Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Remembrance



The 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery







Football paid it's respects to those, who were killed in conflicts since the start of World War 1, throughout the Remembrance weekend.
At Ipswich on Saturday afternoon the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery joined the players of both Town and visitors, Watford, in the centre circle for a minutes silence prior to kick-off.
The Ipswich team wore, one off edition 'Football Remembers' poppy shirts, as did the rest of the Championship clubs. I'm sure that Town have never ever done this before?



His prayers are being answered - two clean sheets in three games





After the match the shirts were signed before being auctioned off on ebay, with the proceeds going to the 2014 Poppy Appeal.
For the second time in a week, we were up against the team occupying, third place in the league table and as against Wolves on Tuesday we came away with the three points. A healthy crowd of 22,490 - no doubt buoyed up by the £10 a ticket promotion offer available through season ticket holders, can only have enjoyed the match.


Watford, who have become our bogey side over the last few years, looked a very good side and must be a good bet for a top six finish, so victory over them was even sweeter.
I remember saying to Sharon after sixty-four minutes 'If you're a good team, you win games like these'. It could have gone either way and at that moment I'd have taken a nil-nil draw.
It was Tommy Smith who got Town's winner seven minutes from time, following a low free-kick routine between Stephen Hunt and David McGoldrick. Smith reacted first, to a rebounded shot from Kevin Bru and slotted the ball past the Hornet's keeper Heurelho Gomes.

Fist pump!
This match reminded me of when we use to be good - at least ten seasons ago and I came away from Portman Road thinking perhaps we are again! Mick McCarthy has definitely got something good going on here, plus he's got the 'know-how' to keep us in the hunt and then... who knows?
Next stop Bournemouth away in two weeks time, my first away game of the season.


In other news - Norwich lost!




Friday, 7 November 2014

Kenny - Get Your Coat

Promoted Wolves were the visitors to Portman Road on a chilly November evening. Kenny Jackett's men were sitting third in the Championship table after an impressive start to the season. 
Town were missing five first team regulars through injury, Dean Gerken, Johnathan Parr, Cole Skuse, Teddy Bishop & Jonny Williams. To be honest I wasn't overly confident of getting anything from the match, in fact I had predicted a 2-0 loss!
How wrong was I? It was Ipswich's best performance of the season, we never let Wolves settle, forcing them into lot's of mistakes from the kick-off. 
Bartosz Bialkowski, making his home debut between the sticks had quite a comfortable evening, his pre-match prayers being answered! Kevin Bru had a really good game in mid-field and would have been a strong candidate for 'Man of the Match', but for Daryl Murphy.
The Murph is now the joint top scorer in the league with ten goals, following his brace. His first goal yet another contender from his collection for 'Goal of the Season'. 
The only time during the match that the result ever looked in doubt was when James Henry's cross from the right beat everybody to level things up, after fifty-three minutes. Murphy restored Town's lead just six minutes later.
There's no doubt that Mick McCarthy will have enjoyed this result immensely against his former employees.












Just saying!


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Hot Stuff?

What was the biggest talking point at Portman Road on Saturday? The stewards, stopping supporters from taking hot food into the ground? Or Town dropping two points from a winning position, for the second week running? Both could give cause for indigestion!




Just about made it for kick-off!



Huddersfield were the visitors along with their recent loan signing and ITFC nemesis Grant Holt. Even before Tommy Smith had given Town the lead from a Teddy Bishop corner, in the twenty-first minute, I thought that the three points were ours to lose, perhaps it was the prematch Adnams clouding my judgement?
Smith's fellow centre half Christophe Berra doubled our lead after fifty-five minutes and we looked well in control. However, things changed when Holt won a dubious penalty for the Terriers with twenty minutes left to go - bastard, which Nahki Wells converted in front of the North Stand.
Wells added his and Huddersfield's second goal, with a header, in the eighty-second minute and then the visitors looked the more likely team to get a winner.
How frustrating, for the second week running I left Portman Road feeling as if we had lost.
Saturday had started so well for me, with my now customary 8am running session in Christchurch Park. The weather sunny and very mild for the time of year, perfect for football.
Sharon was away with work, so I took a good healthy appetite, along with Max, to the Holeshot Cafe for a 'Full House' breakfast and it didn't disappoint.
We went to the Lord Nelson for a pre-match drink, along with several of the BMFC  boys, my choice was Adnams Ghostship, which was poured straight from the cask.
It was 2.40pm by the time I'd finished my third pint! So a brisk walk to Portman Road was therefore required.
I could hear the teams coming onto the pitch as we passed by Sir Alf - being late for football never happens in my world, just ask Sharon!
After the match we went to Degeros for 'one' which turned into another three (I think). Sharon picked me up from there at about 7pm, leaving Max to fend for himself!


Friday, 24 October 2014

Point Blank

September turned out to be good for ITFC, Mick McCarthy won Manager of the Month & Tyrone Mings won Player of the Month, following a 13 out of 15 points return.



Unbeaten in seven Ipswich, were at home to Blackburn Rovers, captained by Jordan Rhodes, the striker that Roy Keane (in the news again with part two of his autobiography being published) let go during his unsuccessful tenure in the ITFC hot seat.
It seems like an age ago since I last went to football, that due to the second international break of the season.

Blackburn, led out by captain Jordan Rhodes, who, in my opinion got some unnecessary stick during todays match, because of his goal celebration last season in front of the North Stand. 

Christophe Berra was Town's skipper following Luke Chambers withdrawal through sickness

'Johnny Johnny Johnny Johny Williams
He comes and goes
He scores some goals'
- Karma Chameleon




'Changed his boots
Changed his boots
Gerkin's changed his boots'
The first half of the match was fairly even, but Town never really looked like losing their recent unbeaten run. They came out after the break looking like they really wanted all three points.
Connor Sammon, in for the injured Daryl Murphy, made a nuisance of himself and won a couple of free kicks just outside the penalty area. Rovers Matt Kilgallon was booked on each occasion, so therefore saw a red card and the visitors went down to ten men.
Ipswich took their lead from the second free kick, David McGoldrick dispatching the ball into the top corner of the net, in the sixty-fifth minute.
With an extra man advantage Town really should have added to their lead and put the game to bed. Stephen Hunt, making his first start of the season, came close after his header was cleared off the line, McGoldrick then hit the post and had a one on one with Jason Steele, which the Rovers keeper  saved, nine minutes from the end.
However, the feel good factor around Portman Road came crashing to the ground deep into stoppage time when Blackburn were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Town box. Ben Marshall  stepped up and put the ball past keeper Dean Gerken (who at long last had changed his boots from yellow to pale blue) and into the net, giving the visitors an undeserved equaliser.
The drama didn't end there however, shortly after the restart McGoldrick, having been shoved to the ground in the Blackburn box, had a blatant penalty waved away. The ref bottled it and not for the first time in the game.
So Sharon & I left the ground feeling rather dejected, but it didn't stop us from frequenting, what is becoming customary on football days, Degeros. After a few Amstels we made the long walk next door to Zizzis, for some dinner. We spotted Arun & Nat in there and sat down at the adjacent table to them. They didn't seem to mind our company, either that or they were just being very polite? Max, who was having a sober Saturday came and picked us all up when we were finished, although he took Sharons car and my slippers - roll reversal that one!

The Greyhound are at it again with their menu!

My input 



Saturday, 4 October 2014

Running Down A Dream


Flying the flag
All of a sudden we're in the top six following a fourth straight win.
Newly promoted Rotherham United were the latest victims and included ex Blues keeper Scott Loach alongside former loanees Paul Green and Frazer Richardson in their starting eleven. Missing from the visitors lineup however were town loanees Paul Taylor and Antony Wordsworth both ineligible to play against their parent club.
The game in effect was over after just six minutes, Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick gave us a runaway lead and we just wondered how many more goals would follow, especially Sharon whose £1 bet had Murphy netting first and a 4-0 home win. At odds of 70-1 the money certainly would have come in handy later on!
As it turned out Rotherham grew into the game, especially in the second half and although they never really looked like scoring they gave a good account of themselves. The nearest we came to increasing the lead was soon after the restart when Connor Sammon hit the post from a tight angle.

Full house - locally sourced and sauced



It was the day before my birthday, so I was in a celebratory mood. Being a good boy I was up early ad did the Jaffa's Christchurch Park running session at 8am. Afterwards I took Rudie The Dog for a walk in the woods at Martlesham with Sharon before meeting up with Max at the Holeshot Cafe, for a well earn't full house.
We went to Degeros before the game for a couple of beers and returned there after the game for a couple more! Tracey popped in for a drink before meeting her mates in town. We had a curry at the Clay Oven across the road from Degeros before one last drink at The Old Rep!




'Scottie Loach is a blue - he hates Norwich'



As for my birthday? It was a bit more low key. I watched Borussia Martlesham win in the Trophy at Westbourne in the morning and Europe win the Ryder Cup at The Bell in the afternoon - I must be getting old!