Ipswich's Jewell In the Crown Turns Out To Be Paste Gems
Friday, 22nd Apr 2011 12:40
Ipswich Town supporters must be smarting with the humiliation of the derby double resulting in an aggregate score of two goals in reply to Norwich City's nine. Put it another way, losing by a goal to five at Portman Road last night.
More's the point that any fantasies of reaching the play-off places by both supporters and players must now be firmly dashed. It will not be easy to shake off such a humuiliating defeat, but the remaining fixtures will give hope to future opponents.
But this site isn't to speak of Ipswich Town's situation. It is about how strong, determined and united the Norwich City players are. There might have been a few nerves as they walked onto the pitch last night. The thought that Ipswich might try to exact revenge for the four one defeat at Carrow Road, for example.
The crowd of almost 30,000 hostile voices booing every move and cheering anything that Ipswich players did to get one over on them. It had no effect. In fact, in one of many instances when Grant Holt was being man-handled and the crowd jeered as Holt pushed his assailant off. Holt walked away grinning. He looked to be loving it, playing the role of villain of the piece.
The nerves were frayed as the two thousand travelling supporters watched the early assaults made by Ipswich, but the patient build-up play of Paul Lambert's chosen few paid off when Andrew Surman, completely unmarked and with a full view of an open goal, smashed home the game's opener.
From a roar of 28,000 to the cheers of 2,000, the game had taken a turn, demonstrated very aptly when Ipswich's Gareth McCauley turned a corner kick into his own net. The night belonged to Norfolk. Travelling supporters chanted a greeting to almost another 10,000 at Carrow Road (according to some reports) watching the live beam-back of the match.
After Simeon Jackson had made it three, Ipswich eventually got off the mark with a 25 yard shot by Jimmy Bullard, giving hope to those that had not already left the stadium. The exodus resumed very soon after, when Russell Martin produced the goal to match the last result that Ipswich had to swallow, five months earlier.
Substitutions meant that a fresh set of legs in the attack added to the woes of Ipswich players, and when Simeon Jackson's effort rebounded off the post, Dani Pacheco delivered the coup de grace.
Ipswich 'keeper, Aaron Lee-Barrett must have had mixed feelings for the game. Memories of where he started his career at Colney didn't interfere with his efforts to stop Norwich City, but it must play with his loyalties after being beaten four times by players that might have been his mates, had he not been released in 2003.
Now the long weekend will keep its council until Saturday's results reveal whether or not Cardiff can make home advantage tell when QPR, who can seal the promtion bid with a win, pay them a visit.
Photo: Action Images
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