The Anonymous Widower

Match Forty-Seven – Ipswich 1 – Norwich 1

This was the first leg of the playoffs and it was a well-fought match.

A draw was probably a fair result and I think it could have have honesty gone either way.

Mick McCarthy said this about his team.

I would say it was a terrific, hard-fought football match. When two teams are competing for a big prize it will never be expansive football.

I thought it was a good game, for us we’d like to be in front but there’s no away goals that count.

I’ve always been proud of my team, and to go behind when we were on top and come back shows everything that my team’s about.

I do think that Mick’s method of motivating the team is a lesson to everybody.

I’ve just looked up the odds of the four teams left of winning the Championship on Betfair.

Middlesbrough – 11/8

Norwich – 9/4

Ipswich – 9/2

Brentford – 9/1

That is all pretty close to me without a warm favourite, although we’re probably get a Middlesbrough-Norwich final.

May 9, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Match Forty-Six – Blackburn 3 – Ipswich 2

For the last match of the normal season, in some ways this was a bit of a disappointment, as Ipswich only needed a point to be certain of the play-offs.

But at least we got through as Reading surprisingly beat Derby. In the end the Ipswich fans were singing “Come  on Reading”

May 2, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , , | 1 Comment

Match Forty-Four – Wolverhampton 1 – Ipswich 1

It was an early start to catch the 08:43 Virgin to get me to Wolverhampton for this match’s 12:15 kick-off I travelled in First and got water, a banana and tea to sustain me on the journey. At least the trains now seem to carry a lot of fruit, which is surely acceptable to all.

Molineux stadium is not that far to walk from Wolverhampton station, as the Google Earth image shows.

Molineux And Wolverhampton Station

Molineux And Wolverhampton Station

I’m sure there must be a quicker way that is known to regular visitors, especially for Away supporters, who are in the top-right or north-east corner of the stadium.

When I went to the ground today, I felt it would be prudent to have an early lunchtime snack, so I walked up into the city centre to the Marks and Spencer, to see if they had any sandwiches. Just as at Middlesbrough, there were none available. I then walked down from the city centre to the ground.

Coming back, I asked the stewards and they said the best way was to walk through the buildings of the University and then climb up to the Inner Ring Road, which leads to the station.

It wasn’t that difficult a walk, but I do wonder if a better direct route could be signposted that possibly ran along the canal in the area. Wolverhampton does have signposts and liths, but like this one in the city centre, the football ground isn’t always indicated.

Where's The Football Ground?

Where’s The Football Ground?

Hopefully next time, I go, the Midland Metro will be connected to Birmingham New Street station, so it may be easier to go to Molineux by Birmingham and the Metro, as this will mean only a downhill walk in Wolverhampton and I could et in the larger city first. Coming back, it would probably be easier to use today’s route, until they extend the Metro with a loop in Wolverhampton. The Wikipedia section contains this statement.

In July 2010, Centro Director General Geoff Inskip hinted that the scheme would be reworked by taking it to “places people need to go, such as the University”, and not taking passengers to the railway station and back “if they don’t actually need to go there”

Surely as the football ground is next to the University, Wolverhampton probably needs a full city centre loop, that serves the shops, railway and bus stations, the University and the football ground. This Google Earth image shows the Inner Ring Road, the northern part of the city centre, the football ground and the train station.

Wolverhampton Inner Ring Road

Wolverhampton Inner Ring Road

Note that the Inner Ring Road has a very wide central reservation, which must offer possibilities for running the Metro along the middle, serving the various stops by subway or footbridge. At the football ground there is already a subway and there is a bridge at the railway station, that could be upgraded to tram stops. This Google Earh image shows the bridges that connect the bus and railway stations.

Wolverhampton And Midland Metro

Wolverhampton And Midland Metro

The big roundabout south of the bridges and the three limbs of the bus station is where the Metro enters Wolverhampton City Centre to terminate at Wolverhampton tram stop. Could not a branch turn north to serve the bus and train stations, Wolverhampton University and Molineux? In an ideal world, it would continue past the football ground to perhaps a Park and Ride site on the other side of the city. Or it could even go further round the Inner Ring Road and loop back into the City Centre to the existing terminus.

There is also talk as in this article in the Wolverhampton Express and Star, of using tram-trains to extend the Midland Metro from Wolverhampton to Walsall on an old rail line. But then the West Midlands has used and disused rail lines everywhere and if tram-trains work well connecting Sheffield and Rotherham, I would think it is likely that proposals could be put forward to extend the Metro.

The possibilities are endless and by 2020, engineers and civic planners will have come up with a scheme that is much better than any so far proposed.

The football today was a hard-fought draw and a that was probably a fair result.

The pictures show the ground, the match and the half-time entertainment.According to the report on the BBC web site, Mick McCarthy was forthright after the match.

We are always hard to beat and hard to play against. The first thing I said to the players in the dressing room after the game was what a belligerent, stubborn, hard working, tough, horrible bunch you have turned out to be and I love you and I am proud of you because you need all those qualities to be a good team. It is lovely to have.

I wouldn’t disagree with Mick’s superb motivational speech. You can imagine various military commanders saying something very similar.

April 18, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Match Thirty-Nine – Watford 0 – Ipswich 1

This was a thoroughly entertaining match, which I saw on my first visit to Vicarage Road since the opening of the new Sir Elton John stand.

The New Sir Elton John Stand

The New Sir Elton John Stand

Watford were on a roll of winning six out of their previous seven home matches and were sitting on top of the Championship after scoring lots of goals, so I didn’t go to the match with any thoughts of not being beaten. And probably beaten substantially!

But the Ipswich Team were reading a different script and during the ninety minutes their defence held firm and didn’t allow Watford to get a single shot on target.

The midfield of Scuse, Varney, the diminutive Tab and Bru were key in that they seemed to snuffing out many Watford attacks before they started. Hopefully for the remaining matches some of Ipswich’s injured midfield will be able to return. At least Stephen Hunt was on the bench!

Kevin Bru is one of Mick McCarthy’s finds of the season, who was born in Paris and came to Suffolk by a roundabout route which included a lot of lesser French clubs and Levski Sofia in Bulgaria. He was on superb form and was the leader of the midfield pack. He could have scored with an audacious volley with the outside of his right foot from just outside the penalty area, but it just went the wrong side of the post. I suspect he learned that sort of skill playing street football in a Paris banlieue. It’s not something you see from an English player.

The match was drifting towards a goal-less draw and as Watford pressed harder to win the match,  in the ninety-fourth minute, Tabb hooked the ball speculatively away, Freddie Sears dispossessed their centre back, who should have cleared it, and then put Richard Chaplow through to score the winning goal, which no-one thought would come for Ipswich.

Throughout the match, the Ipswich crowd were their usual superb best and they will be key in the remaining seven matches of the normal season.

I intend to be at every one!

If you look at the last seven years of the Championship, it would appear that to get promoted directly without going through the play-offs, a team needs to at least get more than eighty points. To do this Town need at least fourteen points from those seven matches. The away matches at Wolves, Huddersfield and Blackburn, are best described as tricky rather than difficult, so if we can get five points on the road from these matches, whether we get to eighty will be down to the home form, where the supreme test is Bournemouth on Good Friday. I will be surprised if the match is not a total sell-out!

A friend pointed out that after yesterday, Town  has won every match they’ve played inside the M25.

And where is Wembley, should the team get to the play-off final?

March 21, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Match Thirty-Eight – Ipswich 1 – Bolton 0

The best things about this match were the fact that the trains to Ipswich were working well and the result.

It was yet another tricky match and Ipswich won it with a late goal from Tabb.

The only problem I had was I fell asleep on the train and nearly ending up sleeping in a siding.

Luckily I woke up just in time!

March 17, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Match Thirty-Seven – Middlesbrough 4 – Ipswich 1

I travelled very apprehensively to this early match and my fears were realised by the heavy defeat.

The crowd wasn’t big, as this picture shows.

A Sparse Crowd At Middlesbrough

A Sparse Crowd At Middlesbrough

I do think if they are going to have an early kick-off for the benefit of Sky, then clubs should at least make sure the crowd is bigger.

The match turned in an unusual way.

After four minutes Ayala scored for Middlesbrough and in the process both Ayala and the Ipswich goalkeeper; Dean Gerken were injured.

The replacement of Gerken made no difference to Ipswich, but after twenty-four minutes Ayala was replaced by Jonathan Woodgate. In his time, Woodgate has been talked about as one of the best centre-backs in England, but he’s hardly fulfilled his promise, due to a long list of injuries.

After he came on, Ipswich got hardly a sniff at goal.

I do hope if we are going to play in Middlesbrough in the future, that the match is scheduled for August or September.

I don’t think there can be a colder place in England!

 

March 14, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , , | 1 Comment

Match Thirty-Six – Ipswich 1 – Brentford 1

This was another long day because of the works on the line to Ipswich. When am I going to get a season of football which has not been made miserable at some point by the trains?

I did travel in reasonable trains both way as I went via Cambridge, but it’s a long way round and I didn’t arrive back home until after eight.

The match was a ding-dong affair, that sums up as Mick said, the bonkers nature of the Championship. Either team could have won it with a bit of luck.

March 7, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Match Thirty-Five – Leeds 2 – Ipswich 1

This was a disappointing match played in a cold Leeds.

Match Thirty-Five - Leeds 2 - Ipswich 1

Match Thirty-Five – Leeds 2 – Ipswich 1

It also flagged up, Ipswich’s lack of a regular penalty taker, owing to the injury to David McGoldrick. I think Daryl Murphy was a reluctant recruit and he muffed it.

March 4, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Match Thirty-Four – Norwich 2 – Ipswich 0

This was a dreadful day as we lost to Norwich.

Match Thirty-Four - Norwich 2 - Ipswich 0

Match Thirty-Four – Norwich 2 – Ipswich 0

But what made it worse was the tediously long journey both ways due to the work on the Great vEastern Main Line.

I evetually got back into London at nine o’clock, after a match that finished at four, to find that all my normal routes home were suffering from engineering works.

March 1, 2015 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Match Thirty-Two – Ipswich 0 – Reading 1

This was one of those matches that contributed to a tiresome day. It started by having to go to Ipswich via Billericay and a coach.

Ah! Billericay!

Ah! Billericay!

Reading scored one of those goals and then sat back and defended – Game Over!

Coming home was much worse, as I was dropped into the organised chaos at Liverpool Street.

February 21, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment