Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Bitterest Pill

And so another season is over, we nearly 'moved on up' getting to within one hundred and sixteen minutes of the Premier League! Who cares? The worst thing that happened was Norwich beating Middlesbrough at Wembley in the play-off final. What a season of bragging rights they've had, beating us home and away in the league and then knocking us out of the play-offs on the way to promotion.
We've had our best season for a decade and at last it feels like we've got a team and set up to be proud of again, I'm even starting to believe in Marcus Evans!
The high spots of the season for me were the away win at Watford, Daryl Murphy being the top scorer in all four divisions with twenty-seven goals and Cole Skuse scoring his first goal for Ipswich - which was also goal of the season.
There wasn't too many lows, obviously the above mentioned Norwich games spring to mind. The worse game of the season was the awful nil-nil draw at home to Wigan on the last day of January.
Sharon came very close to winning the TWTD's Prediction League, she got up to second place with just a few games remaining but slipped to thirteenth missing out by five points in the end! I finished in one hundred and twenty third place and dad was ten places behind me.

Here's to next season!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Plough Offs Part Two - The Day We Caught The Train

The most important Old Farm derby ever?

Once again the Sky cameras are only interested in Norwich

Here we go then
It's never easy losing a play-off semi-final, I know I've seen Ipswich lose lot's of them over the years, losing this one to our most hated rivals was right up there, the only consolation is that we weren't expected to win. Having said all of that enduring those final fifteen minutes or so at Carrow Road on Saturday was horrible.
Norwich were the bookies favourites to get to Wembley and for the first one hundred and forty minutes of the two legged tie we certainly made it hard for them, then it all went tits up in a flash.
At half-time I had felt quietly confident that we would win the match, all be it with a late goal, but things changed dramatically after the re-start. In fairness the Canaries (I'm not going to get all bitter and call them the scum) started the second half like they had had a proverbial rocket up their arses (they probably had).
When  Christophe Berra handled Nathan Redmond's goal bound shot on the line and was shown a straight red card in the forty-ninth minute there was a feeling that surely our chance of a trip to the final against Middlesbrough  had gone.
Wes Hoolahan converted the resultant penalty and all of a sudden we were given a mountain to climb. Tommy Smith did however give us a bit of hope when he levelled the match on the hour mark, scoring a well taken close range goal, after latching on to Daryl Murphy’s flick from Teddy Bishop's free-kick. That certainly silenced those chirpy budgies for a little while.
Unfortunately for us Redmond restored their lead within just four minutes, surely we wouldn't be able to mount another challenge?
Our fate was eventually sealed with sixteen minutes remaining when Cameron Jerome calmly slipped the ball into the Town net when put through with a well measured pass from Redmond (I'm starting to take a real dislike to him!) 

The budgie fans didn't really rub our noses in it as much as I expected, I'm sure that we would have been far more vociferous had the shoe been on the other foot! They had a feeble attempt at a pitch invasion at the final whistle and were more interested in taking selfies than abusing us. Oh and there was that yellow & green banner which read '4-1, 1-5, 9-2’ (reference to their two victories over us in 2010/11). Well at least it proves that they can add up.
So it’s now over to Grant Leadbitter, who played for Ipswich in those two games in the 2010/11 season, to take revenge on our behalf and condemn those chirpy bonos to another season in the Championship. Oh how nice it would be to play them next season and be able to sing ‘We saw you cry on the tele’!

Other than the result it was a good day out for me & Sharon, all be it a long one. We caught the 9.08am train to Norwich and once there walked to the Riverside to get some breakfast. There's no shortage of bars and restaurants there and we ended up in the Coast to Coast American Restaurant & Bar. We had a beer at the bar while we waited for a table became available.
Sharon noted that apart from the staff we appeared to be the only people not from Norfolk inside there! Once seated we ordered breakfast and more beers, after another beer and about an hours wait we finally gave up and told the waitress that we were leaving. She was very apologetic and told us that there would be no charge for the drinks that we had had,  I gave her a ten pound tip - it wasn’t her fault after all! In the end we had to settle for a hot dog and a bacon roll outside the ground as time was marching on.

Train beer

Found myself in a strange town

Coast to Coast selfie
Free drinks!

'Now come you here'

Sammy V & Sharon 
After the game we caught a train back to Ipswich, a quiet journey if ever there was one. We walked past Portman Road and were in Degeros at about 4pm - why not? Drowning our sorrows and having a post-mortem with some of the BMFC boys. Max was away in Budapest for Schollar's stag weekend and rang me while we were there, they had watched the game in a bar over there.
We went to the K Bar after that and had some food before getting a taxi back home at 8pm. It was very much a case of in the back door, feed Rudie and out of the front door, as we had to go to the Bell to have a birthday drink with Gordon who was celebrating his eightieth birthday.

Back to the future

K Bar selfie

At last something decent to eat

Happy birthday to Gordon - singing 'The Year That Clayton Delaney Died'

We finally got back home after mid-night and attempted to have yet another beer, but we were both beaten! Suffice to say that Sunday was a very lethargic day!