Town fans have unhappy memories of last visit to Elland Road

THERE is always an element of intimidation when visiting Elland Road, and many Ipswich Town fans will not be overjoyed at the prospect of going back to the famous Yorkshire-based arena.

Those who were there in Town’s last visit in April 2007 will certainly not be rushing back.

Alan Lee equalised from a corner in the 88th minute in a 1-1 draw that effectively sent Leeds down to League One.

The goal ignited feelings in the stands and the game was held up for 20 minutes while a section of home fans ran on to the pitch and confronted visiting supporters.

It got quite nasty and Blues followers had objects thrown at them before police managed to restore order and the remaining four minutes or so of the game were played.


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While this was going on, Leeds officials were placing the club in administration allegedly doing so to try and evoke a 10 point penalty for the 2006/07 campaign.

The authorities decided that the penalty should come into force the following campaign and added an extra five points to make it almost impossible for Leeds to make the quickest possible return to the Championship although they did make the play-offs.

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If the pain of having objects hurled at them was bad enough for Town fans then the miss by Darren Currie in the 1-1 draw at Elland Road in late April 2005 was in many ways harder to take.

If Currie had netted from point-blank range in the dying embers of that game, Joe Royle’s side would have won automatic promotion back to the Premier League.

A 5-1 home win over Crewe followed but Ipswich then had to win their final game at Brighton and hope that Paul Jewell’s Wigan slipped up against Reading.

A draw at the Withdean saw Town finish third and lose out to West Ham for the second year running in the Championship play-off semi-final.

With free-scorers Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi having a great season, Town deserved to go up that year with Royle also playing Pablo Counago up front for the trip to Leeds.

Currie replaced Counago towards the end and left the field shaking his head in disbelief after missing a sitter that ultimately denied Ipswich automatic promotion.

If they had gone up – with the money that would have come their way – the scene at Portman Road over the last six years could have been much different - much brighter.

On a lighter note Sam Parkin scored two fine goals in a 2-0 win at Leeds in September 2005 once Bent and Kuqi had departed forced out because of the dire financial position Ipswich was in.

There is little riding on tomorrow’s game for Ipswich other than to double Leeds after a 2-1 home win after Alex Bruce was sent off in October last year.

But for free-scoring Leeds there is a Premier League place to pursue in what will hopefully be a contest remembered for the right reasons.

WHAT are your memories of Elland Road? Let us know by e-mailing starsport@eveningstar.co.uk.

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