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sql/match-reports/1997-98/1998-2-21-0.htm

Ipswich Town (3) 5 - 0 (0) Norwich City

Division 1 1997-98

Saturday, February 21, 1998

Referee: C Wilkes

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road 15:00

Attendance: 21,858

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2731

Goals

Home
 Alex Mathie (2)
 Alex Mathie (27)
 Alex Mathie (42)
 Bobby Petta (56)
 Bobby Petta (81)
Away
 

Substitutions

Away
Robert FleckDanny Mills
Victor SeguraDarren Kenton
Adrian ForbesChris Llewellyn

Cards

Home
 
Away
 

Teams

Away

Andy Marshall

Victor Segura

Daryl Sutch

Peter Grant

Craig Fleming

Adrian Forbes

Matt Jackson

Robert Fleck

Darren Eadie

Adrian Coote

Shaun Carey

Substitutes

Away

Danny Mills

Darren Kenton

Chris Llewellyn

Match Report

Ipswich Town 5 Norwich City 0

HAVING given us Singing The Blues and Celebration, Ipswich Town's disc jockey rounded off the afternoon's entertainment at Portman Road with Perfect Day.

No one in Suffolk blue seemed inclined to argue, least of all the home supporter who had wagered a tenner on the Town at 100-1 to beat their greatest rivals, Norwich City, by five goals to nil.

He, at least, had refused to believe the cautious words emanating from the Ipswich camp all week that local derbies are always tight affairs, in which the form book goes out of the window, etc.

What happened on Saturday was that, hard as Norwich tried, the form book kept flying back in through the window and hitting them on the head with an ever heavier thump.

For once, the evidence within its pages was incontestable. It told of an Ipswich side, weakened by injury earlier in the season, now flying high and singing a far sweeter song than the wounded Norfolk Canaries.

Unbeaten in eight League games, their season so far has been a mirror image of last year, with relegation worries in November transformed by February into play-off hopes.

Last season, those hopes were realised, only to be dashed by Sheffield United's late goal in the semi-final second leg.

This time, they could reach the top six by winning at home to Oxford tomorrow night.

The test will come from this Saturday, with five successive games against other play-off contenders.

Norwich, meanwhile, are sinking even faster than 12 months ago, when they plunged from the very top to finish 13th.

"Unless we get a grip on things, we're dangerously close to being involved in a dog fight," said their manager Mike Walker.

There was a further addition to his long list of injuries when winger Adrian Forbes was carried off after little more than half an hour following a dubious tackle by Jason Cundy.

But the visitors were already behind to two goals by Alex Mathie, who completed a hat-trick before half-time despite the calf strain that kept him off the pitch thereafter.

Mathie was the beneficiary of some dreadful defending by the Norwich back four. To call them square would suggest a degree of organisation of which they were incapable.

Rather, the left side did not know what the right side was doing and vice versa, with the result that time after time, one or more Ipswich players were put in behind them.

Between the first and second goals, Norwich made the better chances, but goalkeeper Andy Marshall's one mistake, late in the game, ensured their worst defeat in an East Anglian derby for 21 years.

Current manager George Burley played for Ipswich that day.

While acknowledging that the present side have a long way to go to match the team of Mills, Butcher, Beattie, Talbot, Wark and Mariner, he claims: "We've got some of the best young players in the country, with four England Under-21 players. These are exciting times at the club and there's plenty to look forward to."

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