Matthews’ own goal creates a Town landmark
IPSWICH TOWN: When Cardiff defender Adam Matthews sent a precise header into the top corner of the net at Portman Road last Saturday it was the 100th – and one of the ‘best’ – own goals that has been scored against the Blues since they turned professional.
From Barry Town defender Mason who conceded two in Town’s 4-1 Southern League victory on January 9 1937 to 18-year-old Williams’ effort there have been some memorable gaffs – particularly at Portman Road.
Who will forget Robert Ullathorne’s effort on April 14 1996, when Norwich City goalkeeper Bryan Gunn kicked thin air as the ball bobbled in the net at the South Stand end?
Ipswich won this First Division fixture 2-1 and Gunn is still ribbed mercilessly about the incident every time he ventures south of Norfolk.
And the Canaries were left with more red faces on December 18 1993 when Gary Megson diverted a corner into his net – at the same end of Portman Road – in a Premier League fixture that the Blues also won 2-1.
More City misery at Portman Road came on April 13 2008 when Alex Pearce diverted a drilled Danny Haynes’ cross into his own net from six yards as he attempted to clear.
Town fans love nothing more than seeing the Canaries with their wings clipped and will be hoping for more pain for the Norfolk side on Good Friday when Norwich are next in town this time in the Championship.
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Ipswich manager Roy Keane says that luck plays a part in deciding who wins what each season and he added: “It’s no coincidence that the top teams gain a high percentage of own goals.
“This is because of the pressure they exert and also their ability to put the ball into the right areas.
“You need a slice or two of luck and last season we did not get that – all the luck went against us.
“The half breaks we are now perhaps getting them, but my hard working players are deserving them.”
Perhaps the most high profile ‘OG’ on Suffolk soil was Real Madrid’s Rubinan who deflected in a Mick Mills shot to give the Blues a 1-0 UEFA Cup first round, first leg victory on September 9 1973. Town went on to win the tie 1-0 on aggregate to announce their arrival as an European force under the management of Bobby Robson.
Tony Dunne inexplicably lofted the ball over the head of Alex Stepney with 10 minutes to go in a First Division fixture against Manchester United on February 1 1969 to give Town a welcome single goal home victory.
Alun Armstrong’s Town debut was marked by an own goal from Wayne Bridge when he sent the ball into his own Southampton net following a shot by �500,000 signing Armstrong in a 3-1 Premiership victory on December 16 2000.
Another ‘vital’ own goal was netted by Brain Greenhoff when Town beat Manchester United 2-1 in a First Division encounter on January 3 1978 with Ipswich needing every point to stay in the top flight in the season they won the FA Cup.
These are all great memories, but of course the feeling is completely different if the boot is on the other foot as it has been 124 times for Ipswich since 1937. Moritz Volz was the last Town player to put the ball into his own net – against Charlton on October 4 2008
The last home Ipswich own goal was conceded by Jason De Vos in the 3-1 victory over Keane’s Sunderland in the Championship on September 23 2006.
Clubs that have conceded the most own goals against Ipswich Town: Leicester City and Northampton Town (both 4), Charlton, Crystal Palace, Derby, Huddersfield, Norwich, Nottingham Forest, Plymouth, QPR, WBA, West Ham, Wolves (all 3).