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Monday, 30 April, 2001, 21:16 GMT 22:16 UK
Rufus ruffles Ipswich
Matthias Svensson heads home the opening goal
Svensson opens the scoring in spectacular style
Charlton 2-1 Ipswich

Ipswich's hopes of a Champions League spot were severely dented as a second-half strike from Richard Rufus gave Charlton the spoils in an entertaining game.

Both sides provided their trademark-flowing football but the three points will have left the noisy Valley supporters dreaming of Uefa Cup football next season.

The Addicks climbed above Aston Villa into eighth position with their cause greatly helped by the skills of John Robinson and the tenacity of Shaun Bartlett.

Martijn Reuser shined throughout for Ipswich and it was his bizarre goal that cancelled out Matthias Svensson's headed opener.

Brave goalkeeping

Ipswich started in bright fashion with the impressive Reuser desperately unlucky not to grab the opening goal after just eight minutes.


We gave them too much respect in the first half and we dug in after the break
  Alan Curbishley, Charlton manager

His swerving free-kick from 30 yards crashed against the right post and the relieved Charlton defence were able to clear the ball away.

The hosts hit back in emphatic style. After 12 minutes John Robinson dazzled down the right wing and his teasing cross found the head of the leaping Svensson.

He crashed the ball home into the back of the net to the delight of the home crowd. The visitors looked stunned but it sparked both teams into pushing for more goals.

After 20 minutes Ipswich were level and deservedly so.

Ilic impressing between the posts

Reuser was again involved. After a deceptive short corner the Dutchman received the return pass and floated the ball into the crowded area.

Everyone seemed to freeze and goalkeeper Sasa Ilic could only watch in dismay as the ball crept agonisingly into the corner of the net.


We had alot of possession but sometimes you don't always get what you deserve
  George Burley, Ipswich manager

Ipswich stepped up the pace and came close to taking the lead after a wonderful sweeping move.

Matt Holland received the ball on the penalty spot and flicked the ball to Marcus Stewart. The Premiership's top scorer was only denied by a brave block by Ilic.

Charlton were not to shy away from the battle and Scott Parker was sent clear on goal after a deft touch from Bartlett. The advancing Richard Wright stopped him in his tracks.

Ipswich seemed to lose their rhythm in the second period and they fell behind to a well taken goal from Rufus on 57 minutes.

A floating cross fell to Graham Stuart, and after he blasted the ball across the penalty box Rufus stepped in to adroitly chip the ball over the keeper to steal the points.


Teams:

Charlton: Ilic, Fish, Todd, Rufus, Powell, Robinson, Kinsella, Jensen, Parker, Svensson, Bartlett. Subs: Stuart, Brown, Konchesky, Lisbie, Caig.

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

Referee: R Styles (Waterlooville)

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