since 1878

Iraq National XI (0) 0 - 0 (0) Ipswich Town

Friendly 1985-86

Tuesday, March 4, 1986

Referee: Unknown

Manager: Unknown

Al-Shaab Stadium

Attendance: 4000

Manager: Bobby Ferguson

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Match Report

Bruising Battle in Baghdad

Ipswich Town manager Bobby Ferguson was pleased with the performance of his team in this bruising battle in Baghdad yesterday.

His team failed to make it a double success in the sun following their 1-0 victory on Sunday against the Iraq National side, but they showed the right spirit to see off the challenge of a much improved home team.

In temperatures reaching 80 degrees Fahrenheit Ipswich kept going in what was generally a scrappy, poorly refereed affair.

“For part of the game it looked as though the war zone had moved to Baghdad. Their pride was dented by their defeat on Sunday and they wanted to make sure it didn’t happen again,” said Ferguson.

“But we achieved the objectives of the trip. Two games in the sun that will have sharpened the side up for the final vital weeks of the season.”

The luckless Irvin Gernon sustained an ankle injury after just five minutes and is likely to be out of action for up to a fortnight. Gernon, who only this season recovered from a badly broken leg, had to undergo a shoulder operation last year and has just returned to full fitness.

He was given a chance to play at left back yesterday with Steve McCall pushed into midfield. But his first team comeback lasted just 300 seconds.

He was replaced by Mark Brennan who suffered a bruised calf in Sunday’s game. Brennan took another kick on the calf and did not come out for the second half.

Trevor Putney, the scorer of the only goal on Sunday, went off with a slight hamstring strain but both players are expected to be fit to face Nottingham Forest at Portman Road on Saturday.

There was another disappointing crowd of around 4,000 but Baghdad is a football hotbed at the moment with Chelsea due to play the national side today.

Ipswich left Iraq early this morning and are due back in England this afternoon.

Yesterday’s starting line up: Cooper, Yallop, Cranson, Butcher, Gernon, Stockwell, McCall, Putney, Dozzell, Wilson, D’Avray.

Newspaper article 5th March 1986

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1985-86 Reports