Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Easy in the end

Tuesday 14 November 2017, Hadleigh United 1 Ipswich Town XI 5 - Millfield, Suffolk Premier Cup, 2nd Round

We always dominated but never killed Hadleigh off and so no surprise in the second half when the hosts got back on terms. We then increased the pace, started to find the gaps and fitness told and even with a penalty miss we in the end strolled to an easy win - not sure the next ties will be as easy.

Lobe going to Hadleigh, nice ground and friendly folk plus Bovril for a £1.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

History lesson

Saturday 11 November 2017, Westerfield United 2 Felixstowe Harpers United 2 ( 1-3 on penalties) - Suffolk Senior Cup 3rd Round,  Ipswich School Sports Centre

 Ipswich Town had no game today but a non-league match just outside the town provided numerous historical links to ITFC.

Westerfeild play their home games at Ipswich School Sports centre, and it was old boys from the school who formed Ipswich Town at the end of the 19th Century. Today was a Suffolk Senior Cup game, a cup won numerous times by Ipswich Town. The first time they reached the final they played Ipswich School.

The school is still in the centre of town, but they recently purchased the Rushmere Sports Club, football is played on the northern side of the complex. But unlike it in the 19th Century football is no longer the main sports played at the school, after the First World War, like many Private schools, football was dropped and they turned to Rugby Union but it is obvious that when you visit the sports centre, it is now hockey that is king - and with 2 of the 2016 Olympic Men's Hockey team starting their hockey career at the school they must be doing something right.

Not to say football is totally forgotten, the manager of the sports centre is Roger Osborne, the man who scored the winning goal for Ipswich in the 78 FA Cup final.

The pitches may be on the edge of the complex but they are in great condition, plus quality wooden dugouts and tea and coffee from a portakabin make this a pleasant place to catch a game of football and the match today was certainly one worth watching.

Felixstowe Harpers dominated the first hour and found themselves two up, however a goalkeeping blunder let the home side back into the game and Westerfield kept the momentum up and got a deserved equaliser right at the end of the game.

So the game would be settled by a penalty shoot out, and after his earlier error the Harpers goalkeeper suddenly went from zero to hero, as he saved the first three Westerfield penalty kicks. So it is the Suffolk Coastal team that find themselves in the last 8 of the cup.

If they make it thorough the next two rounds they will find themselves at Portman Road, the modern home of Ipswich Town, another link between today and ITFC.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

A 'Panenka' and a Great Dane!

Wednesday 8 November 2017, Leatherhead 1 Folkestone Invicta 2 - Isthmian Premier, Fetcham Grove

Took me 3 attempts but I eventually got to see a game at Leatherhead and as they may move next season, I am glad I got to see a game at Fetcham Grove,

A ground full of character and the club may be low in the league but on a high after their recent  FA Cup exploits. A club of course famous for giant killing hoping again to experience the magic of the cup.

Folkestone are higher in the league and maybe expected to take advantage of the tired legs of the Leatherhead team, but the 'Tanners' had a new loan player in their side and he would have a cracking first half on his debut.

Liam Nash is on loan from Gillingham, and he certainly  was the centre of attention in the first half, gaining a penalty and then showing he does not lack confidence, he then took the spot kick and scored with a 'Panenka'.

The home side were the better team in the first half but could not maintain the lead and Folkestone got back on terms just before the break.

The second half saw Leatherhead with plenty of possession but no cutting edge and Folkestone got the winner, it was also great to spot for the second time this season, the football kit wearing, Folkestone supporting Great Dane!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Villain of the piece

Sunday 5 November 2017, Cork City 1 Dundalk 1 (Cork win 5-3 on pens) - FAI Cup Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin

A day in Dublin, a cup final and in the end the excitement of penalties.

Not a full house but the fans of Cork and Dundalk certainly made a day of it - and with cheap tickets plenty of children at the ground to enjoy the day. Did seem strange that security would not allow children to bring in daysacks when for most of the game the two groups of fans seemed to be continuously lighting flares!

Cork shaded the first half and Dundalk the second but in the end it would only be penalties that could separate the two teams.

There was no trouble and both sets of fans seemed to get on, we were not even segregated in the side stands but one Cork player did seem to have upset the lads from the north. Every time the Cork keeper, Mark McNulty he was jeered so no surprise he would be the hero of the day for Cork, as he saved the penalty that gave the 'rebels' the cup.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

It had to be Celina

Saturday 4  November 2017, Ipswich Town 3 Preston North End 0 - Championship, Portman Road

Might even start every week! Celina steals the show again- wonder finish.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Going places?

Wednesday 1 November 2017, Coggeshall United 5 White Notley 2 - Essex & Suffolk Border League,  West Street

Coggeshall Town only left the Border League a few season ago but they do not look like they will be staying long in the Eastern Counties League, already promoted to the Premier Division and now they may be ready to go up gain, but they are not the only team in the town on the way up.

When Coggeshall Town left the Border League their place was taken by their reserve team (often with a certain Olly Murs in their line up) however in July this year they were replaced by Coggeshall United.

 There are obvious close links between the two clubs but United have their own way to the top lined up, they are currently top of the Border League and with a new Step 6 league to start in Essex next season they may find themselves in it. What is different about Coggeshall United to say 'Team Bury' up the A12/A14 is that they do not just intend to produce players for their landlords. they hope most of their players end up playing higher in the pyramid and maybe some making it into full time football.

I was very impressed with their first half display, fitness, passing, top finishing and an impressive pressing game, all helped by encouraging comments from their coach on the sideline.

They went in at the break 2-0 up but do not let the final scoreline fool you, it was much closer than the 3 goal finishing margin. If White Notley had taken their chances like Coggeshall did theirs it could have easily ended up 5-4.

The player who impressed most was the home teams holding midfield and I think captain, who played very like N'Golo Kante of Chelsea.

Off the pitch, Coggeshall Town, the landlords have put plenty of work into the ground and the pitch was also one of the best I have seen- so two clubs, shared town, same ground and both on the 'up'.

Bailey Clements- one to watch

Monday 30 October 2017, Ipswich Town Under 23s 1 Colchester United Under 23s 1 - Professional development League, Playford Road Training Ground

Always nice to watch a development match stood next to a couple of ex professionals - I had the fortune to be stood next to 3 ex Ipswich players during this game - and all three were impressed by the young Ipswich left back - Bailey Clements