Nostalgia Blues: Marcus Stewart hits hat-trick as Ipswich Town stun Southampton

Marcus Stewart (left) celebrates with Matt Holland and Alun Armstrong

Marcus Stewart (left) celebrates with Matt Holland and Alun Armstrong

Marcus Stewart stole the show and stunned the Saints, the in-form striker boosting Ipswich Town’s European hopes with a hat-trick in a 3-0 victory at Southampton, in 2001.

The on-fire hitman made a mockery of the hosts’ proud defensive record – the Saints had not conceded a goal at The Dell for seven hours and seven minutes, prior to his opener – and reached the 20-goal mark for the season, which included 18 in the league.

The victory put Town back into third position in the Premiership, above Leeds, and into a Champions’ League spot, behind only Arsenal and runaway leaders, Manchester United.

A tap-in, a deft header and a cheeky penalty helped the former Huddersfield man soar back to the top of the Premiership goalscoring charts and left him beaming, while clutching the match ball, on the final whistle.

“I’m totally delighted. It feels great to score three goals here. It’s been very frustrating for the last five or six weeks when I have played just once against West Ham. So to come here tonight and do this is fantastic,” said Stewart.

“Southampton are a good side but we matched them like for like and we had to battle to establish ourselves and we did that with our second goal.”

On possibly qualifying for a European spot, Stewart added: “We have just got to get our heads down and play the next seven games and just get on with it.”

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Stewart grabbed his first after 33 minutes, running the ball into the net, following great work by Hermann Hreidarsson and Jamie Clapham.

His second was a superb header to the far post from an Hreidarsson cross, before Matt Holland, who had already had one appeal for a penalty turned down, was upended by Tahar El-Khalej and Stewart chipped the spot-kick past Paul Jones, in front of England boss, Sven Goran-Eriksson.

Martijn Reuser also went close for the Blues with a 54-yard free-kick that struck the crossbar.


2011: Two goals in seven first half minutes helped Ipswich Town to a 2-1 Championship win at Burnley. Connor Wickham gave the visitors the lead on 17 minutes, before David Norris added to the score on 24. Jay Rodriguez pulled a goal back for the hosts midway through the second half but the Clarets could not find an equaliser.

2005: The Blues won a five-goal thriller at Portman Road, the hosts prevailing 3-2 against Derby County in the Championship. The Rams took an early lead, courtesy of Marcus Tudgay’s seventh-minute strike, but the Blues hit back through Jim Magilton, Darren Bent and Tommy Miller. Inigo Idiakez ensured a nervy finish with an 85th-minute goal, but Town hung on for the three points.

1996: Division One’s top scorers, Ipswich Town, added another goal to their tally and, more importantly, another three points to their total as they chased the play-offs, defeating Derby County 1-0 at Portman Road. Highly-rated defender Tony Vaughan scored the only goal of the game.

1991: The Blues and Portsmouth shared four goals in a 2-2 draw at Portman Road, in the old Division Two. Martin Kuhl scored twice for Pompey but Jason Dozzell and Neil Thompson ensured the Blues earned a point.

1980: Goals from Paul Mariner and Russell Osman gave Ipswich Town a 2-0 victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane, in the old Division One.

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