Ipswich Town’s greatest games: Blues beat Barnsley in 2000 play-off final
Every Saturday during the football close season, we will feature one of Ipswich Town’s 10 greatest games. We kick off with the unforgettable play-off final in 2000.
After so many play-off heartbreaks, surely Town’s time had come and we would beat Barnsley to get back into the Premier League?
It didn’t start well. In the sixth minute, Craig Hignett’s long-range shot cannoned down off the bar, hit Town keeper Richard Wright, and went into the net.
Just before the half-hour, Jim Magilton swung a ball into the area, and Tony Mowbray powered home a header to equalise.
Approaching half-time, the turning point. Richard Wright hauled down Hignett, but produced a wonder save to keep out Darren Barnard’s spot-kick. Level at the interval.
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Early in the second half, Town were ahead thanks to Naylor’s deft finish, and then, a few minutes later, Marcus Stewart headed home.
In the 78th minute, Hignett slammed home a penalty to pull a goal back, and just before the end of normal time, Wright made another fantastic save, this time to keep out Hristov’s header.
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Then came THE moment. Naylor put super-sub Martijn Reuser through and the Dutchman smashed the ball in.
Town were back in the big-time.