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Sunday, 18 August, 2002, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Ipswich stun Foxes
Goalscorers Darren Ambrose (left) and Matt Holland celebrate their efforts
Ambrose (left) and Holland both scored
Ipswich 6-1 Leicester

Ipswich declared their intention for an immediate return to the Premiership as captain Matt Holland and substitute Pablo Counago scored twice in a resounding win over Leicester.

Holland struck either side of half-time to cap an excellent all-round performance at Portman Road, while Counago found the target after coming on in the 82nd minute.

Darren Ambrose and Finidi George were the other players on the score sheet.

Holland, a target for Aston Villa, was the creative force behind Ipswich's emphatic win along with Herman Hreidarsson and the 18-year-old Ambrose.


Their rivals started positively but, following the early departures of Muzzy Izzet, Nicky Summerbee and Gerry Taggert because of injury, they fell apart.

  Key moments
22mins: Ian Walker saves Marcus Stewart penalty
45mins: Matt Holland curls the ball in for the lead
45 mins: Jon Stevenson hits back
50mins: Stewart penalty turned down
57mins: Holland seals second goal
69mins: Ambrose curls in a deserved goal
75mins: George beats Walker
84mins: Counago scores two minutes after coming on

And the scoreline could have been even more depressing for the Foxes after Marcus Stewart missed a penalty and George had a goal disallowed for offside.

Ian Walker enjoyed a stunning start in goal, forcing Darren Bent to shoot wide, edging out a Hreidarsson header and saving Stewart's penalty in the 22nd minute.

Jon Ashton handled the ball in the area, Stewart hit the spot kick straight at Walker, who steered the ball away at the second attempt.

But Ipswich finally and deservedly went in front with Matt Holland's injury-time strike to start a miserable afternoon for Walker.

Holland found himself in acres of space, took the ball on the inside and curled it superbly into the corner.

The home side looked to be taking a deserved first-half lead before the final kick of the half took the ball past Andy Marshall.

Town's keeper made a total hash of his save from an unthreatening Jon Stevenson side-footed swipe.

Marcus Stewart
Stewart had a penalty saved

The second half started controversially when Stewart was clearly fouled in the penalty area. The referee waved play on.

Ipswich got the lead they deserved in the 57th minute when Holland drove home his second.

Ambrose provided the cross which Holland converted courtesy of a deflection.

The teenage midfielder got the goal he deserved 20 minutes from time following an astute substitution by George Burley.

Burley brought on George who lofted the ball sublimely for Ambrose to head home.

George turned from creator to converter as he coaxed the ball past Walker in the 75th minute and should have added a second but it was ruled out for offside.

Counago completed the rout with two goals in the final 10 minutes.

Two minutes after replacing Stewart, he profited as another deflected shot beat Walker and then capped the day with the best goal of the afternoon, driven into the bottom left of the goal.


Ipswich: Marshall, Wright, Gaardsoe, Venus, Hreidarsson, Ambrose, Holland, Magilton (Miller 69), Clapham, Darren Bent (George 72), Stewart (Counago, 82). Subs: Pullen, Wilnis.

Leicester: Walker, Stewart, Elliott, Taggart (Ashton 18), Sinclair, Summerbee (Stevenson 38), Izzet (Oakes 32), Rogers, Scowcroft, Dickov, Deane. Subs: Royce, Oakes, Heath.

Attendance: 27,374

Referee: P Walton (Northamptonshire)

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BBC Sport's Andy Barwell
"Ipswich look good for promotion on this form"
Ipswich boss George Burley
"We were totally outstanding"
Leicester boss Micky Adams
"We are not going to get too low after this"

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