Watford kept alive their hopes of reaching the Championship play-offs and dented Ipswich's with victory at Vicarage Road.

Albert Riera curled Watford into the lead, but Anthony Wordsworth levelled from close range after half-time.

Ipswich needed a win to move into the top six, but in a three-minute spell Gabriele Angella's header and Lewis McGugan's strike dashed their hopes.

Watford run in

  • 21 April - QPR (away)
  • 26 April - Derby County (away)
  • 29 April - Charlton (away)
  • 3 May - Huddersfield (home)

The win leaves Watford five points off the play-offs with a game in hand.

Giuseppe Sannino's side now have seven home wins from their last nine, but travel to fourth-placed QPR and third-placed Derby County in their next two fixtures.

Brighton currently occupy the final play-off spot, but after the Seagulls, Bournemouth and Reading all dropped points on Friday, both sides at Vicarage Road had the chance to capitalise and stage a late play-off push.

Ipswich, with four wins in six, began strongly and both Daryl Murphy and Jonny Williams tested Manuel Almunia in the early stages.

Ipswich Town run in

  • 21 April - Bournemouth (home)
  • 26 April - Burnley (away)
  • 3 May - Sheffield Wednesday (home)

Mick McCarthy's side enjoyed most of the early possession and territory but Riera's individual strike was the difference at half-time.

The former Liverpool player, on loan at the Hornets until the end of the season when he joins Udinese, drifted in from the right before curling a right-footed shot past Dean Gerken.

Despite playing some neat football, Sannino's side were unable to create another meaningful chance before the break and their visitors wasted no time in fighting back after it.

Ipswich front man Frank Nouble went close, before swinging in a cross for Wordsworth to prod the equaliser, and his first goal of the season, on 50 minutes.

With the visitors buoyed, Almunia was forced into a superb save to turn Luke Hyam's header onto the crossbar and Watford relief quickly turned to joy as they settled the contest in devastating fashion.

No sooner had celebrations settled after Angella's guided header found the corner of Gerken's net, than McGugan profited from an excellent run and cut-back by Daniel Tozser to fire crisply into the corner, take the game decisively away from Ipswich and give Watford renewed hope that their season need not end in four games' time.

Watford head coach Beppe Sannino: "I won't speak about play-offs but I'm delighted. We played a good game against a very good team and this gives more value to our victory.

"What was important was win the game and to not concede a goal in the last 10, 20 minutes was good.

"But what I would like to praise is the way we carried on during the game. We were able to bring the ball in their half and to play comfortably away from our box."

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy: "I think that the crossbar saved the game for them and then poor marking from a free-kick.

"It was a great delivery from them. It was good movement and a good header, but no way should he get on the end of it because it should have been stopped.

"You have to look after your own result, that's my mantra. Everybody else can do whatever they want. If we win, there's nothing anybody can do about it."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Watford

  • 01 Almunia
  • 19 Faraoni
  • 15 Riera (Pudil - 83' )
  • 04 Angella Booked
  • 06 Ekstrand
  • 31 Hoban
  • 22 Abdi (Battocchio - 80' )
  • 28 Tözsér Booked
  • 13 Ranegie
  • 09 Deeney
  • 10 McGugan Booked (Murray - 85' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Belkalem
  • 07 Battocchio
  • 08 Merkel
  • 12 Doyley
  • 16 Murray
  • 18 Pudil
  • 30 Bond

Ipswich Town

  • 22 Gerken
  • 04 Chambers
  • 03 Cresswell
  • 19 Hyam (Hunt - 85' )
  • 06 Berra
  • 05 Smith
  • 14 Wordsworth (Green - 80' )
  • 08 Skuse
  • 09 Murphy
  • 25 Williams (Taylor - 85' )
  • 35 Nouble

Substitutes

  • 12 Hunt
  • 15 Mings
  • 16 Green
  • 24 Richardson
  • 26 Taylor
  • 34 Marriott
  • 38 Crowe
Ref: Gary Sutton
Att: 16,615

Match Stats

Shots

11 10

On target

4 4

Corners

5 3

Fouls

14 9

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Watford 3, Ipswich Town 1.

90:00 +5:12 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Watford 3, Ipswich Town 1.

90:00 +4:01

Attempt missed. Sean Murray (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

90:00 +3:59

Attempt blocked. Cristian Battocchio (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sean Murray.

90:00 +2:14

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Troy Deeney.

90:00 +1:37

Foul by Gabriele Angella (Watford).

90:00 +1:37

Stephen Hunt (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:59

Attempt missed. Stephen Hunt (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Paul Green with a headed pass.

86:44

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Aaron Cresswell.

86:11

Daniel Tözsér (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

86:11

Foul by Luke Chambers (Ipswich Town).

84:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ipswich Town. Paul Taylor replaces Jonathan Williams.

84:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ipswich Town. Stephen Hunt replaces Luke Hyam.

84:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Sean Murray replaces Lewis McGugan.

83:27

Attempt missed. Frank Nouble (Ipswich Town) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jonathan Williams with a cross.

82:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Daniel Pudil replaces Albert Riera.

82:05 Booking

Booking Daniel Tözsér (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

81:28

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

81:28

Jonathan Williams (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:49

Attempt blocked. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joel Ekstrand.

79:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Cristian Battocchio replaces Almen Abdi.

79:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ipswich Town. Paul Green replaces Anthony Wordsworth.

78:38

Offside, Watford. Daniel Tözsér tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.

76:14

Attempt missed. Lewis McGugan (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

75:19

Foul by Albert Riera (Watford).

75:19

Luke Hyam (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

72:47

Albert Riera (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:47

Foul by Luke Hyam (Ipswich Town).

71:38

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Aaron Cresswell.

70:32

Foul by Mathias Ranégie (Watford).

70:32

Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

69:48 Booking

Booking Lewis McGugan (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

69:39

Foul by Lewis McGugan (Watford).

69:39

Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:33

Attempt blocked. Daniel Tözsér (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

68:48

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

67:38

Delay in match Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town) because of an injury.

67:01

Mathias Ranégie (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

67:01

Foul by Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town).

64:47 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 3, Ipswich Town 1. Lewis McGugan (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner.

62:39 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 2, Ipswich Town 1. Gabriele Angella (Watford) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér following a set piece situation.

62:07

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

62:07

Foul by Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town).

60:49

Albert Riera (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:49

Foul by Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town).

60:39

Attempt saved. Luke Hyam (Ipswich Town) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jonathan Williams with a cross.

59:23 Booking

Booking Gabriele Angella (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

52:07

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Tommy Smith.

51:14

Foul by Albert Riera (Watford).

51:14

Anthony Wordsworth (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 1, Ipswich Town 1. Anthony Wordsworth (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Frank Nouble with a cross.

48:23

Foul by Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich Town).

48:23

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:43

Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lewis McGugan.

47:18

Attempt blocked. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonathan Williams.

46:27

Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

46:27

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

45:23

Attempt missed. Frank Nouble (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jonathan Williams.

45:00

Second Half begins Watford 1, Ipswich Town 0.

45:00 +2:02 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Watford 1, Ipswich Town 0.

42:36

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

42:36

Jonathan Williams (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:36

Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

40:36

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

40:06

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

39:33

Delay in match Luke Hyam (Ipswich Town) because of an injury.

37:27

Attempt missed. Anthony Wordsworth (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Daryl Murphy with a headed pass.

37:03

Offside, Watford. Gabriele Angella tries a through ball, but Almen Abdi is caught offside.

36:25

Foul by Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town).

36:25

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

34:36

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Aaron Cresswell.

33:58

Attempt missed. Albert Riera (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

33:10

Offside, Ipswich Town. Aaron Cresswell tries a through ball, but Frank Nouble is caught offside.

29:00

Offside, Ipswich Town. Daryl Murphy tries a through ball, but Jonathan Williams is caught offside.

23:35

Attempt missed. Anthony Wordsworth (Ipswich Town) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Frank Nouble with a cross.

23:00

Foul by Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford).

23:00

Jonathan Williams (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

20:58 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Watford 1, Ipswich Town 0. Albert Riera (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lewis McGugan.

16:41

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Christophe Berra.

15:44

Hand ball by Mathias Ranégie (Watford).

15:05

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

15:05

Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

13:34

Attempt saved. Jonathan Williams (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

10:58

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Manuel Almunia.

10:12

Foul by Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford).

10:12

Jonathan Williams (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

6:54

Attempt saved. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

5:17

Hand ball by Tommy Hoban (Watford).

3:53

Attempt blocked. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

3:10

Foul by Anthony Wordsworth (Ipswich Town).

3:10

Almen Abdi (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

2:09

Foul by Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town).

2:09

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:36

Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Gabriele Angella.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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