since 1878

Arsenal (1) 1 - 2 (1) Ipswich Town

League Cup 3rd Round 2000-01

Wednesday, November 1, 2000

Referee: J Winter

Manager: Unknown


Attendance: 26,105

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2869

























Match Report

Late Scowcroft goal clinches victory at Highbury

IPSWICH GUN DOWN ARSENAL. Sorry! I just had to write that, the most over used and unoriginal headline ever. Yet another victory! This time the Worthington Cup sees us beat Arsenal 2-1.

Ipswich's rich vein of form continued as they travelled to Highbury and came away with a well-earned 2-1 victory. This was not one of Town's better performances of the season, against a weak Arsenal team comprising of many second string players, but they left North London with the right result after a late James Scowcroft goal. A Jamie Clapham left foot shot had given Town the lead after 2 minutes, but the Gunners levelled just before half time thanks to a header from Igors Stepanovs. Scowie's winner, with just minutes, left sent the good contingent of Town fans celebrating a long awaited win in the famous old stadium, and earnt a home tie with Coventry in the next round. Ipswich started with surprisingly few changes made to the starting eleven, which convincingly beat Middlesbrough last Saturday. David Johnson was recalled to replace a resting Richard Naylor, while Titus Bramble resumed his place in the heart of defence, with Mark Venus making way. Arsenal, on the other hand, had unsurprisingly a made more than a couple of changes. There were a few known faces, in the form of Mathew Upson, Ashley Cole, Nelson Vivas, Paola Vernazza and Silvian Wiltord. Before the match started, a minute's silence was held for Arsenal coach and former idol, George Armstrong. After the game kicked off, it didn't take long for the Blues to take the lead. Fabian Wilnis raced down the wing and whipped in a cross from the right. Johnson headed it onto an advancing Jamie Clapham, who hit a sweet left foot volley, which went low into the corner of the net. Town fans were still entering the ground as the travelling blue army erupted. After the goal both teams settled into a rather slow rhythm of play, which created few goal-scoring chances. Wiltord, who could have been wondering what he had done wrong to be included in the team, showed his class by picking the ball up from about 30 yards out, turned, and hit a thunderous shot against the bar. Notable Ipswich performances came mainly from defenders. Bramble was back to looking his classy self, while Hreidarsson was enjoying breaking forward from left back, and made a few ‘Giggsy' like runs down the wing. As the half progressed though, Town began to slip into their now routine ‘let's sit on the lead' style of play, and just before half time inevitably conceded an equaliser. A flurry of Arsenal pressure led to a corner. Vivas floated over a ball, which found an unmarked Stephanovs, power a header into the back of the net. It was a disappointing end to half, which had started so brightly. Half time: Arsenal 1, Ipswich 1. Martijn Reuser came on for the 2nd half in place of Titus Bramble, while James Scowcroft replaced a quiet Marcus Stewart. Ipswich acted positively to the goal, and it seemed to have given them a good kick up the backside. They came out in a much more determined mood, and after reverting to a 4-4-2 system, seemed to have more width. Arsenal, rejuvenated by their leveller, were also committed to attacking, and this created a much more entertaining second period. Hreidarsson nearly scored his 1st Ipswich goal from close range, but he unfortunately found the side netting. Next it was Reuser's turn to miss a sitter. He broke for goal, Wembley style, and looked certain to score. It was sort of chance you would put your mortgage on the Dutchman to score, but he lent back as he released the trigger on his right foot, and the ball few inches over the bar. Arsenal also had their chances. Wiltord fired a volley just wide, and moment later Upson looked to have equalised when his header hit the upright. The whistle had actually already been blown for a fowl on Hreidarsson. Wiltord tried his luck again with a cheeky lob, but it landed on the roof on the net, while rookie keeper Stuart Taylor was having an impressive time in goal saving well from Johnson and Scowcroft. With the clock winding down and extra time looming, Scowie decided to let Town fans home early by bagging the winner. He won the ball in a goalmouth scramble with his back to goal. He swivelled like a ballerina, swung his boot and smashed the ball into the back of the net. It was not the prettiest of goals, but just rewards for Scowie, who had been a handful since coming on at half time. Full Time: Arsenal 1, Ipswich 2. To summarise, Ipswich have played much better this season and not won- the home match against a stronger Arsenal team being a prime example. While it is good to win, 3 points in the league would have been preferred. Nether the less, it has been 20 years since we have last won at Highbury, and Ipswich fans made the most of it, celebrating the victory at the final whistle. To go to Arsenal and win is a magic feeling however weak their team may look. While there were many reserves in the home line up, they would have been twice as determined to play well and impress Wenger. On a final note, after speaking to someone seated in the North bank, it was reported that, as usual, the home fans were reduced to the normal unoriginal chants of sheepsh*ggers etc. But the funniest thing I have heard in ages, was that the educated Arsenal fans then came up with the ‘you dirty northern b*stards' chant on a couple of occasions. We've been called a few things before, but never Northern. What an insult!

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