since 1878

Norwich City (0) 0 - 2 (0) Ipswich Town

Nationwide League Division One 2002-03

Sunday, March 2, 2003

Referee: G Laws

Manager: Nigel Worthington

Carrow Road 13:00

Attendance: 21,243

Manager: Joe Royle

Match Number: 2994


 Fabian Wilnis (72)
 Darren Bent (90)


Craig FlemingPhil Mulryne (75)
Mark RiversIan Henderson (76)
Clint EastonZema Abbey (80)


 Iwan Roberts (27)
 Zema Abbey (85)



Robert Green

Darren Kenton

Craig Fleming

Leigh Bromby

Adam Drury

Mark Rivers

Gary Holt

Clint Easton

Paul McVeigh

Iwan Roberts

David Healy



Paul Crichton

Darel Russell

Phil Mulryne

Ian Henderson

Zema Abbey

Match Report

Bowditch tilts balance as Ipswich aim for play-offs

It might not be the Manchester derby, or those of Merseyside, Glasgow, Milan or Madrid, but Norwich against Ipswich matters in East Anglia. It matters a lot, and the fact that Ipswich had not won for the previous five editions made victory even sweeter.

In terms of which of the two teams reach the play-offs for a place in the Premiership next season, it might matter even more. Defeat leaves Norwich six points adrift of the play-off positions and Ipswich's victory puts them a point and a place behind.

"We do have a chance now," said Joe Royle, the Ipswich manager, after Ipswich had won at Carrow Road for the first time since 1992. "We have to keep winning. I thought we won all over the pitch."

The match had turned when Royle showed the courage to introduce a 16-year-old midway through the second half. Within 30 seconds of him replacing Darren Ambrose, Dean Bowditch's first touch had taken him past Craig Fleming on the left to set up Ipswich's first goal. Tommy Miller sliced Bowditch's centre but Adam Drury's header fell straight to Fabian Wilnis, whose shot brooked no argument.

Bowditch was also instrumental in Ipswich's second goal, three minutes into time added on. Drury, again, had stumbled on Wilnis's clearance near the halfway line, Bowditch pounced and put Darren Bent through with only Robert Green to beat. He kept his head to score with ease.

The talk after the game was, predictably, about Bowditch, the Bishop's Stortford-born player who has been with Ipswich since he was 10. Manchester United tried to tempt him away at one stage, citing the proximity of Stansted Airport as making his travelling time within the hour permitted by the Football Association for schoolboys.

The game's other talking points prefaced the first goal. Both sides had penalty appeals turned down and while they evened each other out, they were both pretty clear-cut: Thomas Gaardsoe impeded Mark Rivers for Norwich's and Green blatantly hauled down Matthew Richards as he went round him for Ipswich's.

Apart from the penalty that wasn't, Norwich could have few complaints. They were outplayed for much of the game. Ipswich had enough chances to win the game before half-time with the two Darrens, Bent and Ambrose, regularly finding space behind Norwich's defence.

As if things weren't bad enough for Norwich, they lost Fleming immediately after he had fallen at Bowditch's feet. An X-ray will reveal which part of his foot snapped. Defeat probably hurt as much.

Martin Smith (Daily Telegraph)

Match Gallery


2002-03 Reports