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 Saturday, 14 December, 2002, 19:11 GMT
Ipswich 4-2 Watford

Watford's poor recent form continued as Ipswich completed the double over the Hornets this season in a thriller at Portman Road.

The Hornets had lost four of their last five games and were always facing an uphill task after goals by Tommy Miller and Richard Naylor had given Ipswich the lead at the break.

Tommy Smith pulled one back just after the break, only for Pablo Counago to restore the two-goal lead.

Watford defender Neil Cox's 75th-minute effort then looked to have set up a tense finale but Marcus Bent netted a fourth for Ipswich late on to seal the points for Joe Royle's men.

Miller opened the scoring in the 21st minute when he unleashed an unstoppable 30-yard drive into the top right corner which left Alec Chamberlain with no chance.

Cox went close to an equaliser but saw his header from Neil Ardley's free-kick saved by Marshall, while Miller was denied a second by Chamberlain.

Ipswich doubled their advantage in the 40th minute when Naylor picked the ball up on the halfway line and burst past three defenders before firing a low shot past Chamberlain.

Quick reply

Watford needed a quick reply at the start of the second half and Lewington's team-talk appeared to have done the trick as Smith pulled one back with a left-foot shot.

The visitors then pressed for an equaliser but Heidar Helguson shot wide with a weak shot and they failed to take advantage when Marshall fumbled Ardley's corner.

Ipswich appeared to have killed the game off in the 67th minute when they restored their two-goal lead.

Chamberlain failed to hold Miller's 20-yard shot and Spanish striker Counago was on hand to steer home the rebound for his 11th goal of the season.

Watford refused to lie down though and Cox threw them a lifeline once again when he headed home Ardley's corner from the right eight minutes later.

Their hopes of an equaliser were finally ended in the 87th minute when Bent, who had replaced Naylor as a second half substitute, added a fourth for Ipswich with a left-foot volley.


Ipswich: Marshall, Wilnis, Hreidarsson, Holland, Gaardsoe, Magilton, Clapham, Wright, Miller, Naylor, Counago. Subs: Pullen, Marcus Bent, Darren Bent, Ambrose, Reuser.

Watford: Chamberlain, Ardley, Cox, Gayle, Robinson, Pennant, Hyde, Glass, Nielsen, Tommy Smith, Helguson. Subs: Vernazza, Mahon, Doyley, Foley, Lee.

Referee: U Rennie (S Yorkshire)

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 Watford manager Ray Lewington
"We've looked positive and scored two goals"

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