since 1878

Bristol Rovers (0) 2 - 2 (1) Ipswich Town

FA Cup 5th Round 1977-78

Saturday, February 18, 1978

Referee: B H Daniels (Brentwood)

Manager: Unknown

Eastville 15:00

Attendance: 23453

Manager: Bobby Robson

Match Number: 1652


 Williams (58)
 Williams (64)
 Robin Turner (27)
 Robin Turner (86)




















Match Report

Panto on Ice

In Arctic conditions, which made one wonder strongly at Essex referee Brian Daniels' decision to let this fifth round Cup-tie go ahead, Ipswich came out of the cold from a seemingly hopeless position.

They equalised four minutes from time with a goal by Robin Turner. This followed a previous one, scored in the first half - his first senior goals for the club and really vital ones.

Fair enough - nobody really deserves to be a winner on a pitch covered with snow and ice - but it could be a different story on Ipswich's fair pitch at Portman Road in the replay on Monday week. Ipswich's class which showed so strongly in the first half should see them through into the sixth round.

For a rumbustious period, though, in the second half, Rovers, with a crowd of 23,000 Eastville partisans yelling them on, looked to have done the trick with two sneaky revivers. They forced their way back into the game with two goals by Williams after being outplayed and disheartened by a superior First Division team in the first period.

Rovers manager Bobby Campbell's rejuvenated side, who had played seven games without defeat before this Cup-tie and knocked up a pretty lethal new striker from the West Country called Paul Randall, suffered from cold discomforts for a long period of this pantomime on ice.

Randall never really got into the game or made much contact with his physically strong and often bellowing colleague, Gould.

It was the enormous influence of Taylor, the tallest centre back in the Football League, who did so much to encourage Rovers when they were behind.

Randall, however, had only been able to train 15 minutes last week, because he was still suffering from a hamstring injury so there was an excuse for his tepid performance.

Bobby Robson, the Ipswich manager, named Woods as his man of the match and there was good sense in that - Woods constantly made the Rovers defence look as petrified as Laurel and Hardy swinging on loose scaffolding with his control and probing runs on a white carpet of icicles.

The players rarely got the better of the farcical conditions but they made a brave go of it. Ipswich, push and running in the snow, were a goal up in the 27th minute. Woods took on Talbot's throw in, made haste in the area and Turner was waiting to jab in a short centre with his left foot.

Ipswich were nearly there with a second when Thomas fumbled a shot from Mariner and Turner was an inch away from scoring. Then Rovers cheered up their chilled congregation with two goals in the 58th and 64th minutes. Williams nudged in the first after Cooper has made a mess of a corner; then the same player deflected a long header from Barry past the Ipswich keeper.

Ipswich brought on Osborne for Viljoen in the 70th minute and Thomas had to make some good saves as the Suffolk team strongly rallied. In the 86th minute, Mariner finished a strong run with a centre, from which Turner hit a post and the ball spun over the line before Osborne followed up to make sure. Soon afterwards Thomas made a wonderful save from a Mariner header.

John Moynihan

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