since 1878

Sunderland (1) 1 - 0 (0) Ipswich Town

FA Cup 4th Round 2000-01

Saturday, January 27, 2001

Referee: S Bennett

Manager: Unknown

Stadium of Light

Attendance: 33,626

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2887
























Match Report

Town out at Stadium of Light

Oh well, that's the FA cup gone for another year. Never mind, it's a mickey mouse cup anyway!

Ipswich crashed out of the FA Cup when they went down by a single goal at the Stadium Of Light. It was a frustrating afternoon for Town fans, as they were predictably beaten once again by the direct style of boring Sunderland. What makes it even more annoying, is that once again it was that donkey Daniel Dichio who was allowed to breach the Ipswich defences. He scored against us in the league only weeks ago, and the fact that someone as talent less as him has knocked us out of the FA Cup makes it harder to bear. Ipswich, as usual, started brightly, and had they taken some of their well crafted chances, could have put the game out of Sunderland's sight before they scored. But once Sunderland had put the ball in the net, there was a feeling of inevitability. The Tractor boys had the balance of play for the rest of the match, but were unable to get their usual flowing football into motion. Sunderland set out to frustrate Town and protect their lead. They did this very successfully, and at the end of the day we can't complain too much about the result, as we just weren't allowed to dominate the game, and create enough chances to justify a replay. With Bramble returning after his suspension, Burley opted for the 5-3-2 formation, but surprisingly he used Hreidarsson and Wilnis as the wingbacks. This meant there was no place for Clapham, while as brilliantly predicted by myself, Jermaine Wright was chosen ahead of Scowie. This formation looked to be working quite well, and Town should really have taken the lead. Stewie nearly equalled Ted Phillips' consecutive goal-a-game record, when he had a fine shot tipped over the bar by Sorensen. But it Armstrong who was guilty of missing a guilt-edged opportunity. A majestic pass from Magilton released Armstrong clean through on goal. But the ginger striker unfortunately rushed his shot, when he had ample time to close on goal, and Sorensen saved easily. Holland also had a good opportunity to break the deadlock, but he sliced his shot wide. Sunderland got their winning goal in the 22nd minute. They swiftly countered though Hutchison, and the Scottish International whipped in a cross that Quinn deputy Dichio comfortably headed home past Wrighty. Not quite sure where the Town marking was, as Dichio found space between Bramble and McGreal. Slack marking seems to have cost Town dear recently, and again it was evident. It was a typical Sunderland goal, direct and effective, and all Town's good early work was irreversibly damaged. The second half saw Burley ring the changes. Off went Armstrong and Venus, and on trotted Clapham and Naylor, as Town reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. Despite the changes, the pattern of the match did not change. Town continued to pass the ball around well, but were still unable to penetrate a resolute Sunderland defence. Town forced a flurry of corners, but could not make of any of them. Meanwhile, at the other end, Town had an almighty let off, when Bramble cleared of the line. Confusion between Bramble and Wright saw a comedy of errors. The ball hit the post before Bramble finally scrambled the ball clear- although it then hit ref before going out to safety. Town's best effort of the game came after more good work from Stewie. The striker was just unable to get his shot in after a determined run. Holland also powered another goal bound shot, but again it was saved. With the game coming to a close, Town actually looked less like scoring. Sunderland had done a good containing job on Ipswich, and never looked rattled. The final whistle came, and once more, we were out of the FA Cup. The Stadium Of Light has become a bit of bogey ground for Town, and glad we're not coming back for a while. To be fair, this was always going to be a hard game. Sunderland are unbeaten at home this year, and again proved what tough opposition they can be. Ipswich did actually put in a reasonable performance, and had we taken our chances in the first half, could easily have won. But that is what makes it all the more frustrating. Town are still playing well, but aren't taking the chances like they were earlier in the season. Exiting the FA Cup at this stage is by no means a disaster, but it does make Wednesday's game at Birmingham all the more important. If we lose that one, the gloss will have well and truly been taken off the season. But if we continue to play as we are, we should overcome Birmingham.

From The Terrace

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