Sunday, 27 January 2013

Leave it to an expert

Saturday 26th January 2013 - Maldon & Tiptree 2 Redbridge 2 – Wallace Binder Ground – Ryman League Division One, North

Is it the sea air and salt or just some great volunteers but Maldon was one of the few games in the area that seemed certain to be played - so I arrived at the Essex Ground and was shocked to see one Maldon fan in shorts and a vest! It was the warmest day for a few weeks but not that warm. Half time and checking on the Town score, I came across a twitter picture with the same vested Essex man- and realised that a real 'non-league' 'ground hopping' football expert had also chosen the same game. Stuart Fuller, veteran of Germany, Spain and Zagreb was also enjoying a green pitch thanks to the sea and salty air.

The second half was spent in the company of Stuart where we saw Redbridge get a draw thanks to a goalkeeping banana shot! But rather than me tell you about the game; i suggest you read the report from Stuart- with his fantastic photographs plus a snap of the vested Essex man.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Louise is an inspiration as the 'Copper Box' feel comes to Ipswich

During the Olympics I was fortunate to get to see GB Women play handball and experience a live match at the ‘Copper Box’.

The popularity of handball at the games made it even harder to understand the taking away of funding for the elite teams. At least funding was kept in placefor ‘grassroots’ handball and this week England Handball launched the game in Ipswich.

We have a number of advantages over many towns when it comes to launching handball, a new sports hall at Suffolk One and even more importantly our own inspiration – Louise Jukes, a star of the GB women’s team at Stratford and now playing professional in Denmark.

Louise not only attended the event but coached, spoke inspired and even played!!
For the next 6 weeks coaching sessions will be held at Suffolk One and it was great to see so many signing up for the initiative. The support of the Ipswich Town Football Community Trust is also a much needed boost to the sport.

I have a feeling that handball can catch on in this country and especially the women’s game – let’s just hope that Ipswich helps handball reach the heights that many of us feel it can.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Groundstaff defeated the snow but the team could not beat anyone

Saturday 19 January 2013, Ipswich Town 1 Barnsley 1, Championship - Portman Road

Heavy snow but a great effort by the groundstaff managed to get the game on, but by 4.45pm many Town fans would have wondered why they bothered - another poor home display- can we only win away?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Up for the Cup

Saturday 12 January 2013, Whitton United 4 Ipswich Valley Rangers 3, Suffolk Senior Cup Quarter Final, King George Vth Playing Fields

End of a week of cup football for me, starting with Ipswich losing in the FA Cup, the Ipswich Reserves losing in the Suffolk Premier Cup at Felixstowe then yesterday it was closer to home and the Suffolk Senior Cup.

I had an extra interest in this game as my nephew was playing in goal for Valley Rangers - the underdogs in this cup game.

He started with a great save, then gave away a penalty and was lucky not get a red, then was part of a team that gave their higher league opponents a real hard competitive game.

The ground has changed a bit since my last visits, a new stand behind the goal and a tea hut. Bur most fans still want to stand in the 'Shed'.

A good crowd was at the game, for what must be the ground that most people in Ipswich have seen whilst stuck in a traffic jam on the way into town, pity more do not explore further and visit one of the oldest clubs in the town, saying that there was a good size crowd at this cup game.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

We do (not) like to be by the Seaside

Tuesday 8 January 2013, Felixstowe and Walton United 2 Ipswich Town 1, Suffolk Premier Cup Q-Final - Dellwood Avenue

Like many at Ipswich, I love to see a young player wear the blue shirt and Luke Hyam is one who I have kept saying should be in the 1st team. But I also trust the opinion of Mick and know from watching the academy and Under 21 team that we do not have loads pushing at the 1st team door.

Last night was great example of that with the likes of Carson and Murray failing to impress at Dellwood Avenue. Most worrying for me was that the team lacked a creative midfielder- same problem with the first team.

Positives - good money earner for non league, Felixstowe and like Walsham, Mick again was superb at the PR work. Lets hope we enter again next season.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Fans and team - both can be proud of efforts

Saturday 5 January 2013, Aston Villa 2 Ipswich Town 1, FA Cup 3rd Round at Villa Park

I'll admit it I don't miss the Premier League and have no great desire to return to it- selfish as unlike many younger Town fans I have seen us not only play in the top league but in 81 have the best team in Europe - but there are good things about the top league - quality of football and superb grounds- Villa certainly have a fantastic ground- modern inside but outside the historical parts have been kept. The quality of football? Well not much better than the Championship - Villa are a poor team in what is a poor year for the top league and Ipswich will feel that we should have at least got a replay.

The support was fantastic and we never stopped singing and cheering the team on, even Villa fans have commented on the noise we made- of course we were helped by the 70 Fortuna Dusseldorf fans who came over to support us.

In 1981 we were the best team in Europe, beating Villa 3 times even though they ended up winning the league so seeing the name Withe on a banner in the stand next to us was a great if slightly sad reminder of when we were the two best teams in the country - both are certainly far from that now.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

And we start with defeat

Tuesday January 1st, 2013 - Ipswich Town 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 3 - Championship, Portman Road

Mick had us on a roll, finishing 2012 with two great away wins - then we fell with a bump - starting 2013 with a home defeat/hammering.

At least Mauricio Taricco enjoyed his return to Suffolk.