Ipswich creeping up on play-off contenders

Gordon Tynan
Wednesday 19 March 2003 01:00
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Ipswich Town remain hot on the heels of the First Division play-off challengers after a 3-1 victory over 10-man Reading at Portman Road last night.

Thomas Gaardsoe and Matt Holland – with Nicky Forster replying for the visitors – gave Ipswich a half-time lead, and they sealed victory through Jim Magilton with 20 minutes to go. Reading were a man down for the last half an hour after Adie Viveash was sent off for kicking the ball away at a free-kick.

The result means Ipswich stay in seventh spot, but they are now only two points behind Nottingham Forest and three behind Wolves. Reading drop to fourth place after Sheffield United's victory.

Crystal Palace's promotion hopes look over after losing to Wimbledon in the South London derby. Trond Andersen scored the only goal. Preston North End claimed an emphatic 5-0 win over Walsall at Deepdale with George Koumantarakis scoring twice to add to goals from Graham Alexander, Dickson Etuhu and Richard Cresswell.

Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday shared honours in the Yorkshire derby at Valley Parade with a 1-1 draw, but the Owls remain rooted to the bottom of the table. Andy Gray put City ahead from the penalty spot after 32 minutes, with Tony Crane levelling for Wednesday nine minutes from time, shortly after Jamie Lawrence had been sent off for the Bantams.

John Oster scored a valuable injury-time winner for Grimsby at Rotherham to lift his side out of the bottom three.

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