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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 October, 2003, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Bradford City 0-1 Ipswich
Ipswich's Alan Mahon
On-loan midfielder Mahon scored his first goal for Ipswich

Republic of Ireland international Alan Mahon scored his first goal for Ipswich to hand Joe Royle's side victory at Valley Parade.

The midfielder - on loan from Blackburn - buried a 25-yard shot just before half-time as the visitors stamped their authority on a dominant first period.

And despite numerous efforts to stretch the lead, Ipswich were denied further goals by an excellent display from Bradford keeper Marlon Beresford.

Bradford started well and Andy Gray's strike forced Ipswich goalkeeper Kelvin Davis into a good save after four minutes.

But after Beresford had denied Mahon at the other end, Bantams boss Nicky Law was forced into an early change.

Paul Heckingbottom was injured in a seventh-minute challenge with Pablo Counago, and Wayne Jacobs was thrown on.

Ipswich had a chance to grab the opener but Richard Naylor shot wide in front of a gaping goal.

Finland international Shefki Kuqi also went close before Bradford were shaken again after 21 minutes.

Mahon's free-kick was met by unmarked defender George Santos, who nodded just wide of Beresford's left-hand post.

Beresford was pressurised by Kuqi soon after before Mahon finally broke through three minutes before half-time.

And Kuqi wasted another couple of chances to double the lead soon after the interval.

But City keeper Beresford continued to repel the visitors with a finger-tip save off Mahon's free-kick in the 57th minute.

Ipswich, though, should have sealed victory with 19 minutes remaining after David Wetherall fouled Kuqi inside the box.

Kuqi opted to take the penalty but Beresford guessed right and dived to tip the ball past the post.

Bradford: Beresford, Edds, Wetherall, Gavin, Heckingbottom, Summerbee, Evans, Kearney, Muirhead, Gray, Cornwall. Subs: Francis, Wolleaston, Forrest, Jacobs, Standing.

Ipswich: Davis, Wilnis, Naylor, Santos, Richards, Wright, Magilton, Bart-Williams, Mahon, Counago, Kuqi. Subs: Price, Armstrong, Bowditch, Westlake, Nash.

Referee: G Laws (Tyne & Wear)

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