since 1878

Ipswich Town (0) 2 - 0 (0) Charlton Athletic

FA Carling Premiership 2000-01

Saturday, November 11, 2000

Referee: S Bennett

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road

Attendance: 22,263

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2871
























Match Report

Town break down eleven-man wall

Ipswich notched up another impressive win today- this time beating fellow promotion new boys Charlton 2-0 at Portman Road.

Ipswich finally broke down an eleven-man wall today, in the form of Charlton Athletic. Two late goals, one from Matty Holland, and a second from Marcus Stewart sent the Town fans home happy from a rain drenched Portman Road. The Blue and white army departed somewhat relieved, as frustration was beginning to set in. It looked increasingly likely the breakthrough would not materialise, as despite having long periods of possession, Town found it hard to cut a way through an overworked Charlton defence. This was a sweet victory indeed, as Burley's troops won the battle of the premiership new boys, and proved once more they are a far superior footballing outfit than the South Londoners. How this lot somehow managed to finish above us in the 1st division last year is beyond me. However, another three points to point us closer to survival (or Europe!) was today's priority, and this was achieved with a fine performance. Ipswich were as expected, with James Scowcroft being recalled to lead the front line along side Marcus Stewart. Jim Magilton, the only other doubt, passed a fitness test and resumed his place in central midfield. Charlton gave a debut to new £700,000 signing Mark Fish, and the Addicks team also contained Claus Jensen, the Danish midfielder who opted for a move to South London rather than the Costa del Suffolk. The game kicked off with high winds sweeping across the Portman Road pitch, which made it tricky for both teams to adapt. But Ipswich buckled down and quickly began to take control with their slick passing movements, and in so doing, set the tone for the afternoon's entertainment. Jermaine Wright, Magilton, and Venus all had half chances, but despite dominating the game, clear cut chances were few and far between. While the game was played almost completely in the Charlton half, it was actually the Addicks who came closest to scoring, and looked very dangerous on the break. Charlton keeper Dean Kiely bowled the ball to Jensen, who demonstrated why Burley wanted him so much in the summer, as he galloped down the left channel leaving Jamma in his wake. He despatched the ball to Johansson, and the Finnish international looked certain to score against the run of play, but Richard Wright, celebrating his England recall, brilliantly tipped his shot against the post. Johansson again caused trouble when he headed a ball past Wright, but fortunately for Town, the rest of the Charlton team obviously didn't want to suffer nose bleeds, and no one was there to put the ball into an unguarded net. Ipswich's best chance of the match so far fell to Jermaine Wright. His shot looked to have crossed the line as it was cleared from defenders. Mark Venus came close with one of his free kick spectaculars, but his fierce drive cannoned off a defender for a corner. Hreidarsson also had a goal bound header cleared, as corner after corner was wasted. Charlton, obviously getting frustrated at being passed off the park, decided to resort to the kicking tactics that saw them through the play-off semi final of 1998. Graham Stuart could have been sent off for a vicious fowl on Fabian Wilnis, while Fish and Robinson tried their hand at intimidating the referee. The half time whistle blew with most Town fans happy at the way their team had played, but also disappointed more goal scoring chances were not created. Notable Ipswich performances were Jamie Clapham, who caused so much trouble down the left, and Marcus Stewart, who's hold play is looking better with each game. Ipswich 0, Charlton 0. The second half began as the first had finished, with Town attacking. Jamma burst towards goal after a defence splitting pass from Scowcroft, but the former Crewe man blasted his shot over the bar. The rain lashed down (just for a change) as Ipswich's shots rained in on Kiely's goal, but the end product was always missing. Clapham watched another couple of his shots sail wide, and Stewart also went close when he pounced on a loose ball. The crowd were getting more and more frustrated, as another home draw looked on the cards. With the clock ticking down, Burley took a last throw of dice by making some changes. He replaced Scowcroft with Richard Naylor, and Wilnis, who had not looked the same since having Stuart's studs imprinted on his leg, made way for Titus Bramble. Our young superstar in the making immediately had an impact with some penetrating runs from his right back position. The breakthrough we thought we would never see finally happened after 80 minutes, when Matt Holland's fine shot beat Kiely from the edge of the box. After a string of many passes, Hreidarsson fed Holland from the left. Matty initially teed the ball up for a shot, but decided to dummy Kinsella before firing into the back of the net. His first premier league goal was greeted with a tidal wave of relief, and was just reward for the Republic of Ireland international, who has been such a linchpin this season. Instead of prompting Charlton into showing any sort of attacking element of their game, the goal seemed to stimulate Town further. The crowd were now enjoying themselves, and Claus ‘does your girlfriend know you're here?' Jensen was now receiving some stick from the vocal North Stand. Jamie Clapham took a free kick in a similar position to the one he scored against Bradford, but unfortunately he blasted it high and wide. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and say ‘the wind took it'. But it wasn't long before we were celebrating a second. Marcus Stewart took a pass through the middle from Naylor, and showed great composure before coolly blasting a shot that deflected off Steve Brown. Clapham should have made it three before the final whistle. He missed when it looked easier to score, but few blamed him, as once again he had demonstrated just why so many people are genuinely touting him for an England call up. Full time: Ipswich 2, Charlton 0. In the end we finally got what we deserved. Anything other than a Town win would have been an injustice, but for so long it looked like it would end up goalless. The performance Charlton dished up was reminiscent of the type lowly 1st division teams used to serve up at Portman Road last season, often successfully stifling the Ipswich attack. However, Ipswich have the proud distinction of being the only team in the Premiership to score in every game, and came through again today, albeit a little late. Back in the top six, and we should even be on Match of the Day tonight. Life is still sweet despite our recent hick up at Newcastle.

From The Terrace

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