Miller opens the door to Ipswich rampage

Ipswich Town 5 - Sheffield United 1
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The Independent Football

Ipswich Town kept up their pursuit of the Championship leaders Wigan Athletic with a 5-1 demolition of Sheffield United to maintain an unbeaten start to the campaign at Portman Road and bring the Yorkshire club's run of seven games without defeat to a shuddering halt last night.

Ipswich Town kept up their pursuit of the Championship leaders Wigan Athletic with a 5-1 demolition of Sheffield United to maintain an unbeaten start to the campaign at Portman Road and bring the Yorkshire club's run of seven games without defeat to a shuddering halt last night.

Sheffield United produced two moments of madness to bring life to a game that had started without any real sparkle.First, the Ipswich midfielder Tommy Miller slotted home a 21st-minute opener from the penalty spot after Phil Jagielka's back-pass had sold goalkeeper Paddy Kenny short and he upended Darren Bent.

Then, two minutes later, Jagielka and his central defensive partner Chris Morgan left Fabian Wilnis' left-wing cross to one another and Shefki Kuqi gratefully accepted the gift-wrapped present to loop a header over the advancing Kenny.

United were handed an unlikely lifeline a minute before the break when defender Richard Naylor could only direct Andy Liddell's free-kick into the path of Leigh Bromby, and the full-back stabbed the ball home.

Within three minutes of the restart another Bromby shot went the wrong side of the upright.

But Ipswich restored their two-goal advantage in the 62nd minute as United's defensive frailties were exposed for a third time, with Naylor easily brushing aside challenges to rise highest and power a header from Miller's corner into the roof of the net.

Kuqi made it four with a sweet curling shot into the bottom corner in the 68th minute and Ian Westlake, who watched Olympic swimmer Karen Pickering succeed in a half-time penalty shootout as part of a personal contest between the pair, completed the rout two minutes later from close range.

Ipswich (4-4-2): Price; Diallo, De Vos (Richards 24), Naylor, Wilnis; Miller, Magilton, Horlock, Westlake; Bent, Kuqi. Substitutes not used: Davis (gk), Counago, Bowditch, Collins.

Sheffield United (4-4-2): Kenny; Bromby, Jagielka, Morgan, Harley; Liddell, Gray, Thirlwell, Quinn (Montgomery, 74); Shaw (Forte, 74), Cadamarteri (Lester, 74). Substitutes not used: Barnes (gk), Lester, Geary.

Referee: L Probert (Gloucestershire).

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