Chopra at double in Town stroll

Ipswich got their Championship campaign off to a flying start by beating Bristol City 3-0 in their season opener at Ashton Gate.

Last Updated: 06/08/11 at 17:54

Chopra: Scored twice for Town

Chopra: Scored twice for Town

The Robins crashed to a 3-0 home defeat to Millwall on the first weekend of last season, a result which was quickly followed by the resignation of then manager Steve Coppell.

And successor Keith Millen, assistant to Coppell at the time, himself experienced the boos of the home faithful as early as August.

Ipswich's summer signing Michael Chopra, who arrived from Cardiff for an undisclosed fee, did most of the damage as his brace sandwiched a fine effort from Lee Martin.

It may have been another opening day to forget for the hosts, but Ipswich only proved to underline why they are many people's outside bet for promotion following an impressive summer in the transfer market.

Town boss Paul Jewell handed debuts to six of his seven new additions - Chopra, David Stockdale, Ivar Ingimarsson, Aaron Cresswell, Lee Bowyer and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas all starting, with Nathan Ellington on the bench.

In contrast, City's support were more familiar with their XI, with Jordan Spence - re-signed on loan from West Ham - the only summer addition included. Midfielder Neil Kilkenny - brought in from Leeds - did, however, find himself on the bench.

And it was the most prolific new face on show who opening his account for the season after just 13 minutes.

Chopra raced onto a ball over the top from Mark Kennedy and delicately lobbed the ball over onrushing former England goalkeeper David James and into an empty net.

The majority of the 13,107 present had to wait until midway through the first half before they were finally raised from their seats as Marvin Elliott's header brought a parried save from Stockdale.

Liam Fontaine headed Jamal Campbell-Ryce's corner narrowly over the crossbar minutes before the interval.

All in all, however, there was very little to choose between the two sides over the first half as they both promised but failed to really deliver that bit of quality required, especially in the final third.

Maynard had the ball in the net at the start of the second half only to be denied by the offside flag.

It was a decision which proved crucial as Martin doubled Ipswich's lead in the 51st minute, surging towards a home defence which opened up in front of him before firing low across James from 20 yards.

Chopra then ended the contest on the hour mark.

Campbell-Ryce's poor back pass sold James short but the keeper did not help himself by trying to dink the ball over Chopra, subsequently being caught out by the experienced striker who simply sent the ball home.

Maynard's volley forced Stockdale into a fine save at the other end as City went in search of some kind of route back into the game.

But it was Grant Leadbitter who came closest to a fourth for Ipswich when his 18-yard effort hit a post.

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