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Saturday, 10 August, 2002, 18:33 GMT 19:33 UK
Walsall 0-2 Ipswich

Goals from Darren Ambrose and Marcus Bent ensured Ipswich got their Nationwide Division One campaign off to a winning start at Walsall.

The Tractor Boys - heavily tipped for an instant return to the Premiership - scored a goal in each half during a one-sided contest at Bescot.

  Key moments
37 mins: Ambrose scores
62 mins: Marcus Bent scores

Walsall started brightly and created some decent chances during the opening exchanges.

Town goalkeeper Andy Marshall saved from Pedro Matias after four minutes and Jorge Leitao narrowly missed the target with a header from Matt Carbon's cross.

But Ipswich soon found their rhythm and their opening goal after 37 minutes was no more that George Burley's team deserved after a sustained spell of pressure.

Matt Holland almost scored when he latched onto a pass from Marcus Bent, but Walsall goalkeeper Jim Walker made a good save.

While four minutes before Ambrose's opener Walker pulled off another good save to deny Darren Bent's 30-yard effort.

Ambrose, 18 and on his League debut, finally made the breakthrough when he was first to react after Walker had parried Darren Bent's shot.

The Saddlers almost equalised after 48 minutes, but Leitao's shot was cleared off the line by Jamie Clapham.

Ambrose then went close to a second, but his 25-yard effort drifted wide.

Marcus Bent's fine performance was rewarded with a goal after 62 minutes.

The Ipswich striker scored with a overhead kick six yards out after connecting with Darren Bent's header.

Walsall had one more good chance, but substitute Gary Birch was denied by Herman Hreidarsson.

Ipswich ended the match with 10 men - Darren Ambrose went off with cut lip after Town had used all their substitutes - but Walsall were unable to make their numerical advantage count.

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BBC Five Live's John Roder
"Ipswich start their season perfectly"

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