since 1878

Derby County (0) 1 - 3 (0) Ipswich Town

FA Barclaycard Premiership 2001-02

Saturday, January 19, 2002

Referee: P Durkin

Manager: Unknown

Pride Park

Attendance: 29,658

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2934
























Match Report

Town recovery continues

Ipswich's remarkable run continued at Pride Park, where the Tractor Boys piled on the misery for crisis club Derby with a magnificent 3-1 victory. Oh, and we're also out of the bottom three!!

This was a massive result for us, absolutely gigantic. If we had lost today, we would have been almost back to square one. But in this mother of all six-pointers, Town earned another well-deserved victory, and have finally moved out of the dreaded relegation zone for the first time since October.

There was another superb away following at Pride Park. I don't know how many tickets were sold, but in my estimation there were over three thousand Tractor followers, and they made an almighty racket from start to finish.

There were heroes all round, it was a proper team effort. As expected, George Burley played Peralta and Stewart from the start, and Andy Marshall started his second Premiership match. The first half was, understandably, a nervy and scrappy affair, where neither team wanted make a mistake. Peralta was looking creative in midfield, and came close with a shot after a good run. Reuser wasted a blinding chance, when he headed a free header over the bar when all he had to do was hit the target.

But the game really sprung to life five minutes from half time. Marcus Bent earned a penalty when Carbonari decided to climb all over him in the area. Up stepped Stewie, our reliable penalty man, to put us in the lead. But no! Unbelievably, our striker missed, as he smacked the ball against the upright. To be fair to Stewie, it was well struck, and had it had been a couple of centimetres to the left, it would have been described as the perfect penalty. That's two penalties he's missed this season, but I'd still have him as my preferred taker.

So the teams trooped in goalless at the half way mark, and the fear was that Stewie's guff had not only meant we had missed a golden opportunity to take the lead, but it would act as an inspiration to Derby and their fans. But the second half started and almost immediately brought joy to the Town followers. After only three minutes, Bent chased a long ball cleared from defence. Our improving striker showed great power and pace to shrug off the challenge from Danny Higginbotham (who admittedly got the better of him in the first half), before taking the ball wide into the right channel. It looked as if the big striker had taken too long, as he weighed up his options. But with nothing else on, he simple powered an unstoppable shot from a tight angle that flew low and hard past Oakes. It was by far the best goal he has scored for us since his arrival, and the £3 million man is now beginning to look a bargain.

However, the Town fans had barley got over the excitement when it was Derby's turn to win a penalty. Derby fans could be forgiven for thinking the penalty against them was a tad harsh, but Ravenelli's dive was a disgraceful exhibition of gamesmanship that we don't need in the English game. He took the ball into the area, but had it nicked from his feet by Veno. The ageing Italian response was to fall over, and amazingly Paul Durkin was conned into blowing up. But justice was restored when Andy Marshall dived brilliantly to his right to palm away Deon Burton's spot kick. You've got to hand it to Marshall, he's really taken the chance given to him, and is so far looking every bit the accomplished Premiership keeper.

Derby never really looked like scoring, and as the game progressed, Town continued to probe the Ram's defence. After 66 minutes we were two up, after another well-worked move. Bent this time turned provider, when, close to the by line, he played Sixto Peralta in. The Argentinean, with the outside of his foot, skilfully hit a perfectly aimed shot into the corner of the net. It was a great finish by Sixto, and Bent was now showing what an intelligent and unselfish player he can also be.

Town were now buoyant, as the Derby crowd vented their frustration not at the players, but at their board. There looked to be no way back for the home team, but they did give themselves a lifeline when Christie made it 2-1. A great turn and cross from Ravenelli found Christie unmarked, who easily headed past Marshall.

We thought we would be in for a nervy final ten minutes, but the expected Derby onslaught never came. Marcus Stewart should have had a penalty soon after the goal, and with five minutes left Martijn Reuser atoned for his 1st half miss with a lovely goal from 25 yards out. Sixto went off on another of his great runs, before squaring the ball to Reuser. The Dutchman, with two challenges set to fly in, fired a shot that Oakes had no chance with. Ironically, Clapham was waiting for play to stop so he could replace Reuser, and it was the Dutchman's last touch.

The Town fans were in full song and enjoyed the final whistle, as the Derby fans began to protest. This is a fabulous win, and definitely deserved. At times it didn't seem our best performance, but we always looked capable of scoring. More importantly, we are now taking our chances. What was most pleasing was that we won with three brilliant goals. Thankfully the penalty miss didn't matter, and Stewie can put it behind him. There is still a long way to go- we may be out of the relegation zone now (which feels magic), but a couple of quick defeats will put us back in the brown stuff.

As for Derby, I expect they are going through what we went through only a month ago. It's not nice, and I genuinely feel sorry for them. But thankfully, I can't see them having a revival like us, and we should finish above them.

From The Terrace

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