Steve Claridge spoke in glowing terms of a new life with Leicester when he made his pounds 1.2m move from Birmingham last week though as first beginnings go this was definitely one to forget. Thirteen minutes into his debut and Claridge's team were three goals down, bemused and thoroughly confused.
It was just the kind of start to make an expensive new recruit re-read the terms of his contract. A week ago Ipswich had donated Watford a two- goal lead before pulling victory out of the fire and yesterday they were in no mood to rely on their recovery powers a second time.
A win that lifted them five places in the First Division promotion chase with their noses now in front of these opponents was signposted after just five minutes when Brian Carey fouled Ian Marshall. From the free- kick John Wark looped a deceiving shot over Kevin Poole.
Marshall's aerial prowess was a feature of the game. In the 11th minute he rose to a long and high ball from his goalkeeper and gave Paul Mason possession just outside the penalty box. With the Leicester defence woefully lopsided Mason only had to note Simon Milton's onrushing presence alongside him and a cross-shot from right to left stretched Ipswich's advantage.
The third was the best , a devastating 13th-minute run by Gus Uhlenbeek taking him beyond Neil Lewis and he clipped an inviting ball towards Marshall. One shake of his shaggy mane was enough to emphasise Ipswich's superiority at that point.
It has been a source of some Suffolk satisfaction that since Martin O'Neill's defection to Leicester from Norwich neither of their erstwhile promotion challengers have prospered. Far from it, just one Leicester victory in O'Neill's 11 League games demonstrating the difficulties he has found at Filbert Street.
Iwan Roberts's 56th-minute headed goal hinted at a recovery. It looked decidedly possible 19 minutes later when, having just seen Poole save Wark's penalty after Uhlenbeek had been blocked, Roberts took his tally for the season to 19 with a rising drive.
Yet the better second-half chances had all belonged to those wearing blue and, four minutes from time, the final word was Marshall's as he lifted his shot high into the net.
Goals: Wark (6) 1-0; Milton (11) 2-0; Marshall (13) 3-0; Roberts (55) 3-1; Roberts (75) 3-2; Marshall (85) 4-2.
Ipswich Town (5-3-2): Wright; Uhlenbeek, Wark, Thomsen, Sedgley, Taricco; Milton, Williams, Mason (Scowcroft, 73); Mathie, Marshall. Substitutes not used: Gregory, Vaughan.
Leicester City (5-3-2): Poole; Grayson, Carey, Whitlow, Walsh, Lewis (Heskey, 82); Taylor (Lawrence, 69), Parker, Lennon; Claridge, Roberts. Substitute not used: Willis.
Referee: S Bennett (Dartford).
Bookings: Ipswich: Wark, Thomsen.
Man of the match: Marshall. Attendance: 9,817.Reuse content