to the season, but I'm confident we will get out of this situation."

No doubt, Keane's next target will be to climb out of the bottom three. But that task will have been made easier in the wake of his much- needed win. Not that the Irishman wouldn't have feared the worst after a first-half onslaught from Cardiff.

Keane had taken several members of his squad with him to the Millennium Stadium on Saturday to watch the rugby union international between Wales and Australia. It was one-way traffic there, and, just a few miles down the road, it was an equally one-sided affair in the first-half.

Once Jon Walters had somehow headed over in the opening moments, his Ipswich side were under siege.

Peter Whittingham, who had earlier rattled the visitors' crossbar, made it third time lucky when he volleyed home past the substitute goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett from 25 yards out. Debutant and ex-Cardiff trainee Lee-Barrett, on in place of the injured Richard Wright, could be have been forgiven for thinking a rugby score was on the cards given his side's wretched defensive record.

But Cardiff, who lost their goalkeeper David Marshall to injury, sat back and invited pressure. The chance was gratefully received and it was no surprise to see Walters expertly volley home the leveller after 73 minutes.

Despite Jay Bothroyd seeing his header ruled out for offside moments later, there was only going to be one winner and it duly arrived with five minutes remaining when Stead shot low through a crowd.

The Cardiff manager, Dave Jones, who kept his players locked in the dressing room afterwards for an hour, blasted his side following their third loss in a row. "It's a game we should never have lost," he said. "The crowd turned on us and had every right to do that. Our quality in the second half was non-existent. We made the wrong decisions. Everyone in the dressing room is at fault and we all have to take responsibility for this.

"We deserved to be booed off at the end by our own supporters. It's up to the players to pull their finger out now. It's not a blip. We haven't become a bad team overnight, but we have stopped doing the things which had made us successful."

Cardiff City (4-4-2): Marshall (Enckelman h-t); Kennedy, Hudson, Gyepes, Matthews; Rae (McCormack 87), Whittingham, Burke (Etuhu 76), Ledley; Bothroyd, Chopra. Substitutes not used: Quinn, Gerrard, Taiwo, Scimeca. Ipswich Town (4-4-2): R Wright (Lee-Barrett 25); D Wright, Delaney, McAuley, Rosenior; Leadbitter, Garvan, Walters, Edwards (Quinn 65); Priskin (Stead 52), John. Substitutes not used: Martin, Peters, Colback, Smith. Referee: J Singh (Middlesex). Booked: Ipswich John, Delaney, Garvan. Man of the match: Leadbitter.

Attendance: 19,463.