18-12-2010: Ipswich Town 3 Leicester City 0 (NPower Championship)
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk
What a great night and a well deserved win against an inform Leicester side. Sven and his team have tried using the playing conditions to explain away the defeat but they were the same for both sides. Town were simply up for the game from the off while Leicester assumed the worsening weather conditions would see the game abandoned and just appeared to be going through the motions.
The really champs of the night were the ground staff who did a fantastic job, firstly allowing the game to start and then, aided by forty or fifty stewards at half-time, and again during an 11 minute recess in the second period, making sure it was completed.
Thanks too to referee Stuart Atwell for not succumbing to pressure from the Leicester players, and the former England manager and his coaching staff, to abandon the game. Perhaps he was under equal pressure from SKY TV to ensure that the game continued. Whatever the reason it was good to see the officials, Town players and the visitors (most of them) just getting on with it.
I’ve watched games played in much worse conditions that this. At the interval our little gang were talking about previous games played with an orange ball. An FA cup tie against Bristol Rovers at Eastville in 1978 that was played on snow, a UEFA cup game against Widzew Lodz that was played on a sheet of ice in Poland, and a number of home games played in similar conditions, including a league fixture against West Ham that saw the visitors don Town’s orange change strip to help distinguish between the two sides in blizzard conditions.
After six straight defeats this was a most welcome win. The annoying thing is that you could see tonight that the squad Roy Keane has assembled is a half decent one so why can’t they produce performances like this on a regular basis? Fingers crossed that this isn’t another false dawn.