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ONE POINT TO GO

Posted on 28 March 2006  - 12:00

Our reserves are just one point away from the title after beating Ipswich Town 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Our reserves are just one point away from the title after beating Ipswich Town 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Dean Marney's first half strike was the difference between the sides until two goals in the final five minutes from Johnnie Jackson and Lee Barnard secured the victory.

This 14th win in 15 games means Arsenal can only go level on points if they win all their remaining games - if they fail to beat Southampton on Wednesday night, it's all over.

If Arsenal do beat the Saints then a draw or better in our next match away to Crystal Palace at Bromley FC on Monday will clinch the title.

Tuesday night's win at Stevenage mirrored recent victories against Portsmouth and Leicester City - Clive Allen's team were in control in terms of possession, got in front in the first half and a late goal, or goals in this case, sealed it.

Clive made a couple of changes from last week's win at Leicester with Rob Burch in for Radek Cerny and Joey Martin replacing the injured Charlie Daniels.

Barnard had the ball in the back of the net - ruled out for offside - just before we took the lead.

With 16 minutes on the clock Martin crossed from the left, Marney connected 16 yards out and his volley fizzed off the ground and into the top corner.

The midfielder had an eventful half - he volleyed just wide before his opening goal, shot over just after and was then in the right place at the right time to clear off the time as Ipswich threatened just before the interval.

We controlled the majority of the second half but the second goal remained elusive. At the other end, an Ipswich side packed with young talent found a brick wall in the shape of Tom Huddlestone, Goran Bunjevcevic, Kieran McKenna and Martin and when that defence was breached, just the once, Burch produced the save that mattered to deny Haynes.

Otherwise, it was about that second goal. Jackson's free-kick looked to be curling into the corner until Petursson fingertipped the ball onto the post and wide and McEveley threw himself in to block Marney's goalbound effort.

Barnard had a header somewhat fortuitously cleared off the line, Andy Reid's drive brought a fine save from Petursson and Barnard didn't get hold of a 20-yarder from Reid's backheel.

Haynes' chance for Ipswich with eight minutes seemed to spur the lads further and the second goal finally arrived with four minutes left. Again it came from Martin's deep cross, Andy Barcham did well to head back into the danger area and Jackson's left foot did the rest from close range.

The points were safe with that strike but there was still time for Marney to force the save of the night from Petursson, turning a stinging effort away and Barnard to cap the night with his now customary goal, driving low across Petursson into the far corner for 3-0 and his 20th of the season.

GUIDE TO THE ACTION...

11mins: Jackson played corner to Marney on the edge of the box, he controlled and volleyed just wide.

12mins: Barnard managed to get behind Casement as the defender tried to shepherd the ball out of play, flicked the ball across goal but McEveley there to deny Barcham a tap in.

14mins: GOAL DISALLOWED. McKenna cut in from right and unleashed fierce drive that Petursson's fumbled, Barnard there to slot home rebound but lineman's flag up straight away.

16mins: GOAL. Marney on the end of Martin's cross from the left flank, hit volley into ground from 16 yards and it flew into the top left corner. 1-0.

19mins: Ghaly led break from half-way, laid it wide to Barnard who cut it back for Marney to lash over from 20 yards.

21mins: Pressure from corner ended with Huddlestone curling over from edge of box.

29mins: Knights intercepted Reid's flick, controlled and hit instant volley just wide.

44mins: OFF LINE. Knights corner rebounded to feet of Casement whose low shot was heading in until Marney hacked away.

Half-time: Spurs 1, Ipswich Town 0

50mins: Trotter looped header onto the roof of the net from Mitchell's free-kick.

52mins: SAVE. Petursson at full stretch to fingertip Jackson's curling free-kick onto the post and wide.

57mins: PENALTY? Reid drove in cross, Barnard onto it and volley towards goal appeared to strike Casement on the arm but appeals waved away.

61mins: Casement hit searching pass for Leabon, would have been through on Burch if got control right but didn't and McKenna back to make fine block tackle.

69mins: Reid to byline, pulled back his cross to Marney on the edge of the box but McEveley threw himself in to make block.

69mins: OFF LINE. Jackson hit deep corner met by Barnard at the far post, header looked goalbound but hit Mitchell and went out for corner.

70mins: Reid let fly from 20 yards, Petursson good hands low to his left to hold onto it.

74mins: McKenna great clearing header as Krause waited to nod home Leabon's cross.

77mins: Reid worked an opening out of nothing for Barnard, didn't get hold of his shot from 18 yards out.

82mins: SAVE. Trotter prised us open for the first time to release Haynes, through on goal but Burch stood up well to block as he went for power.

86mins: GOAL. Martin hit high cross from left, Barcham didn't give it up and won big header at far post that fell to Jackson who made no mistake from close range, driving ball into roof of net. 2-0.

Added time: SAVE. Petursson great reflexes to palm away Marney's piledriver.

Added time: GOAL. Ball kept live in Ipswich box and eventually fell to Barnard in the six-yard box, tight angle but managed to strike across Petursson into the far corner. 3-0.

Full-time: Spurs 3, Ipswich Town 0

Spurs: Burch, McKenna, Martin, Huddlestone, Bunjevcevic, Jackson, Ghaly, Marney, Reid, Barnard, Barcham. Unused subs: Mills, Forecast, Lewis, Davis, Hamed.

Ipswich Town: Petursson, Mitchell, McEveley (Ainsley, 75), Brekke-Skard, Casement, Krause, Peters, Trotter, Haynes, Knights, Leabon (Upson, 75). Unused subs: Short, Webster, Fenn.