since 1878
sql/match-reports/1996-97/1997-5-14-0.htm

Ipswich Town (2) 2 - 2 (1) Sheffield United
(aet)

Division 1 Play-Off Semi-Final, 2nd Leg 1996-97

Wednesday, May 14, 1997

Referee: T Heilbron

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road

Attendance: 21,467

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2688

Goals

Away
 Katchouro 
 Walker 

Substitutions

Away
WhiteHutchison
KatchouroWalker
WalkerNilsen

Cards

Home
 
Away
 Nick Henry (110)

Teams

Away

Kelly

Short

Sandford

Nick Henry

Tiler

Holdsworth

White

Ward

Fjortoft

Katchouro

Whitehouse

Substitutes

Away

Hutchison

Walker

Nilsen

Match Report

Ipswich Town 2 Sheffield United 2

HOWARD KENDALL will return to Wembley for the eighth time in his career after Sheffield United qualified for the First Division play-off final on the away goals rule.

Despite losing midfielder Nicky Henry 10 minutes from the end of extra time, United held on to secure a final place against Crystal Palace a week on Monday thanks to Andy Walker's second-half equaliser.

Kendall, who had made seven previous appearances at Wembley both as a player and manager, saw his side take the lead through Petr Katchouro before James Scowcroft and Niklas Gudmundsson put Ipswich ahead.

Given that Sheffied United had not won an away game for five months - they beat Bradford on Boxing Day - the boost of a goal after just eight minutes acted as the necessary incentive after the 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane four days earlier.

The goal infuriated Ipswich's fans. A long ball from deep inside United's half, from Carl Tiler, fell invitingly to Katchouro and the Belarus international held off a rugged challenge from Chris Swailes to drive towards goal.

The ball beat Richard Wright, struck the under-side of the bar and bounced down. Though appeals for a goal were limited, the linesman indicated the ball had crossed the line.

Ipswich, though, were not dispirited and an equaliser seemed inevitable. They were helped by an injury to Alan Kelly, the United goalkeeper, who fell awkwardly and needed lengthy treatment to his knee.

The fans grew impatient as Kelly received treatment - the knee was heavily bandaged - but the injury clearly hindered the Irish international.

However, in the 32nd minute Ipswich did equalise. Mauricio Taricco's volleyed cross fell to Scowcroft, who beat Kelly with a powerful header.

Before the interval Stockwell had an another opportunity to put Ipswich ahead for the first time, but he scuffed his shot from close-range.

As the game progressed it became clear that Kelly was being increasingly troubled by his injury; how Kendall must have rued the gamble of not naming goalkeeper Simon Tracey as one of his substitutes.

Ipswich dominated the second half, but laboured to take advantage of their superior amount of possession.

However, when they did finally test Kelly, the goalkeeper dived to his right to make an outstanding save from Gudmundsson.

Ipswich finally beat Kelly when, in the 72nd minute, the impressive Stockwell crossed for Gudmundsson to head beyond the goalkeeper from six yards.

But United showed an unpredictable resilience; 30 seconds after the goal they had the ball in Ipswich's net, but Jan-Aage Fjortoft was found guilty of pushing.

However, in the 76th minute, Mitch Ward headed down and substitute Walker toyed with the ball at the far post before nodding it between post and Wright for an invaluable away goal.

Daily Telegraph

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