Fuller Flavour: Celebrating a win at last, helping a lost German fan and memories of a great day at Oxford
PUBLISHED: 17:33 13 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:33 13 January 2020
© Copyright Stephen Waller
An unchanged line-up (in the league), a 4-1 win, and some pretty decent football. That's much better Town and let's keep that going!
How much more enjoyable was that on Saturday? I hear those that are saying that it was only against Accrington Stanley, but they were on a good run which saw their manager John Coleman crowned as League One manager of the month for December.
It would have been a typical Ipswich stat for us to buck the trend and see the opposition win the next game when a manager receives such an award.
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Besides, we have seen some pretty mediocre sides come to Portman Road this season and try every trick in the book to leave with a 0-0 draw or better. So, credit where credit is due from me and say that it was a particularly good performance to finally enjoy after a long, barren spell.
I really enjoyed the first half, with many stand out performances to admire. Luke Woolfenden showed exactly why the vultures might be circling to snap up such an exciting young prospect. His play out of defence was behind much of our drive forward and was rewarded with such a fine assist for the first goal.
Kayden Jackson never stopped working and whilst James Norwood will be the first to admit that he could and should have scored more, he expertly finished his goal. Emyr Huws showed flashes of why we signed him in the first place and for the second game in a row, Alan Judge was excellent. The ovation he received when substituted spoke volumes of what the Portman Road crowd thought of his display.
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I had a change of seat on Saturday to the top of the Cobbold Stand where I found myself on the periphery of block A that housed the 105 Fortuna Dusseldorf fans. They added superbly to the atmosphere and were as ever a great bunch to welcome back to the ground.
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Four straight wins in a row now for them - if only they could come over more often! I found one such fan seemingly lost after the game at the traffic lights near the Punch and Judy pub. I could see he was talking to a lady who had no clue as to what he was asking.
I intervened using my very sparse German and he said he was from Germany and was looking for a pub he'd been in before the game but had no idea what it was called. I sent him in the direction of the waterfront and later saw they had thankfully been drinking in an establishment down there prior to the game. I hope the poor fella found where he was looking for!
Saturday's victory was like receiving a big cheque which we must now cash in at Oxford United tomorrow night. No easy tasks there - Oxford have only lost at home once all season prior to Saturday's defeat to Rotherham. Will they lose twice in a row?
They had not even conceded at home in the previous seven games so we know it will be a difficult game. But if we could win and go level at the top of the table, how crazy would that be given our recent poor run?
The first time I went to see Town play at Oxford was at their old Manor Ground in February 1989. We drew 1-1 thanks to a David Linighan headed equaliser a minute into the second half. This was on the day that Frank Bruno fought Mike Tyson for the first time and lost by TKO in the fifth round.
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It was also at a time when taking inflatable bananas to games was quite a craze. I took mine and got involved in a pre-match banana fight and had it knocked out of my hands quite unexpectedly.
Anyone who recalls the Manor Ground will remember it was quite a run-down place and the away end was no exception. As a result of my banana being thrashed away from me, it met an unfortunate end, popping on the barbed wire that lined the brick wall behind us revelling fans. Great days.