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Ipswich hanging by a thread after Brentford defeat

Brentford cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over Ipswich to leave the Tractor Boys needing a miracle to ensure their Championship survival.

Goals from Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins gave the Bees the points but the 1,600 travelling fans will have left delighted by their side’s fighting spirit.

Maupay broke the deadlock midway through the half when he latched onto a threaded Said Benrahma through ball, taking his time before firing a low drive inside the post for his 25th of the season in all competitions.

The opener came seconds after Ipswich should have taken the lead through Collin Quaner, who raced onto a slide rule Andre Dozzell pass to draw the keeper, only to see his dinked effort bounce back to safety off the upright.

The Bees stretched their advantage just before the half-hour mark when Flynn Downes slipped on the edge of his box and Benrahma pounced to square for Watkins, who tapped in his easiest goal of the season at the far post.

Benrahma looked lively from the start and stung goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski’s palms with a speculative long-range effort as Thomas Frank’s side tried to liven up a subdued Griffin Park crowd.

Josh Dasilva was busy in the home side’s midfield and fed Watkins on 23 minutes with a cute through ball, but the striker’s low drive was parried wide by Bialkowski.

Maupay came close to adding to his tally just before the break when his movement created space for a Benrahma one-two, but the Frenchman flashed his shot just wide.

Ipswich had no answer to the fluent passing and movement of the hosts, although former Bee Alan Judge tried to keep the visitors in the game and was at the centre of most Town attacks.

After the break, Benrahma had the chance to put the game beyond doubt but his first-time effort after a neat angled Romaine Sawyers pull back clipped the angle.

Benrahma and Watkins both squandered good opportunities to kill the game off before Maupay again went close with an instinctive volley from the edge of the box that flew inches wide of the far post.

At the other end, Luke Daniels – a spectator for much of the night – had to be on his toes to tip Dozzell’s free-kick over the bar before Judge’s speculative cross-cum-shot suffered the same fate seconds later.

Judge almost sealed a fairytale return to west London after 80 minutes when he caught the home defence napping to race onto a loose ball in the box, only to slide his low effort past the far post.

The defeat leaves Ipswich rooted to the bottom, 14 points from safety with five matches to play, while Brentford stay 14th.