Holloway loses his rag, and his overcoat: Carl Marston’s Travels with Town
PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:52 08 October 2020
Roy Keane’s Ipswich Town did not win many games, but even they fancied their chances when playing against nine men!
My trips to Bloomfield Road, home of Blackpool FC, have largely been unsuccessful and disappointing, in terms of positive away-day results.
But there was an exception, on the day that Seasiders’ boss Ian Holloway got in a huff and shed his outer clothing in a fit of rage.
The date was January 2, 2010; the meeting was an FA Cup third round tie played in front of a modest crowd of just 7,332; and the result was a welcome 2-1 win for struggling Town.
Yet this only told half the story of what was an incident-packed afternoon, high on drama and short on temper.
It was certainly no fun day at the seaside, not least because it was freezing cold on the north-west coast – I took a wander down to the seafront and had a peek at the raging Irish Sea, and the scene was not for the faint-hearted.
In fact, the cauldron of high waves was a taster for what was to come on an afternoon of high emotion at Bloomfield Road. Holloway was as angry as the choppy seas.
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The basic details were these: Town ventured through into round four thanks to goals by the young midfield duo of Jack Colback and Owen Garvan, sandwiching an equaliser from an in-form Brett Ormerod.
But the gory details make for better reading: Blackpool ended the match with just nine men on the park, due to red cards dished out to Ian Evatt and Rob Edwards.
And the reaction of Holloway was just priceless: I had a bird’s eye view from the press box as Holloway, despite the ice-cold conditions (the snow at least stayed away from the Fylde Peninsular), angrily threw off his overcoat, gloves and hat after being shown a red card himself by referee Eddie Ilderton.
Holloway was seething after the dismissal of substitute Edwards, on 76 minutes, just 16 minutes after his introduction.
Just as centre-half Evatt had bee sent off for a professional foul, after bringing down Colback when the Town man was bearing down on goal, so Edwards was also adjudged to have committed a professional foul in hauling down Jon Walters when he too was through on goal.
It was all too much for Holloway.
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Mr Ilderton reacted to some choice words from the Blackpool boss by sending him to the stands, which prompted the decision to take off certain garments and hurl them to the ground, in front of the dug-outs. Off went the coat, and the hat, and the gloves.
In addition to the two red cards, Holloway must also have been left smarting by some rotten luck experienced by his side, especially in the first half.
Blackpool actually struck the woodwork no fewer than three times in that first period, including midfielder Charlie Adam hitting the post with a 24th minute penalty.
Justice was done with that incident though, because the penalty was very harsh. Keeper Arran Lee-Barrett appeared to get his hands to the ball when striker Ormerod took a tumble in the box.
I was looking forward to interviewing Holloway after the match, to get some colourful quotes for the following Monday’s newspaper.
But by the time that I had caught up with Keane, to chew over a welcome FA Cup triumph – the Irishman was actually unhappy himself that his side had failed to kill off the game against nine men – Holloway was nowhere to be seen.
As for Keane, he explained: “We’re getting there, but there’s still room for improvement.
“I thought we should have killed them off, in terms of the chances we had in the last 15 minutes.
“But we’re through to the next round, which is what I’d have settled for at the start of the day.
“Ian Holloway is entitled to be emotional, following the sendings-off, so long as he doesn’t cross the line, and I didn’t hear any abuse,” added Keane. Alas, Town lost in the fourth round, beaten 2-1 at Southampton.
I waited for about an hour after the final whistle, alongside the local Blackpool hacks, but Holloway was still a no-show.
So I bit the bullet and began the long journey home to Suffolk.
I already had more than enough to write about.
IPSWICH: Lee-Barrett, Rosenior (sub Edwards, 83), McAuley, Delaney, Wright, Walters, Norris (sub Garvan, 53), Leadbitter, Colback, Peters, John (wub Wickham, 53). Unused subs: Bruce, Balkenstein, Quinn,McLoughlin.
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