Mahon saves wasteful Ipswich

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The Independent Football

A first-half goal by Alan Mahon was all that Ipswich Town needed to beat Bradford City at Valley Parade and move into the top half of the Nationwide First Division.

Joe Royle's side outplayed the Bantams in the first half but wasted numerous chances until two minutes from the interval, when the Republic of Ireland international Mahon, on loan from Blackburn, scored with a low 25-yard shot. After the break Ipswich continued to dominate, and to spurn chances, with Shefki Kuqi the main culprit. He even had a penalty saved by Marlon Beresford, Bradford's most impressive player.

Millwall missed their chance, too, to move into the top six when they could only share a drab 0-0 draw at Rotherham United.

In the Second Division, the early leaders, Port Vale, slipped up again when they lost 2-1 to Iain Dowie's Oldham Athletic. Last week Dowie turned down the chance to take over at Stockport County, who shrugged off the disappointment to win 2-1 at Swindon Town. Another managerless side, Tranmere Rovers, fared less well, losing 6-0 at Plymouth, six different Argyle players getting on the scoresheet as Paul Sturrock's side moved up to fifth.

At the bottom, Chesterfield supporters still patiently await the Spireites' first League win of the season; yesterday's 2-1 defeat at Rushden & Diamonds was their seventh loss in 13 matches.

With the Third Division leaders, Hull City, playing today, Mansfield Town and Swansea City closed the gap at the top of the division to a point. Mansfield beat York City 2-0 and the Swans won 2-1 at Leyton Orient.

At the bottom, Southend United's Tesfaye Bramble scored in injury time at Kidderminster to earn the Shrimpers a 2-1 win, their first away success this season.