since 1878

Ipswich Town (2) 3 - 0 (0) Swindon Town

Division 1 1999-00

Saturday, January 15, 2000

Referee: P Walton

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road

Attendance: 17,326

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2833




CoweJ Williams














T Williams




J Williams



Match Report

Ipswich Town 3 Swindon Town 0

WHILE promotion to the Premiership is the ultimate aim for Ipswich, spare a thought for struggling Swindon, who are fighting for their very existence.

Jimmy Quinn, the Wiltshire club's manager, is still trying to cope with the loss of the 14 backroom staff who were sacked as part of a cost-cutting exercise at a club who have debts spiralling out of control at about £4 million and thought to be losing £25,000 a week.

One of the first to be sacrificed in the County Ground clear-out was the kit man and an example of the club's complete state of disarray was provided when Swindon took to the field wearing shorts which clashed with their hosts'.

It forced Ipswich to change into alternative colours, but it was no more than a minor blip in an otherwise comfortable work-out for George Burley's side.

Swindon simply collapsed at the first hint of any danger and Quinn has his work cut out to save this once proud club from the ignominy of relegation into the Second Division.

"The financial situation at the club is out of my hands," he admitted. "All I can do is work with the players I've got and hope that we can turn things around. It's not a lost cause. We have three very important games coming up against teams who are struggling themselves and, if we can win them, there will be a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel."

At the other end of the spectrum, Ipswich, revitalised from a four-day sojourn in Tenerife, look like a side challenging for a place in the promised land.

Burley has created an efficient unit, which hardly broke into a sweat in an impressive demolition of the division's bottom club.

Striker Richard Naylor scored twice and the veteran Micky Stockwell, making his 601st appearance for the club, was also on the scoresheet with the opening goal.

But the biggest cheer was reserved for Gary Croft, the Ipswich defender who was released from prison last Monday. His four-week exile after pleading guilty to a string of motoring offences has done little to undermine his popularity at the club and he received an astonishing reception when he came on as a late replacement for Stockwell.

It was certainly a touching moment and Croft paid his respects to the fans at the final whistle when he went to each end of the stadium to bow down in honour of their unwavering support.

While he completes his period of rehabilitation Croft is playing with an electronic tag attached to his ankle, but his manager is pleased the nightmare is almost over.

Burley said: "The reception he got from the fans was something else and he appreciates all the support he's getting from everyone connected with the club."

Daily Telegraph

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