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Holland: We did it for Dale

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:17 24 February 2010

DALE Roberts will have looked down from that dug-out in the sky beaming with pride after Ipswich Town pulled of an incredible comeback to beat Sheffield United 3-2 and move within two points of the play-off places.

DALE Roberts will have looked down from that dug-out in the sky beaming with pride after Ipswich Town pulled of an incredible comeback to beat Sheffield United 3-2 and move within two points of the play-off places, writes Derek Davis.

Blues skipper Matt Holland immediately dedicated the amazing victory to the assistant manager who lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday and said: "We did it for Dale."

He said: "That was a real fitting tribute for Dale. I have already said what an awful loss to the club Dale is but he would have been so proud of that fightback. That was exactly the sort of guy he was and the way the two youngsters contributed would have especially pleased him.

"To come back after being two down and with 10 men was a magnificent effort and you can just imagine what Dale would have been saying before we got our first goal never mind the second."

And Holland, bursting with pride, after two goals from Darren Bent and another from Darren Ambrose sealed the win, could not praise the unbelievable Portman Road crowd enough for their part. He said: "They played as important a role as any player. It was a huge show of attitude and commitment from the lads and the crowd.

"The supporters were absolutely magnificent, even when we were two-nil down they got behind us. Wonderful. I'm a very proud captain of Ipswich Town today and I'm going off to play for Ireland absolutely buzzing."

Holland's sentiments were echoed by scorer and provider, the teenage star Darren Ambrose who nodded in a Marcus Bent pass for the equaliser and crossed for Darren Bent to head in the winner.

Ambrose added: "The fans made it like a cup final out there, they were brilliant. It was a sad couple of days leading up to the game and we wanted to do well for Dale. He was always moaning at me in the reserves but I owed a lot to him. That win and the way we did it was for Dale."

The 26,000 Blues and Blades crowd burst into a moving and spontaneous round of applause, a simple but warm and wonderful gesture, as the tribute to Roberts was being read out before the minute's silence.

Blues boss Joe Royle said: "At the beginning of the game you could sense the crowd were still mourning for Dale but the whole crowd were there when we needed them. They were truly fantastic."

Even Blades boss Neil Warnock added: "The crowd were very influential. They were fantastic, it was a superb effort from Ipswich Town."


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