26-02-2011: Ipswich Town 0 Portsmouth 2 (NPower Championship) Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk
The third game in a row where Town have completely dominated play before the break, failed to convert that domination into goals, and then been made to pay for it in the second half. Today we could easily have been three, four or even five up at the break had it not be for some plain bad luck and a certain amount of profligacy in front of goal. But never mind, at least its good to see the team playing the ‘Ipswich Way’ again – fast attractive football with lots of goal mouth action. We certainly had that a plenty in the first half and I must say I rather watch football played in that manner, even if it does end up in defeat, than grinding out wins and draws playing the way that RK seemed set on.
Town nemesis, the execrable Dave Nugent, put Pompey ahead and provided the assist for the second. Whether it was for former club PNE or for current club Portsmouth he’s scored on all bar one of his eight appearances at Portman Road, even scoring for the England U-21’s here a few years ago against Moldova. I think another three wins in our remaining thirteen games should see us safe from the threat of relegation, a ignominious fate that was looming like a dark cloud before Paul Jewell’s arrival in January. So his first target, of ensuring Championship football in Suffolk next season is almost met. From here on until May its very much a case of building the foundations for a promotion push next season, something that, with a few additions to the squad, should be well within the clubs grasp.
It was sad to hear before the match that Dean Richards had died aged just 36. Richards started his playing career at Bradford City (as a team mate of Town manager Paul Jewell) and went on to play for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton, Tottenham and the England U-21’s. He may well have collected quite a few full caps for England too, had he not picked up so many injuries during his time at White Hart Lane. He was a pretty decent central defender to say the least and would also appear at the other end of the pitch to chip in with the odd goal or two. In an FA Cup tie between Town and Southampton back in 1999 he towered above Tony Mowbray to head home from 15 yards. Not often that Mogga was beaten aerially.