Both East Anglian teams, Norwich City and Ipswich Town enjoyed victories on Saturday in the Championship. Norwich's win kept them seventh, just a point off the play-offs, while Ipswich moved back into the automatic promotion places, following Derby County's defeat at home in the local derby to Nottingham Forest.

Norwich City 3 Cardiff City 2

The Canaries had to withstand a spirited comeback from the Bluebirds in the second-half at Carrow Road, after seeming to have crushed their opponents resolve with an outstanding first-half display that saw them three goals clear after only forty-five minutes of action.

Alex Neil's attack-minded ethos seemed to be rubbing off on his players in the first-half as they stormed into a 3-0 lead by the break.

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He prefers to let the opposition worry about his attacking threats rather than concern himself unduly with what they have to offer. That seemed to be a profitable blueprint for success as they returned to their free-scoring form from the start of the season. The ex- Hamilton boss claimed his second league victory in as many games since joining the Norwich side, following the hard-fought victory last weekend against league leaders, Bournemouth on the road.

Gary Hooper's header put them ahead on 15 minutes yesterday and the lead was doubled before the half-hour mark by Northern Ireland marksman Kyle Lafferty's curled shot, as the home side threatened to run riot. A penalty chance for Cardiff threatened to stem the flow, but England international John Ruddy was up to the challenge and saved Peter Whittingham's effort from the spot.

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The three points then seemed to have been sealed as Cameron Jerome made it three on the stroke of half-time.

After the break, Vincent Tan's Welsh side seemed to find their feet as a four minute burst midway through the half saw Alex Revell pull one back and then Kadeem Harris set Norwich fans' nerves into overdrive when he scored on 64 minutes by lobbing Ruddy, as the result was back in the balance.

Neil's men survived a more nervy ending to the game than had seemed possible after their premium first-half display, especially when six minutes injury time were signaled at the end, but Revell's late header drifted wide of the post and they held on for the win.

The balance between being positive and attack-minded but also keeping tight at the back is always a tricky conundrum and the ease with which their opponents were able to claw themselves (almost) back into the match will have been a slight concern for the management, but they had done just enough initially to clinch the game.



Millwall 1 Ipswich Town 3

Fellow East Anglian rivals Ipswich travelled to London club Millwall looking to avenge two consecutive defeats, one to promotion rivals Derby County in the league and the other to high-flying Premier League Southampton in their midweek FA Cup third round replay.

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Mick McCarthy's men seemed to have dusted themselves down as they stormed into a two goal lead after 14 minutes through two strikes from Noel Hunt. Ian Holloway's struggling side, who were humiliated four nil by Division 1 team Bradford City in their FA Cup replay, pulled a goal back before half-time through a flamboyant strike from Magaye Gueye. However, there was to be no further joy for them in the second period as Jonathan Parr confidently added a third on 77 minutes for the Tractor Boys to clinch the win.

The defeat confirmed a miserable last few days for the Lions, whose bite seems to be eluding them at present in all competitions. For Ipswich, it was their first league success at the Den since 2005. #Football