Ipswich Town celebrated play-off glory 14 years ago today – share your memories
- Credit: Archant
Fourteen years ago today, Ipswich Town celebrated promotion to the top-flight after beating Barnsley 4-2 in the Play-Off Final at Wembley.
It was a case of fourth time lucky for George Burley’s jubilant Blues, having exited the end of season knock-out competition at the semi-final stages in the previous three campaigns (Bolton in ‘99, Charlton in ‘98 and Sheffield United in ‘97).
Having finished third in the table, missing out on second-place to Manchester City on the final day, Town gained semi-final revenge on Bolton in a memorable two-legged affair – winning 5-3 at Portman Road following a 2-2 draw at the Reebok Stadium.
In the final, Ipswich went 1-0 down early on thanks to an unfortunate Richard Wright own goal, but went into the break level thanks to Tony Mowbray’s towering header.
Richard Naylor’s smart finish, following Marcus Stewart’s headed flick-on, turned the match on its head in the 52nd minute. Six minutes later, Stewart headed home Jamie Clapham’s cross.
Craig Hignett’s 78th minute penalty set up a nervy finish, but flying Dutch winger Martijn Reuser – on as a late sub – sealed the win on the counter-attack in the final moments.
– What are your memories of that day? Post your comments below.