since 1878

Ipswich Town (0) 1 - 0 (0) Sunderland

FA Carling Premiership 2000-01

Saturday, August 26, 2000

Referee: G Poll

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road

Attendance: 21,830

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2858


 Titus Bramble 











P Butler










Match Report

Bramble clinches first victory

Ipswich today earned their first premier league victory of the season against Sunderland in a hard earned 1-0 victory. Another noisy and passionate crowd saw Titus Bramble score a superb goal in the 52nd minute which Town held on to gain the win they richly deserved. The team was unchanged from the midweek game, lining up in a 4-4-2 system. The big surprise being named Matt Holland fit and able to face Sunderland. Scowie was still on the bench, with Jermaine Wright keeping his place on the right of midfield. The game kicked off in the summer sunshine with Town attacking Churchman's (sorry, the South stand). The game struggled to reach the same tempo seen earlier in the week against Manchester United, as Sunderland closed Ipswich down well whenever the Blues were in possession. Chances were few and far between. Marcus Stewart had a great opportunity to put Town one up after being put straight through against Jurgen Macho, but the Sunderland keeper saved well. Sunderland also looked dangerous themselves, and Kevin Philips nearly put the visitors in front, but scuffed his shot high and wide. Much has been made of the fact that Burley tried to sign Phillips before he went to Sunderland, and instead had to plump for David Johnson after the board would not stump up the measly £600,000 asking price. However, on today's showing, for my money I'd prefer Johnson. He may not get as many goals, but his pace, hold up play and workrate are outstanding. He's stood out in every premiership game so far. The rest of the first half was fairly uneventful, as it turned into more of a tactical stalemate. Don Hutchinson was being his normal dirty self in midfield, While Titus Bramble was having an interesting battle with Niall Quinn. Bramble was beating the lanky Sunderland forward to almost every ball, much to the annoyance of the Republic of Ireland International, who resorted to kicking out at Bramble after being turned over once more by the new darling of the North stand. Fortunately for Quinn, the card happy Graham Poll of last week had changed his ways, and let him off with a stern telling off. With five minutes to the break Ipswich nearly got the breakthrough. A corner was curled over by Magilton, which was met squarely on the head by David Johnson. It had Macho beaten and just as it looked to be sailing the back of the net, it went agonisingly wide. The second half started with Ipswich looking in a more determined mood, and began to impose their swift passing football, which soon had Sunderland on the back foot. The expectant Portman Road crowd did not have to wait long a goal. Titus Bramble got hold of the ball deep in his central defensive position, and went on a mazy run through midfield which had the crowd on its feet. He then laid it on nicely to Stewart who set Bramble off again with a lovely 1-2. Instead of stopping and jogging back, Bramble had shown his full attacking instincts by charging on and latching back on to the ball from Stewart. He then calmly shrugged off a challenge and slotted the ball past Macho. It was a great effort from Bramble, surely to be a candidate on MOTD's Goal of the month competition. The Ipswich born and bred player has been a revelation. He showed so much promise the season before last, but hardly figured last season due to injury. He is now fulfilling the potential so many predicted, and is excelling each game. He is like a new multi million pound signing for Town, and has a huge future ahead of him. After the goal Sunderland suddenly started to show an urgency and began to press forward more. Town fans were hoping Ipswich would not sit on the lead, and to be fair, contained Sunderland to a handful of chances, while looking much more dangerous on the break. Magilton should have put Town two up after some good work by Jermaine Wright, but super Jim almost had too much time, and squandered the chance. It was a nervy wait until the final whistle, as Sunderland pressed forward, but they never really looked like scoring. Three minutes from time Johnson hit the bar, almost scoring the goal he richly deserves. Full time was greeted with huge cheer and for many was a big relief. Playing well and drawing against Manchester United is one thing, but most fans realised that if we are to stay up, we have win home games against teams like Sunderland. In some ways this was more of an acid test than the previous two games, and fortunately Town came through it with flying colours. This is a quality Ipswich team, and anyone coming here expecting to win by turning up, will be in for a nasty shock. The new look defensive due of Bramble and Hreidarsson is now looking an outstanding partnership and can only get better. With talented players like Scowie and Reuser still on the bench it proves the squad is not as weak as some may think. A special mention must also go to Fabian Wilnis. I have never really been a big Wilnis fan, and thought if anyone would struggle to make the grade in the premier it would be him. However, in the last two games he has given Town a new dimension with his attacking raids down the right and seems to be loving life in the spotlight. So after three games Town can now look back on what has been good start to the season, or as good as most of us would have hoped. We've got our first win, and have managed to score in every game. After being pre season favourites for the drop, we should now receive the respect we deserve from the national media (but don't count on it!).

From The Terrace

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