Championship play-off semi-final
Ipswich Town 0-2 West Ham United (West Ham win 4-2 on aggregate)
Zamora (61, 72)
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It was the second consecutive seasons these two sides had met in the playoff semi finals, and it would turn out to be two wins out of two for the Hammers, as they looked to avenge the play-off final defeat to Crystal Palace the previous season. Ipswich were the favourites for the match after finishing 3rd having topped the table for much of the season, West Ham managed to secure their place with a final day win over Watford.
The first leg had seen West Ham blow a two goal lead, allowing Ipswich to take the momentum in the second leg, but it was a typical cagey match with the stakes being so high. After the hour mark however, West Ham got a break through, Marlon Harewood found space in the box sending in an inviting cross which allowed Zamora to tap home one of the most vital goals of his career.
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After the West Ham break through, Ipswich had no option but to attack and with West Ham defending deep under pressure, a breakaway between Harewood and Reo Coker suddenly had West Ham on the front foot, and Harewood’s lofted pass had Zamora in the clear.
Zamora, who had had a quiet season, beautifully lofted the ball over the stranded Kelvin Davies to secure West Ham’s place in the Play-off final for a second consecutive season.
There would be no repeat heart break for Hammers fans, as West Ham beat Preston North End 1-0 to return to the Premier League. For Ipswich, they continued in the Championship and have stayed there ever since.
West Ham United: Walker, Repka (Dailly 76), Ferdinand, Ward, Powell, Harewood, Fletcher, Mullins, Reo-Coker, Etherington (Noble 89), Zamora (Newton 79).
Ipswich Town: Davis, Wilnis, De Vos, Naylor, Richards, Miller, Magilton (Bowditch 74), Westlake, Currie, Bent, Kuqi.
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