Monday, 26 December 2011

No longer the Walkers - not a crisp in sight

Monday 26th December 2011, Leicester City 1 Ipswich Town 1, Championship - King Power Stadium

No longer the Walkers and not a crisp in sight- but a display that does show we are now moving in the right direction

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Getting better!

Saturday 17th December 2011 - Ipswich Town 1 Derby County 0, Championship - Portman Road

Two wins on the trot- getting better, but how much is it down to the loan players? Will they all still be here in January (one already gone)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Hope at last

Tuesday 6th December 2011, Ipswich Town Youths 2 Leeds United Youths 0, FA Youth Cup 3rd Round - Portman Road

Great win, great display - hope at last- all players were great but special mention to Joe Whight, Jideofo Maduako, Jack Marriot and 15 yeard old Bryon Lawrence - hope we can go all the way!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Poor result but a better display

Saturday 3 December 2011, Ipswich Town 1 Watford 2 - Championship, Portman Road

Better display but still a poor result. Am I the only Town fan who thinks Lee Martin is overrated?

May give PJ two more weeks?

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Jewell Out!

Saturday 26 November 2011 - Ipswich Town 2 Reading 3 - Championship, Portman Road

Jewell Out!!!

Monday, 21 November 2011

£102 up!

Saturday 19th November 2011 - Nottingham Forest 3 Ipswich Town 2, Championship - City Ground

Collins scored first, I had £2 on him to score at 50-1, rest of the day was a joke!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

A special moment

Saturday 5th November 2011, Ipswich Town 2 Doncaster Rovers 3 - Championship, Portman Road

The result was a disaster, the players were like novices, the manager needs help but one moemnt in the game will live with those who were there for ever. The reception Billy Sharp received from the Town fans.

Despite the Doncaster Rovers striker scoring in the first half to make it 2-0, supporters inside Portman Road applauded in a poignant tribute to Sharp, whose newborn baby tragically passed away last Saturday.

The striker, who turned and applauded the Sir Bobby Robson Stand following his goal in this afternoon’s 3-2 win, tweeted after the game: “Will never forget that moment today at portman road,ipswich town fans unbelievable,never seen anything like it. #special.”

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Just champion

Tuesday 1st November 2011, Dulwich Hamlet 2 Eastbourne Town 0 - Ryman League, Division One South - Champion Hill

A meeting in London enabled me to get along to the evening game at Dulwich - Champion Hill, probably the best one sided ground in the UK, but there is far more to Champion Hill than that. This is a new ground, the old 'Champion Hill' was next door and is now a Sainsbury Superstore. Champion Hill was one of the largest non league grounds in London with a record crowd of over 20,000. I believe it was even used in the Olympics.

It was not just the ground that was well known, Edgar Kail is the name of the street that leads to both the store and the ground. Edgar a Dulwich player was the last amateur to play for the full England team and would have played in the 1930 World Cup if it had not been for the FA/FIFA dispute.

It may only have one stand but it is an impressive one as the sports centre is built behind it making it stand out further. Inside the stand the usual large screens and bar but behind a door you have an honours board that would look more at home at a Bowls Club, private school or cricket pavilion and next to the board a wall with pictures of famous players from the 30's and numerous plaques and awards from various FA's.

It may not be 'The' Champion Hill but still worth a visit and the short rail trip south from London Bridge.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

90 minutes ruined the day!

Saturday 29th October 2011, Millwall 4 Ipswich Town 1 - Championship, The New Den

Great day, a few beers in a pub at London Bridge with mates from Ipswich, London a Town fan from Northern Ireland and a former comrade from the Royal Green Jackets. Then in the evening a few more beers, a great curry in Brick Lane with wife and friends - would have been a brilliant day but slightly ruined by the 90 minutes of so called football that happened at 3pm in south London.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Played bad, didn't win

Saturday 22nd October 2011, Ipswich Town 0 Crystal Palace 1 - Championship, Portman Road

On Tuesday we played poor and won, today we were poor (but slightly better than Tuesday ) but lost- thats football!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Played bad, but still won

Tuesday 18th October 2011, Ipswich Town 1 Portsmouth 0, Championship - Portman Road

We were poor, very poor - but still won, maybe our season?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Back to playing football

Saturday 1st October 2011, Ipswich Town 3 Brighton and Hove Albion 1 - Championship, Portman Road

What a display, losing but coming back, confidence, passing, plenty of shots and on top of that superb defence from the likes of Sonko and Collins.

I will own up, I was not sure Paul Jewell was the right boss and i was not too keen on his signings but I was wrong. Maybe the first time in about 5 years we are now back playing football.

Both Bobby and Sir Alf would have approved!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Good times are back?

Tuesday 27th September 2011, West Ham United 0 Ipswich Town 1 - Championship, Upton Park

The delay is posting is due to shock! We played well- whole team and won at west Ham - great display by the team and great support but the Blue Army- just glad I was there.

Monday, 19 September 2011

How much did the tribunal say?

Monday 19th September 2011, Ipswich Town 3 Coventry City 0, Championship - Portman Road

What a change! On Sky and winning and how much did the tribunal say Cresswell was worth? Thank god he plays his best game after they decide how much we have to pay Tranmere!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Saw the mighty Cav

Saturday 17th September 2011 - Tour of Britain Cycle Race, start of stage 7 (Bury St Edmunds), and the hill climb (Christchurch Park, Ipswich)

Mark Cavendish with his new team mates?

Sport spectating for free! An early start this morning to get to Bury St Edmunds to witness the start of Stage 7 of the Tour of Britain then a quick dash back to Ipswich to watch the hill climb in Christchurch Park.

As a longtime fan of the Tour De France and cycling in general, it is great that the surge in the sports priority has enabled us to witness the unique spectacle of road racing. I am sure there are similarities with Grand Prix and GP Motor Cycling, all the tour buses, bikes set up, mechanics but unlike Grand Prix - all free.

Angel Hill was covered in the tour buses, the cars with the bikes on their roofs and the cyclists themselves. The lack of security of formality, the ability to touch the bikes, talk to some of the riders. That may be getting harder as Mark Cavendish - 'the Manx missile' was mobbed between tour bus and the start.

It also gave me the opportunity to witness the Team Sky team close up, the flash Jaguar cars, the bus (hotel on wheels, the clothing.bikes, mechanics. I was even able to stand right next to the Team Sky Sports Director, Sean Yates as he was interviewed by ITV.

A great experience, but being at the start you do not witness the pelaton in full flow, but a quick dash to Ipswich and I was able to witness Cavendish, Thomas and others fly up the hill in Christchurch Park.

Now to get that bike out of the garage.

Saturday, 3 September 2011


Saturday 3rd September 2011 Haverhill Rovers 3 Brantham Athletic 2 FA Cup Preliminary Round - The New Croft

Last Year I saw my first FA Cup game at Clacton on the Essex coast, a midweek evening fixture as it was a replay. This season my first FA Cup match was played on a Saturday with weather more suitable for cricket.

The venue was The New Croft at Haverhill. One of the many new grounds that have popped up over the country, this one just a couple of seasons old.

There is criticism of certain new grounds, all built the same, pre fab, no character, dull but lets also be honest, they provide better facilities for spectators, a bar to raise funds and on top of that close to a school so Youth football can also get it's chance. Well done Haverhill a real community club.

The game, two teams who have started the season well, with Brantham fielding one of the top rated goalscorers in the region with Ollie Mann up front but it was Havehill who came out on top and deservedly so. Good football played by both sides with Brantham going ahead early on but in reality only getting on top at the start of the second half. But how much closer to Wembley will Haverhill get?

I am sure many fans of Premier league and Championship clubs (on their international weekend break) attended non league games today, who ever came up with the idea of Non League Day last season deserves a medal!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

We love your curly hair

Saturday 27th August 2011 - Ipswich Town 2 Leeds United 1, Championship - Portman Road

Jimmy Bullard- we love your curly hair! Mr Sonko, you not bad either.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Time to go?

Saturday 20th August 2011 - Peterborough United 7 Ipswich Town 1, Championship, London Road

I have calmed down- like many who went to the game, I felt like singing 'your not fit to wear the shirt' but I never. Not to say I was happy with the players but Evans, Clegg and Jewell should take a long hard look at themselves. They may stay, they might go but one thing is certain - I and many Town fans will still be here long after you three have left- don't kill our club!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Summer sport?

Thursday 18th August 2011, Essex v Gloucestershire, Day 2 of 4 County Championship Division Two, Castle Park - Colchester

Summer sport? Bloody cold, dark, and in the end we got the predicted rain! But at least we got over 4 hours of play so the short trip to Colchester was worth it.

Festival cricket is a fantastic event, and one I hope and expect County cricket to continue with. It has been reduced, Essex used to play at a number of grounds away from their main home at Chelmsford. Festivals were held at Southend, Colchester, Ilford and other grounds like Harlow also witnessed Essex matches but now it is just Colchester and Southend that see the Essex team on the road.

The festival games often see bigger crowds than you will find at the normal county homes, and a great opportunity for sponsorship and corporate hospitality. But with Chelmsford witnessing very few County games and in 2012 there will be a reduction in T20 games held. T20 crowds have been high at Chelmsford and you would expect a call by some committee members at Chelmsford to see one of the festival games scrapped so more cricket is played at the County home.

It is not just Essex who play at a 'home away from home' this week we see Lancashire at Blackpool and Yorkshire at Scarborough. Of course ground which host test cricket do not need so much County cricket at home and the other problem at Festival games can be the quality of the pitch, covers and spectator facilities. the record one day score at Horsham by Sussex last week would not make that a ground that many bowlers would want to play at.

But saying all that, festival cricket will continue, just need summer weather to go with it!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Saints came marching in, and left with three points!

Tuesday 16th August 2011 Ipswich Town 2 Southampton 5, Championship - Portman Road

Tonight I will be mostly crying!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Good start did not last long

Saturday 13th August 2011, Ipswich Town 0 Hull City 1, Championship - Portman Road

Good start did not last long, and Roy Keane was right! Lee Martin is not good enough for Ipswich or the Championship.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Top of the league (but out of the cup)

Tuesday 9th August 2011, Ipswich Town 1 Northampton Town 2, League Cup Round 1, Portman Road

If we are not going to field a side that can win, why bother entering? Poor display!

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Eagle landed

Saturday 6th August 2011 Benfica 2 Arsenal 1, Eusebio Cup Estadio Da Luz, Lisbon

I might have had to miss the great opening day win by Ipswich at Bristol City but I still managed to get some football in. Lisbon was our destination for a few days break and thanks to brilliant hotel staff, we managed to get two tickets for Benfica v Arsenal.
They apologised that we would have to sit with the local fans, we soon explained to the staff we wanted to be with the Benfica fans as we would not want Arsenal to win.

Estadio Da Luz, was our destination and just an 8 stop journey on the metro deposited us in the neighbouring shopping centre, as we left the centre we got our first sight of this superb stadium.

Loads of fans were situated at local stalls selling beer, hot dogs and special scarves. The beer was popular as inside the ground it is Alcohol free lager only! The scarves are also popular as a souvenir of the game as no programmes are on offer.

We were situated in the top tier of this impressive stadia above the tunnel. What a view and the atmosphere soon built as the game got closer and that was with hardly any Arsenal fans making the trip, only a few were seen and most of them seemed to be visiting holidaymakers.

Just before kick off the scarves began to wave and a great cheer rose, why? We soon saw why, as a bird of prey flew around the stadium before landing on a cart on the pitch, slightly more impressive than someone dressed up as a pantomime horse!

The game started and it was hard to pick out who was who- and that included the Arsenal team, Van Persie was noticeable as he came closest to scoring in a first half where Benfica had most of the possession but Arsenal looked the more dangerous. Van Persie eventually opened the scoring and Arsenal went in at the break looking very comfortable.The usual mass substitutions at half time seemed to benefit the Portuguese team more and the second half soon saw Benfica on top with the Brazilian Aimar the most impressive of the new players. Arsenal seemed to have no answer to his trickery and soon resorted to needless fouls, but this negative tactic did not work and Benfica soon took the lead and go onto lift the Eusebio Cup.

The usual TV induced fireworks saw the cup handed over to the Benfica captain by the legend Eusebio himself.

Hard to predict how Arsenal will do this season from watching a pre season game but I was impressed by their new acquisition, Gervinho.

For Benfica, a number impressed, their captain and defender, Luisao and the brilliant play maker Aimar.

The stadium? Five star- visit if you get a chance both the city and the stadium are both worth the short trip south.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Almost there!

Saturday 30 July 2011, Ipswich Town 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Pre season friendly - Portman Road

Under a week to go now till the real competitive football starts, a not too impressive pre season finished with a game against Premier team Wolves at home.

Only just over 5,000 turned up to see the best Town game so far, the last two signings of Emmanuel-Thomas and Stockdale look like they will add plenty to the team and it was also good too see Ingimarsson playing. Battling midfield of Leadbitter and Bowyer (with Hyam in reserve) and Chopra up front with a rejuvenated Lee Martin were all pluses, but still in desperate need of an extra centre back plus a right back - but all looking much better than last week.

Flash back to 70's football games - 'Jesus saves, Mariner nets rebound!'

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Old style ground, old style bad habits.

Friday 22nd July 2011, Southend United 1 Ipswich Town 1, Pre season friendly - Roots Hall

A short drive to the Essex coast for a visit to Roots hall as Southend took on Ipswich Town.

A drive along the seafront showed that some money had been spent on how the resort looked, but it was quiet obvious that nothing had been spent on the ground, or the area around Roots Hall. Even the pubs looked run down and would probably felt more at home in some East London backstreet.

The game, started well, a great goal from Lee Martin, but then Chopra went off injured, Martin went back to spending most of his time hiding from the ball and then the defence showed that they could be done under the trade descriptions act! Please tell me how Tommy Smith found himself playing in the World Cup Finals in 2010?

The Southend 'Shed'/Tardis

Best bit of the day? The un-friendly nature of some of the midfield tussles and the Southend Groundsman's 'Shed', counting the amount of the people who entered the 'shed' it may have been a tardis!!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Summer is over, football starts

Tuesday 19th July 2011, Cambridge United 2 Ipswich Town 2 - Pre season friendly.

What a start, two down in 4 minutes!! Still need a centre back, right back, midfielder, left back --- but at least we have a goalscorer - Michael Chopra!

It was funny to be back at the Abbey Stadium (or as it is known now - the R Costings Abbey Stadium), my last visit was also for a pre season game in 1980, 31 years ago! We then stood in an open end but today behind the same goal we sat in a very smart stand, but the rest of the ground has not changed much. On my last visit in 1980, we were just starting a season that would see us play our greatest football ever, since then both clubs have had their ups and downs. United may have suffered more as they are now back playing non league football.

Other changes? we probably had more fans at the game this week than we did in 1980, and no hooligans!

Still a very quaint ground to visit and as it is Cambridge, plenty of bike racks - and all being used!