Cup win over old rivals would suit Jim

YOU never forget your first big derby match and for Jim Magilton it wasn't Ipswich v Norwich, or Wednesday v United or even Liverpool against Everton in his youth.

By Derek Davis

YOU never forget your first big derby match and for Jim Magilton it wasn't Ipswich v Norwich, or Wednesday v United or even Liverpool against Everton in his youth.

For the Blues boss it was 12 years ago when he donned the red and white stripes of a Dave Merrington Southampton team against Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

Boy, do those teams hate each other and there was nothing you could do more to become a legend than beat the hated south coast rivals, and Magilton did that with a couple of goals in a 3-0 win (Neil Shipperley got the other).


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Magilton recalled: “I have enjoyed a few ding-dongs with them over the years at Southampton and won a couple, which was especially nice. I scored twice when we beat them in the FA Cup which went down well, I can tell you.”

Usually such encounters engender a deep respect for the opposition and Magilton has seen enough over the years to hold Pompey in deep esteem, especially their vociferous fans led by the bell-rattling John FC Westwood, who will be forever remembered for leading the stewards and police a merry dance, as he did a celebratory jog along the top of the executive boxes in April 2003.

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Pompey had already been crowned champions and so didn't care that Town won 3-0 at Portman Road with Magilton in midfield.

The Irishman was also skipper for Town when Premiership Pompey knocked Ipswich out of the FA Cup in the third round three years ago.

He said: “They generated a fantastic atmosphere when they came here after winning promotion, even though they lost.

“I can also remember us going out in the cup to them but we had a much different side then.”

Vastly different in fact, with Joe Royle forced to field youngsters.

Shane Supple was in goal, Scott Barron at full-back, Danny Haynes up front and Matt Richards left side of midfield, while Sito, Jimmy Juan and Owen Garvan came off the bench.

The FA Cup is rich in history and everyone has special memories of the world's oldest competition.

While a cup run, any cup run, would be wonderful for Ipswich, it would be especially significant this year as Town celebrate the 30th anniversary of actually winning the FA Cup after, beating Arsenal 1-0 in the final at Wembley.

“I would like us to get on a cup run. We went to a Premier League outfit (Watford) and played well last year. We have been exceptional at home this year and we take on another Premier League side that will test us.

“If we win then the confidence helps you in other games.”

Pompey are also one-time winners of the FA Cup and hold the unique record of holding the FA Cup longer than anyone else. They won it in 1939 and it was not played for again until after the war ended in 1945.

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