Archive for the ‘ITFC’ Category

Ipswich Town 1 Northampton Town 2

09-08-2011: Ipswich Town 1 Northampton Town 2 (Carling Cup 1st Round) Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

One of seven new arrivals already this summer the signing of the enigmatic Arsenal youngster Jay Emmanuel-Thomas for £1m seems like good business to me provided Paul Jewell can convert this huge talent into a consistent performer on the pitch. Gunners boss Arsene Wegner had spoken often about JET’s undoubted ability but left a question mark hanging over his work ethic.

JET had an impressive spell on loan at Doncaster at the beginning of last season followed by an equally unimpressive one at Cardiff (although in fairness the latter was hampered by injury). Reading through comments by Gunners fans on an Arsenal message board it seems they are disappointed that he hadn’t made the type of progress that someone like Jack Wilshere had, by backing up talent with real effort.

But initial signs for his Portman Road career are encouraging. A good performance at Bristol City at the weekend, where he laid on a superb pass for Town’s second goal, and tonight he opened his Town goal account in the 11th minute, receiving the ball on the left hand edge of the penalty area and sending a powerful strike over the Cobbler’s ‘keeper and into far corner of the net.

JET was easily the best performer for me tonight in a Blue’s side containing nine changes from the side that won 3-0 at Ashton Gate at the weekend. With that number of changes an upset was always likely. The Cobblers went 2-1 up ten minutes after the break leaving Ipswich plenty of time to force extra time (JET almost did so from a free-kick) or even to have won it but, as was so often the case last season, they just couldn’t convert numerous chances into goals.

Whitton United 3 Ipswich Town U-18’s 4

The new McDonald's Stand at Whitton United

Whitton United had a storming end to their 2010-11 Ridgeons League campaign finishing as runners-up to Gorleston and five points ahead of third placed Diss Town. Unfortunately their King George V Playing Fields ground failed to meet the minimum requirements for the Ridgeons Premier Division at the time of the League’s AGM (in fact it didn’t meet those for Division One either) and so their application for promotion was denied.

There’s a certain irony here in the fact that work to upgrade the ground (including the construction of a 113-seater stand) was started in March, just as their impressive end of season run was underway, but could not be completed in time. Anyway the new McDonald’s Stand is now completed and was officially opened today by Russell Osman – a UEFA Cup winner with ITFC in ‘81 and now U-18’s coach with the ITFC Academy – and Mark Richards, owner of a number of McDonalds franchises.

The original and the greatest … Sir Alf

Artathon 17: Sir Alf Ramsey Statue

Sir Alf Ramsey

Sir Alf Ramsey and his wife Lady Victoria Ramsey lived for more than 30 years in a modest three bedroom detached house on Valley Road, Ipswich, just a hop, skip and long throw in from chez Extreme Groundhopping. Sir Alf could often been seen walking along Norwich Road to pick up his newspapers from Goldings Newsagents (now Hunterskill Recruitment) but never without a shirt and tie.

The same was true when he headed to the town centre on a shopping excursion where yours truly almost flattened the football legend, rounding a counter in Debenhams a bit sharpish and crashing into Sir Alf. Oddly it he was that was first to apologise. Not one for suffering fools gladly he had clearly made an exception in my case.

Although he was known to have been ill for sometime it was still with great sadness that the news of his death made the headlines in late April 1999. Then ITFC chairman David Sheepshanks put it so succinctly when he said: “As much as we mourn his passing, I think it is important that we celebrate properly the remarkable life and achievements of a truly extraordinary man. To take a small club, as Ipswich Town were in the last 50’s, from Division Three (South) to the First Division Championship on limited resources was a legendary feat.”

But of course Sir Alf didn’t stop there, becoming the only manager in the history of football in this country to win both the League title and World Cup when, four years after his success with Town, and on that so so famous sun drenched day at Wembley in 1966, his England side beat West Germany 4-2 to lift the Jules Rimet trophy.

His success on the field should however not overshadow his victories off it as it was after all he that was responsible for starting the revolution that shook sense into the men in grey suits at the Football Association. His new methods propelled English football into the modern world and shook off the cosy and amateurish ways in which the game had been run for so long. He became the national side’s first true manager, responsible for all matters football and no longer a messenger boy for the international selection committee.

Despite his unparalleled success he remained a very modest man, loved the town of Ipswich, which he had adopted as his own, as the townspeople did him. A no more fitting a tribute of him exists than that of the Sir Alf Ramsey statue at the corner Portman Road and Sir Alf Ramsey Way (formerly Portman Walk and renamed in his honour) a very popular pre-match meeting point for Town fans since its unveiling in 2000.

Full Artathon details here.

Cambridge United 2 Ipswich Town 2

19-07-11: Cambridge United 2 Ipswich Town 2 (Friendly) Abbey Stadium, Cambridge

What do I go to football for? Well first and foremost I want to be entertained and the result, when I’m at a Town game is very much of secondary importance but of course I always hope for a Blues win.

Tonight we certainly got entertainment. Cambridge going two up in the first 3 minutes (cracking strikes from Ryan Charles and Ashley Carew), Town pulling one back through new man Michael Chopra in the fifth minute and then equalising, again through Chopra (his fourth in three pre-season outings). And this all inside the first 21 minutes.

Lots still to be done if we are to be in the mix come May of next year. The strike partnership of Chopra and Nathan Ellington is looking good, and we look reasonable in midfield (we should pick-up here once Lee Bowyer is up to speed), but at the back it’s pretty dire. Tommy Smith (one of NZ’s World Cup heroes last summer) and Damien Delaney as a centre back partnership are less than inspiring as are our two glovesman (Arran Lee-Barrett and Marton Fulop).

But no matter where we finish come the end of the season I suspect that we are more likely to see the return of the swashbuckling style of football played under Joe Royle (we may concede plenty but will more often than not out score the opposition) rather than the negative tripe served up by Paul Jewell’s predecessor RK.

Note: Pictures of the Abbey Stadium (plus some from last weeks ITFC games in FC Eindhoven and Den Bosch) to come once SE20Blue has dumped the contents of his camera.

Ipswich Town 2 Preston North End 1

30-04-2011: Ipswich Town 2 Preston North End 1 (NPower Championship) Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Words to follow.

Ipswich Town 1 Norwich City 5

21-04-2011: Ipswich Town 1 Norwich City 5 (NPower Championship) Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Words to follow.

Ipswich Town 3 Middlesbrough 3

12-04-2011: Ipswich Town 3 Middlesbrough 3 (NPower Championship) Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

A hugely entertaining game that was a mix of decent football and comedy defending. Having taken the lead through Grant Leadbitter (aided by a huge deflection) we looked very comfortable against a very average Boro side and then, just before the end of the half, and out of nowhere, we were 2-1 down. Damien Delaney’s sliced clearance bounced off the cross bar and fortuitously for Boro into the path of Andy Halliday, and Delaney was at fault again a few minutes later leaving Scott McDonald completely unmarked to score the visitors second. A third for Boro after the break from Andrew Taylor and it looked all over but you can’t fault the Town players for spirit and in the blink of an eye (or what seemed like it given the frenetic pace of the game) we were level at three a piece. Connor Wickham headed firmly home from Jimmy Bullard’s cross on 64 and Leadbitter scored his second of the night, from the spot, with fifteen minutes left. Either side could have won it in the closing stages but the draw was a more than fair result.