JOHNSON SEALS IPSWICH WIN
By Ciaran Baynes
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The former Bury striker notched his 20th of the season and the game`s only goal after 25 minutes, which left a very nervous last hour for the home crowd as Town held on despite some good pressure from Crystal Palace`s quicksilver strikeforce of Clinton Morrison and Ashley Cole.
Johnson took a long ball from Wayne Brown on his chest and turned Eagles defender Jamie Smith inside the penalty area before rifling a low left-footed drive past Matthew Gregg`s near post.
Town were made to battle by Steve Coppell`s side, who still need a win to make totally sure of safety, and had to thank their highly-rated keeper Richard Wright who made fine point blank saves from Morrison in the first half and from on-loan Cole with ten minutes remaining.
The Ipswich goalscorer had the chance to rubber-stamp victory when he headed over Martin Reuser`s cross from six yards with five minutes remaining, but George Burley will just be relieved to have secured what could prove to be a crucial three points.
The result moves the East Anglian outfit to within two points of second place Manchester City who face play-off chasing Birmingham at Maine Road on Friday night, while Ipswich travel to champions Charlton on Saturday and then host relegation-threatened Walsall a week later.