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Chelsea defeated by Ian Marshall's third goal in a row for Ipswich Town

When Ipswich Town signed Ian Marshall from Oldham Athletic back in the summer of 1993, a couple of factors raised a few eyebrows.

The first thing was the fee – at £750,000, it was seen has a hefty price for the Tractor Boys to be forking out. The second concern, meanwhile, was manager John Lyall's intention to use Marshall as a centre-forward. The shaggy-haired Liverpudlian had played up front for parts of his stint as a youngster at Everton, but he had been primarily used as a centre-half in his four years with Oldham.

Yet, it proved to be an astute move by Lyall, with Marshall going on to score some crucial goals as Town survived in the Premier League during the 1993/94 season by a solitary point.

Ian Marshall scored the winner against Chelsea at Portman Road in 1993. Picture: Mark Westley
Ian Marshall scored the winner against Chelsea at Portman Road in 1993. Picture: Mark Westley

Having scored in his first two appearances in a Town shirt, Marshall continued that form next time out when Glenn Hoddle's Chelsea were the visitors to Portman Road.

In the main it was largely a frustrating afternoon in front of goal for Ipswich, who rattled the woodwork through Micky Stockwell while veteran John Wark had his goalbound header cleared off the line during the first half.

But Marshall's 34th-minute intervention made the difference. After winning possession on halfway, Steve Palmer strode forward into Chelsea territory before prodding a pass through for the converted frontman.

With strike partner Chris Kiwomya's cross-field run attracting the attention of two Chelsea defenders, Marshall advanced into the box and as visiting goalkeeper Dimitri Kharine showed some hesitancy about narrowing the angle, he fired in a left-footed shot.

The Marshall-inspired win over Chelsea remains Ipswich's most recent at the expense of the west Londoners, who are unbeaten in the previous 10 meetings between the sides in all competitions.

After three years and almost 40 goals as an Ipswich player, Marshall moved on to Leicester in 1996 and helped the Foxes win the League Cup in 2000.

Speaking back in 2016 to Leicester's website about his time at Ipswich, Marshall said: “I moved because I wanted to play centre-forward and the Ipswich Town manager, John Lyall – another fantastic bloke who is sadly not with us any more – wanted me to play up front, so I went there.

"I repaid his faith in me because I scored 38 goals in 80 games. We weren’t a great team as we were struggling in the Premier League, so it was quite a good achievement. I learnt an awful lot from John Lyall.”

Ipswich: Clive Baker, David Linighan, Steve Palmer, Phil Whelan, Neil Thompson, Paul Mason, Micky Stockwell, John Wark, Geraint Williams, Chris Kiwomya, Ian Marshall

Chelsea: Dimitri Kharine, Steve Clarke, Mal Donaghy, Erland Johnsen, Andy Myers, Jakob Kjeldbjerg, Glenn Hoddle, Gavin Peacock, Dennis Wise, Tony Cascarino, Robert Fleck

Read more: All the latest Ipswich Town FC news