since 1878

Ipswich Town (1) 2 - 1 (0) Coventry City

League Cup 4th Round 2000-01

Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Referee: P Durkin

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road

Attendance: 19,563

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2874























Match Report

Town progress in Worthington

A weakish Town team overcome Coventry 2-1 at Portman Road to progress in the Worthington Cup.

Ipswich stormed into the last eight of the Worthless cup last night for the first time since 1993, thanks to a 2-1 victory over Coventry City. It was the second time we have beaten City in eight days, and while the game was never what you could call a cracker, it did provide the large crowd with another victory to celebrate. George Burley used the game as a chance to play a few fringe team players, but a weaker than normal Town team still deserved their win against a full strength Coventry. Gordon ‘Ginger whinger' Strachen, who accepted defeat so ungraciously last week, could have few complaints. His team hardly created a shot in the second half, but he still managed to repeat his statement that Ipswich are ‘just running on adrenaline at the moment'. No Gordon, we are simply a better team. Accept it. Inform Marcus Stewart was a surprise victim of Burley's ‘rotation system', and was replaced by David Johnson. John Scales kept his place, as John McGreal had still not recovered from the first Coventry game, and Titus Bramble replaced Veno. Martijn Reuser also came in to replace Magilton. But perhaps the biggest change was in goal, as for the first time in donkies years, Town fans were set to see another goalie between the white posts. Wrighty has now apparently cracked a bone in his wrist, and Keith Brannagan was handed the gloves, a chance he perhaps thought he would never see. The game kicked-off and was initially a scrappy affair, with neither team over-committing. After eight minutes Ipswich scored with their first shot on goal, when Bramble robbed the ball off Chippo, and hammered the ball low and hard into the net from the edge of the area. It was a bit of a gift, as from a corner, Coventry looked to have tidied up the danger. Chippo picked the ball up, and attempted to come forward out of the penalty area, when maybe clearing his lines would have been the best option. Both Hreidarrson and Bramble quickly put the Morrocan under pressure. Chippo lost out to Bramble, who bang the ball home with his first attempt. It was just the start we needed, and the large Worthington cup crowd were on their feet celebrating the 19 year old's effort. But Coventry nearly replied straight after the restart. Villian Chippo almost turned hero for the sky blues, as he curved in a lovely 25 yard looping shot. It provided the perfect acid test for Branagan, and he came through with flying colours, by producing a tremendous save. The following twenty minutes were probably Coventry's best; they looked like they wanted to have a real go at getting back in the game. Thompson fired a free kick over, and Craig Bellamy was once more doing his best upset the Ipswich crowd. But closest he came, was when a good run along the by line was ruined by his weak shot straight at Brannagan. A pull back to another sky blue shirt would have created more danger. Bramble then showed the weaker area of his game, when his casualness nearly let Thompson in. Half time approached with the Ipswich strike force having few chances; Scowcroft and Clapham have a couple of headers on goal, but nothing to get too exited about. In the final seconds before the whistle Brannagan again showed his safe hands by holding on to a fierce shot from Eustace. Half Time: Ipswich 1, Coventry 0. A very new look Ipswich emerged from the Tunnel. To the horror of the ladies, Matty Holland was missing. He had received a nasty knock, and was obviously feeling the effects. Martijn Reuser was also replaced, after failing to make an impact. On came Marcus Stewart and Gary Croft. This meant Town were now playing three up front, although to everyone's surprise, it was veteran defender who was moved up to pull the strings in midfield. Despite a very odd looking formation, Town came out began to dominate. A teasing ball from Stewart easily beat the Coventry defence, but Johnson was unable to connect, and put the ball into an empty net. Against the run of play, Coventry were awarded a penalty that they equalised with. Chippo made a good run into the box, and was challenged by Wilnis. The Dutchman slid in and, looked to have won the ball. But the Morrocan went sprawling, and Paul Durkin pointed to the spot. Bellamy hesitated when striking the ball before sending Brannagan the wrong way. Now, it may seem like sour grapes, but this is clearly breaking the rules. This was a trick John Aldridge used to employ, although he never used to stop in the same manor Bellamy did. The rules clearly state this isn't allowed. The game was there to be won by both teams now, but good chances were still few and far between. Bramble had the crowd on his feet with one of his blistering 85-yard runs up the pitch, but was brought unceremoniously down by Williams before being able to shoot. He didn't even win a free kick, as once more, Paul Durkin was endearing himself to the Ipswich public with some dodgy decisions. The Town breakthrough came after 67 minutes, when Stewart sprayed a long ball straight into the path of strike partner Johnson. Bearing down on goal at a tight angle, and with pressure mounting from a closing Breen, Johnson fired a hard low drive on target. From the angle presented to him, he could do no more, and Johno enjoyed his first stroke of luck this season as the ball bounced between Kirland's legs. Soon after, Johno nearly bagged his second with a header that Kirkland saved brilliantly. After the goal, there were really few incidents of any note, although Durkin rather harshly booked Bramble. Strachan became increasingly upset, as his team were unable to penetrate a makeshift Ipswich team. The final whistle was greeting by the now familiar ‘we're all going on a European tour' chant, as the quarterfinal place was booked. Full time: Ipswich 2, Coventry 1. While this cup is least of Town's priorities this season, a good cup run should never be sniffed at. We are now actually only a few matches away from winning the only domestic trophy to elude us. With Manchester Utd now out, we must surely now be seen as strong contenders, and could earn European qualification through this cup. Let's just hope the growing injury problem will not derail the Ipswich bandwagon. It did seem odd leaving Portman Road last night, not being too bothered about beating another Premiership team, albeit in the league cup. 7 months ago we would have loved to have beat a team like Coventry at home in the cup, but it so easy to take it for granted now we are flying high.

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