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Sunday Snap: Royle and Lambert, a bad omen, Woolfenden’s new look and a tale of two right-backs

PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 November 2020

Town players warm-up in the rain ahead of the home game against Crewe Alexandra. 
Picture: Steve Waller       www.stephenwaller.com

Town players warm-up in the rain ahead of the home game against Crewe Alexandra. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town beat Crewe Alexandra 1-0 yesterday. Andy Warren looks back at some of the events surrounding the game.

Luke Chambers, Andre Dozzell and Luke Woolfenden congratulate Oli Hawkins after his goal in the 1-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comLuke Chambers, Andre Dozzell and Luke Woolfenden congratulate Oli Hawkins after his goal in the 1-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

They all count

A visit of Crewe instantly brings back memories of a crazy game in 2004 which ended 6-4 and included a half dozen goals of the highest standard for Joe Royle’s Ipswich Town.

This contest couldn’t really have been more different from an Ipswich perspective, sadly.

Back then, Town were rampant. Goals were flying in left, right and centre on a weekly basis through the likes of Darren Bent, Shefki Kuqi, Pablo Counago and Tommy Miller and fans at Portman Road were regularly treated to high-scoring, all-action games.

Oli Hawkins breaks the deadlock as he heads in the only goal of the game, against Crewe Alexandra.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comOli Hawkins breaks the deadlock as he heads in the only goal of the game, against Crewe Alexandra. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Since running riot at Blackpool on October 10, Ipswich’s attacking threat hasn’t been hugely reliable, which was again the case in this game given Oli Hawkins’ winner was their first shot on target of the afternoon.

But, you know what, both of those results secured the exact same three points. It’s a funny old game. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, etc.

In what is hopefully not a sign of things to come on Tuesday night, Town’s next game following their Crewe victory in 2004 saw them lose 2-1 to Sunderland.

Blankety blank

Town players surround Oli Hawkins after he had scored the only goal in the victory over Crewe Alexandra.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comTown players surround Oli Hawkins after he had scored the only goal in the victory over Crewe Alexandra. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Royle’s Ipswich traded in goals but, right now, Lambert’s currency is clean sheets.

That’s five home league games, five home league wins and five clean sheets now.

Impressive, given Ipswich only kept eight clean sheets at Portman Road throughout the entirety of the previous two seasons.

You have to go back to the mid-60s to find a run of home clean sheets so dazzlingly white.

Here’s what you could have won?

When Ipswich were closing in on the signing of Kane Vincent-Young last August, Crewe boss David Artell was quick to insist the Blues had got the wrong man.

In what seemed like an unusual sales tactic at the time, Artell hailed his young right-back, Perry Ng, as League Two’s best and insisted whoever was working in Town’s scouting department deserved their p45 for overlooking him.

Well, Ng is the Crewe skipper these days and we finally got the chance to see what he has to offer.

Ipswich keeper Tomas Holy saves a close range header from Luke Offord.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comIpswich keeper Tomas Holy saves a close range header from Luke Offord. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

He looks an excellent player. He’s vocal, calm on the ball, can fizz a lovely pass and gets up and down the right flank. He’s part of a team packed with young players who all share a similar style. At times it was excellent to watch.

Vincent-Young’s an excellent player, too. We saw that in the dazzling nine-game introduction he gave us following his arrival.

That is more than a year ago now, though, with Ng playing 38 games since Vincent-Young last stepped foot on the field for Ipswich as he continues to struggle with injury.

Town’s right back is getting closer to a return, meaning he’ll have the chance to prove he was the right choice.

Luke Chambers congratulates goal scorer Oli Hawkins.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comLuke Chambers congratulates goal scorer Oli Hawkins. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Chop, chop

Monday’s a big day for Ipswich Town defender Luke Woolfenden.

The first lockdown period in March saw the centre-half make three big life choices.

One, sign a new long-term contract with Town. Two, become the proud owner of a Rottweiler. Three, go with an Alice Band as part of a new haircut.

Stephen Ward crosses.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comStephen Ward crosses. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

One of those things is about to change.

He’s not leaving Ipswich and a dog is certainly not just for lockdown. So that means the Alice Band is on the way out.

“Who knows what I’ll come out with,” he said during Friday’s pre-match press conference, ahead of a visit to the barber.

Last time he changed his image during the season he ended looking like Eminem.

Skipper Luke Chambers lakes a throw in.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comSkipper Luke Chambers lakes a throw in. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

We’ll see where he goes this time.

High tops

Mark McGuinness has started his senior career well this week, with two solid displays and two clean sheets in the wins over Gillingham and Crewe.

The Arsenal youngster is clearly good with the ball at his feet but he’s also answered a few questions regarding the physical side of his League One game, with a string of excellent interventions this weekend.

He has his own distinctive look, too, with some very short shorts paired with some low-riding socks.

It’s like Tom Daley meets Steve Claridge. A frightening combination.

The name game

It didn’t take a genius to guess the Crewe goalkeeper was probably related to one of Ipswich Town’s former foes.

Yes, Will Jaaskelainen is the son of former Bolton keeper Jussi, who was between the sticks when the Blues beat Bolton in the play-offs 20 years ago.

In truth the young Jaaskelainen had little to do other than pick the ball out of the net - something his dad did six times on his three visits to Portman Road.

Jussi, who has previously been the goalkeeping coach at Wrexham, has another son, Emil, who is a striker on loan at Kendal Town from Blackpool.

Triple Jump

The build-up to kick-off at matches played behind-closed-doors is incredibly low-key.

Temporarily gone are the days of fans standing to welcome the players to the pitch, the tub-thumping cheers when players’ names are read out, the pageantry of both sets of players lining up and shaking hands.

Instead we have two teams ambling out onto the pitch in their own time and lining up for kick-off.

So, what better way to try and inject some life and atmosphere than the three airings of Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ back-to-back we were treated to before the Ipswich players made their way out of the tunnel?

If you’re going to pay for the licence to use a song, you may as well get your money’s worth, I suppose.


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