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Football: Five-star boost for Burley.

IPSWICH trounced Norwich in the East Anglia derby to equal their record win and boss George Burley purred: "We were phenomenal."

Alex Mathie scored a fabulous first-half hat-trick but strained a calf and did not emerge after the break.

So Bobby Petta took over the scoring duties and turned a dreamy display from Ipswich into a rout.

Beaming Burley reckons the play-offs are a realistic bet and his side are now unbeaten in nine league games.

Burley said: "Derbys are usually close run things but we scored early on and then overran them. It was a great performance and we have scored five goals in our last two games at home.

"We've got young boys here who are fit and can score goals and we looked very exciting."

Despite the defeat Canaries boss Mike Walker was up beat.

He said: "My players' heads didn't drop but a few of our senior lads did not do so well at the back. We are short of players at the moment and we've just got to pick ourselves up."

An army helicopter dropped off the match ball before the game and shortly afterwards Mathie got his side off to a flier.

His first after just 64 seconds was the pick of his three. Mathie struck the ball ferociously on the half volley from an Ipswich throw and it zoomed past Norwich keeper Andy Marshall.

The Ipswich fans were chanting "easy" and another four goals and a terrible Norwich display later you had to admit they were right.

Full back Mick Stockwell was also superb and he set up Mathie's other two goals. Defenders Craig Fleming and Victor Segura were dissected by Stockwell's through ball in the 27th minute and Mathie coolly placed it in the bottom corner of Marshall's net.

Stockwell then picked out Mathie in front of goal on 42 minutes and the striker took his tally for the season to eleven.

After the break Petta took centre stage and he soon outfoxed Fleming before finishing superbly.

And though Darren Eadie and Robert Fleck came close for Norwich, it was Petta who completed the scoring in the 81st minute.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Oliver, Mark
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 22, 1998
Words:357
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