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BBC Sport's Steve May
"Justice for Ipswich and too for Armstrong"
 real 14k

Ipswich manager George Burley
"We have to keep winning if we want to finish third"
 real 56k

Boro head-coach Terry Venables
"We had some good moments but not enough obviously"
 real 56k

Monday, 16 April, 2001, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Boro old boy keeps Ipswich on track
Windass brilliantly fired Boro ahead
Windass brilliantly fired Boro ahead
Middlesbrough 1-2 Ipswich

Alun Armstrong ensured Ipswich stayed on course for a Champions League spot and Middlesbrough remain in trouble as he scored twice on his return to the Riverside.

Armstrong made just 10 starts in three seasons spent at Boro but he took his tally for Ipswich to eight goals in 11 league starts since a 500,000 move.

  Key moments
34 mins: Schwarzer denies Bramble from close range.
38 mins: Windass fires the home side into the lead.
46 mins: Armstrong equalises from 25 yards.
50 mins: It's Armstrong again, this time converting a Stewart cross.
He struck twice in four-and-a-half minutes at the start of the second half after Ipswich had trailed at the break to a Dean Windass strike.

And a ninth away Premiership victory of the season was deserved by the Tractor Boys after raising the pace in the second half.

With so much at stake for both sides the first half was a strangely subdued affair.

Despite their confidence boosting victory at Arsenal, Middlesbrough afforded Ipswich plenty of respect but George Burley's men lacked the craft to breakthrough.

Much of their endeavour was down the left through the tireless Hreidarsson and he laid on an early opportunity for Armstrong that was volleyed just wide from a tight angle.


We got caught napping a bit today which is something we can't afford to do
  Terry Venables
Boksic and Windass just failed to convert a Gordon cross at the other end, but in general it was the visitors who were in control.

Mark Schwarzer brilliantly denied Titus Bramble from point blank range on 34 minutes as the young defender connected with a Holland flick-on from a Reuser corner.

But four minutes later Boro took the lead as the game suddenly sprung into life.

Paul Ince threaded a ball through the Ipswich defence, Windass took up the invitation and ran on to it before finishing brilliantly across Richard Wright.

Alun Armstrong celebrates two goals at Middlesbrough
Armstrong returned in fine style
Ipswich responded almost immediately with Schwarzer pushing away a Reuser free-kick and then Armstrong unable to get a clean strike from Jermaine Wright's header.

But they turned the game around within the first five minutes of the second half and it was all down to Armstrong.

Just 12 seconds after the restart he fired home from 25 yards after Wright helped on a Venus long ball then he arrived first at the near post to turn home Marcus Stewart's left wing cross.


We have to keep winning if we're going to finish third
  George Burley
Ipswich were very much in the ascendancy but after Bramble headed over from a Magilton free-kick they were still needed to be aware of the Boro threat.

Both sides had penalty appeals waved away within the space of a couple of minutes, although Holland did appear to have a stronger case than Gordon.

Armstrong was denied the chance of a hat-trick when replaced by Richard Naylor, but his satisfying work for the afternoon had been done.


Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Gordon, Vickers, Karembeu, Ehiogu, Gavin, Okon, Ince, Ricard, Windass, Boksic. Subs: Mustoe, Marinelli, Stamp, Crossley, Whelan.

Ipswich: Richard Wright, Venus, Makin, Bramble, Hreidarsson, Jermaine Wright, Holland, Magilton, Reuser, Armstrong, Stewart. Subs: Clapham, Naylor, Logan, Branagan, Burchill.

Referee: S Bennett (Kent)

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