The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Michael Perkin To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

MICK McCarthy reck­ons there will be a few more twists and turns in the play-off race yet de­spite see­ing his Ip­swich side stum­ble with a dis­ap­point­ing de­feat at Wat­ford.

Anthony Holdsworth had lev­elled for the Trac­tor Boys af­ter Al­bert Riera’s first Wat­ford goal opened the scor­ing, but strikes from Da­vide Faraoni and Lewis McGugan put the game be­yond McCarthy’s men.

But the for­mer Repub­lic of Ire­land boss re­fuses to give up hope of fin­ish­ing in the top six and claim­ing an un­likely spot in the fi­nal push for Pre­mier League foot­ball.

He said: “I’m dis­ap­pointed with the re­sult but not with how we’ve played at all.Who knows? It could all turn on its head. We’re still in the mix with three games to go so let’s see what hap­pens.

“You just have to look af­ter your own re­sult. Of course we thought there were some great re­sults for us on Fri­day but if we don’t get our re­sult they don’t make a dif­fer­ence.

“I thought we were fab­u­lous in the first half but they scored with their first at­tempt and it was aw­ful that we al­lowed him in­side to shoot.

“And in the sec­ond half we let them off the hook just like we have for other teams this sea­son with poor mark­ing from a free kick that we should never let them score from.”

Ip­swich started the brighter of the two sides but did not fash­ion an ef­fort on goal un­til the sev­enth minute when Daryl Mur­phy’s shot on the turn was eas­ily gath­ered by Manuel Al­mu­nia.

Wat­ford looked most ef­fec­tive on the break and they al­most forced an open­ing on 12 min­utes but a fine chal­lenge from Aaron Cress­well brought McGugan’s driv­ing run to a halt.

The vis­i­tors went close two min­utes later when Jonny Wil­liams saw a pow­er­ful ef­fort par­ried by Al­mu­nia.

The Hor­nets started to take con­trol of the game as the half wore on and took the lead in style on 21 min­utes as Riera cut in­side from the left and fired into the far cor­ner of the net.

Ip­swich came fly­ing out of the blocks at the start of the sec­ond half and al­most lev­elled within a minute of the restart as Frank Nou­ble fired wide from a tight an­gle.

They did equalise two min­utes later when Nou­ble’s low cross from the right was met by Wordsworth who touched home from close range.

Ip­swich al­most turned the game on its head af­ter an hour but Luke Hyam’s header was bril­liantly tipped onto the bar by Al­mu­nia.

That save seemed to spark Wat­ford back into life and they took the game away from their op­po­nents with two goals in as many min­utes. First Faraoni was left un­marked to head in Daniel Tozser’s high ball into the box, and then McGugan sealed the win when he lashed a loose ball be­yond Dean Gerken mid­way through the sec­ond half.

Hor­nets boss Beppe San­nino re­fused to rule out Wat­ford’s play­off chances, but knows they will need to win their re­main­ing matches to stand a chance. He said:“I wouldn’t speak about the play-offs but I would un­der­line we had a good game to­day against a very good team and this gives more value to the vic­tory.

“I think the turn­ing point was when they hit the bar. From that mo­ment we played good foot­ball and scored two very good goals.

“What was im­por­tant to­day was to win the game and I would praise the way we car­ried on dur­ing the game. We were able to be con­fi­dent and bring the ball into their half.

“We have to play again in less than 48 hours and we must as­sess the play­ers and see if we can put to­gether a good squad. The only way we can keep dream­ing is to pick up all the points we can.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

FAN-TAS­TIC: Gabriele An­gella, right, cel­e­brates with a fan af­ter scor­ing Wat­ford’s sec­ond goal In­set: Al­bert Riera scores the first for Wat­ford

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