MX23RW : Saturday, March 6 12:29:55| >> :120:62816:62816:
Apr 19, 2014 at 3pm UK at Vicarage Road
IpswichIpswich Town
Riera (21'), Angella (63'), McGugan (65')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Live Commentary: Watford 3-1 Ipswich Town - as it happened

Relive our text coverage as Watford hosted playoff hopefuls Ipswich Town at Vicarage Road.

Ipswich Town visited Vicarage Road on Saturday to play Watford knowing that a victory would see them return to the playoff places in the Championship.

However, it was the hosts who made the breakthrough in the 21st minute when Albert Riera took advantage of the space gifted to him by curling past Dean Gerken.

Ipswich hit back just five minutes into the second half thanks to Anthony Wordsworth, who calmly volleyed home an equaliser from close range.

Watford secured victory with two goals in as many minutes, with Gabriele Angella heading in his side's second in the 63rd minute before Lewis McGugan made it 3-1 with an emphatic finish from inside the box.

Read below to find out how Watford returned to the top half of the table.

Good afternoon everyone. It's a huge day in the Championship, especially for Ipswich Town. Mick McCarthy's side can return to the playoff places by beating Watford at Vicarage Road. I'll be bringing you live text coverage throughout the match.

Brighton & Hove Albion, Bournemouth and Reading all dropped points yesterday to give Ipswich a huge boost going into today's match. There's probably just one playoff spot up for grabs. Can the visitors move into the driving seat?

WATFORD: Almunia, Angella, Ekstrand, Hoban, Faraoni, Abdi, Tozser, McGugan, Riera, Deeney, Ranegie

SUBSTITUTES: Bond, Belkalem, Battocchio, Merkel, Doyley, Murray, Pudil

IPSWICH: Gerken, Cresswell, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Skuse, Murphy, Wordsworth, Hyam, Williams, Nouble

SUBSTITUTES: Crowe, Hunt, Mings, Green, Richardson, Taylor, Marriott

There's just one change for the hosts as Mathias Ranegie replaces the injured Ikechi Anya. Ipswich welcome back Aaron Cresswell and Anthony Wordsworth as Stephen Hunt and Tyrone Mings drop to the bench. Frank Nouble is trusted to lead the attack.

We've got coverage of all of the day's Premier League games, as well as keeping you up to date with the key events in the Championship. Plenty of sides still have a lot to play for, and Ipswich are one club that cannot afford to let a chance slip away.

Watford will be targeting a top-half finish this season. It's been a difficult campaign at times but Giuseppe Sannino will be desperate for his side to go on a good run before possibly targeting promotion next year.

Ipswich's run-in certainly isn't easy. After this game they'll take on Bournemouth, who are still in contention to snatch that final playoff place. It could come down to the final game of the season, when Ipswich host Sheffield Wednesday at Portman Road.

The players are lined up in the tunnel, and the first whistle is just five minutes away. Gary Sutton takes charge of the game today.

Here we go then. It will be Ipswich who get the game underway at Vicarage Road.

Ipswich start brightly and win an early corner, but the Watford defence do just enough to make sure the visitors don't make a breakthrough.

Good work from Deeney, who holds up the ball well to bring his teammates into play, before inviting Berra to commit a foul. Watford need more of that from their striker.

A few frustrating moments for Ipswich as Wordsworth becomes the latest player to give a free kick away. The ball comes into the box, but it's Berra who rises highest to clear.

SHOT! First real effort of the game as Murphy creates some space for himself before forcing Almunia to push away a powerful low strike.

The Ipswich supporters are making themselves heard with some great noise from the away end. They know, like the players, just how important this match is today.

Mick McCarthy will be pretty happy with how his side have started the game. Watford are being forced to adopt a slightly more direct approach, and it's the visitors playing the better football.

Wordsworth arrives at the back post in an attempt to meet Cresswell's free kick. A corner is won by the visitors, who are forced to quickly retreat when Watford launch a counter attack. McGugan collects the ball in the box, but Cresswell makes a vital challenge to prevent him from unleashing a shot.

SAVE! Almunia is forced into action once again to palm away a drilled effort from Williams, who was close to finishing off a lovely passing move from the visitors. Superb football.

Watford dominate possession for an extended period to force Ipswich to chase shadows across the pitch. A through ball reaches Riera on the left, but he is kept out by Berra. The former Wolves defender has been superb in the opening stages of this game.


Watford break the deadlock is superb fashion! Riera advances forward, and without a clear challenge being made, he curls the ball into the corner of the net to leave Gerken with no chance. It's a fantastic striker from the former Liverpool winger. Can Ipswich respond?

Ipswich threaten to hit back immediately when Williams leads an attack by going past three Watford defenders. However, the cross that follows is too firm for Murphy to reach in the middle of the box.

CHANCE! Nouble delivers an inviting cross into the middle for Wordsworth, who should do much better as he heads over the crossbar from a good position.

Optimistic penalty appeals from the visitors after Nouble goes down inside the box when he is challenged by a couple of Watford defenders. It looks like a good decision not to point to the spot.

More clever play from Murphy and Williams, but a promising move breaks down when the latter is caught offside just as he had looked to close in on goal.

Ipswich seem to be struggling to deal with Watford's system at times. The hosts are playing with three central defenders and two wing backs, which is giving them more options when they attempt to launch attacks at pace.

Deeney links well with McGugan, before delivering a dangerous cross into the box. Cresswell tracks back well to head behind for a corner. Very calm defending in a difficult position.

Less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half, and it's terrible news for Ipswich supporters. They've played pretty well, but have lacked a cutting edge in the final third of the pitch.

Riera's quality on the left is clearly a problem for Ipswich. Murphy has responded by drifting out to the right wing at times to give Chambers some help.

The ball sits up beautifully for Wordsworth, who frustrates the visiting fans by slicing an effort wide of the target from the edge of the box.

Despite being ahead, Watford are trying to stay as positive as possible. Ipswich simply cannot afford to fall two goals behind this afternoon. Sannino will be happy with how his side are performing at both ends of the pitch.

There's a brief stoppage in the game as Hyam goes off for some treatment following a heavy challenge, Fortunately for Ipswich, it looks like he will continue.

It's a bit of a scrappy end to the first half as both teams look to battle for superiority in midfield. Plenty of noise still coming from the away end, despite the score.

The fourth official confirms that there will be two minutes added on.

Very little sign of either side adding to Riera's goal in stoppage time. Watford will be delighted with how the first half has played out.


Ipswich are desperate to collect all three points today, but they'll have to come from behind to climb up to sixth today. McCarthy knows how important today is in their season, so we will surely see a response after the break.

Watford have been impressive. They've defended well in numbers, but have committed men forward when attacking at pace. Riera, who has been on top form in the first half, displayed his obvious quality with a wonderful finish. However, McCarthy will be disappointed with how much space the Spaniard was given before pulling the trigger.

I wouldn't be surprised if McCarthy turns to Stephen Hunt at half time, or in the early stages of the second half. Ipswich have struggled to compete against Watford's left-side players, so Hunt's energy could make a difference at both ends of the pitch.

Watford also have a lot to thank Almunia for at the break. The former Arsenal goalkeeper made two vital saves to deny Murphy and Williams before the deadlock had been broken. Ipswich must make sure that the Spaniard is a busy man in the second half.

The players are back out in the middle. It will be Watford who get the second half started. Big 45 minutes ahead of Ipswich.

CHANCE! Ipswich really should be level just 30 seconds into the second half. Nouble uses his strength to force his way into the box. He should do much better, despite the tight angle, as he hammers the ball over the crossbar.

SAVE! Chances at both ends at the start of the second half as Gerken reacts well to keep out an effort from Deeney following a counter attack.


Ipswich are level! An entertaining start to the second half produces a goal as Nouble's deflected cross finds Wordsworth, who shows great composure to beat Almunia with his volley. Excellent finish. Can Ipswich go on to pick up the win?

That goal came in front of the Ipswich supporters, and the stewards were forced into action to keep control of the fans. Superb scenes. Ipswich's confidence is obvious now.

Brilliant defending from Ekstrand as he keeps pace with Murphy before dispossessing the forward before he could fire a shot at goal. Ipswich are on the front foot.

YELLOW CARD! Watford's Angella is the first player to be booked after pulling down Williams.

CROSSBAR! Williams is causing plenty of problems as he curls in a superb cross for Hyam, whose header is tipped onto the crossbar by Almunia. How important could that save be?


Watford are back in front! McCarthy will not want to see this goal again. Tozser's long free kick somehow manages to beat every Ipswich defender to reach the unmarked Angella, who heads past a helpless Gerken. Terrible defending.


Disaster for Ipswich as Watford extend their lead. Toszer creates another goal as he beats a couple of defenders before picking out McGugan, who confidently fires the ball in to score his side's third of the afternoon. Superb couple of minutes for the hosts.

It's been an incredible period of football at Vicarage Road. Almunia's magnificent save to deny Hyam started the madness, before Watford took full control of the match with two goals in as many minutes. McCarthy needs his side to respond quickly.

YELLOW CARD! McGugan can have no complaints as he receives a booking for a late challenge on Skuse.

Watford's defending is very impressive as they make it difficult for the visitors to break them down during an extended spell of pressure. The home side's midfield deserve credit for keeping the pressure on without the ball.

SHOT! McGugan drifts out wide before cutting inside to curl an effort just over the crossbar from the edge of the box. That would have been a stunning goal.

Lovely play from the impressive Williams as he eases past a couple of defenders, before releasing Nouble The Ipswich forward delays his shot, which is eventually blocked by a couple of Watford defenders.

SUBSTITUTIONS: First changes of the game as Paul Green replaces Ipswich goalscorer Wordsworth, and Cristian Battocchio comes on for Abdi.

YELLOW CARD! Toszer is slightly too eager to win possession, and he is shown a yellow card for a foul on Williams.

SUBSTITUTION: Great reception from the home supporters as Riera comes off to be replaced by Daniel Pudil.

Half-chance for Nouble as he heads over the crossbar following more good play from Williams on the wing. Time is running out for the visitors.

SUBSTITUTIONS: More changes from both sides as McGugan is replaced by Sean Murray. Ipswich duo Paul Taylor and Stephen Hunt are off the bench, with Williams and Hyam making way.

SUBSTITUTIONS: More changes from both sides as McGugan is replaced by Sean Murray. Ipswich duo Paul Taylor and Stephen Hunt are off the bench, with Williams and Hyam making way.

Ipswich are pushing for a breakthrough, but it doesn't look like there is one more coming. Sannino will be absolutely delighted with his side if they can hold on for the 3-1 win.

A loose ball drops to Hunt on the edge of the box, but he can only fire a shot over the crossbar. There will be five minutes added on.

Watford are handling everything that is being thrown at them in the closing stages. For the first time today, it's starting to sound much quieter in the away end.

CLOSE! Watford aren't far away from scoring a fourth when Murray strikes a volley which lands on the roof of the net. Great effort from the substitute.


Watford record a very impressive victory to deal a blow to Ipswich, who miss the chance to return to the playoff places in the Championship. The Hornets climb to 12th in the table thanks to the win.

Ipswich's hopes of earning promotion are far from over. They remain just one point outside the top six, but this will hurt McCarthy's side. Watford will now be full of confidence heading into their final four games. That's all from me today. I hope you've enjoyed our coverage today. Goodbye.

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Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy looks on during his team's Championship match against Millwall on January 18, 2014
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