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.
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?
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!
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.
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!
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.
This was a dreadful day as we lost to Norwich.
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.
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.
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.
This match was always going to be a disappointment, as the travel was so chancy.
It did show though, how important Daryl Murphy is to the team, as we rarely do well if he’s not in the team.
I think that as he’s a very good talker, his effect on the team may be more than just what he does with his feet and head.
I remember some years ago, when Stoke Hill tunnel by Ipswich station was enlarged for the larger containers, and passengers were bused from Ipswich to Manningtree, that the rail companies involved ran an exemplary system, backed by copious information and publicity.
So it proves yet again that Abellio Greater Anglia generally see passengers as irrelevant except as cash cows.
I like going to Brighton for a match, as the stadium is one of the best and it is just a short walk from the train station. You get comfortable seats, with good views, which can’t be said for many other stadia.
Sadly, Ipswich didn’t put on a display to the quality of some of late and on a bitterly cold night they lost by the odd goal in five.
Every year these days, Ipswich never seem to get past the Third Round.
And this year was no exception!
I agree with Mick McCarthy’s comments.
I’m always disappointed when I lose but I thought the game was a damp squib. We were OK until they scored and then they killed the game.
At least because there was no extra time, I did get home easily, if very slowly.