It’s time to turn the tables on relegated Norwich City, say Ipswich Town’s former East Anglian derby stars
- Credit: Archant
With Norwich City’s relegation from the Premier League sealed on Sunday, Ipswich Town fans are already looking forward to the return of the East Anglian derby next season. STUART WATSON spoke to former Blues favourites about some memorable regional clashes of the past.
The Dutch defender played in nine East Anglian derbies. Opened the scoring in a 2-0 win over the Canaries in 2002/03 then solidified his cult hero status among the Portman Road faithful after claiming that Norwich weren’t good enough to top the table, wouldn’t survive in the Premier League and unless they signed 15 new players they’d be relegated by Christmas following a 3-1 defeat at Carrow Road in 2003.
“The one thing that everyone still wants to talk to me about are those comments!” he laughed. “We’d outplayed them, but they hit us on the break two or three times. I was interviewed straight after the game and I probably should have counted to 10. I spoke as a fan.”
He continued: “When I first joined the club everyone I came across just wanted to tell me how important the Norwich games were. For the whole week building up to those games you couldn’t go anywhere without someone telling you ‘just make sure you don’t lose this one’.
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“They have got two years experience in the Premier League and will be aiming to go straight back up. They will probably expect to just beat us, but in these games anything can happen.
“I’m actually organising a charity game between ex-Ipswich and ex-Norwich players. Darren Eadie is going to be their manager and there should be some good banter. It’s to raise money for the NSPCC and will take place at Cedars Park Community Centre, Stowmarket on June 22.”
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The Ipswich-born teen star went through agony and the ecstasy when playing in East Anglian derbies. His debut against Norwich as a 17-year-old saw City overturn a first leg deficit in the semi-finals of the Milk Cup to progress to Wembley. Eight years later he scored twice as the Blues beat their rivals 3-1 at Portman Road to complete a joyful double in the inaugural Premiership season.
“You have to remember that I was a big Ipswich fan before I became a player,” explained Dozzell. “In the days when those derby matches were played on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, I was the first in the stadium at Portman Road to watch the crowd filling up and I used to go up on the train to Carrow Road and be hearded towards the stadium.
“I’d grown up with that rivalry, so it meant a lot to me to play in those matches. I was always the one in the dressing room geeing the boys up and telling them ‘this means a hell of a lot’. I’ll never forget the feeling of scoring against them.”
Scottish midfielder is the leading all-time scorer in East Anglian derbies with nine goals spread across his three spells at Portman Road. Scored in the 5-0 home win in which Trevor Whymark grabbed a hat-trick (1976/77), then netted three himself in the 4-2 home win of 1978/79. Was sent-off in his final appearance against the Canaries in 1995.
“I’ve missed these matches, I think everyone has,” said Wark.
“I used to love playing in them and every time I go back up there I get stick.
“The whole week leading up to those matches everyone would be telling you ‘you’ve got to beat them’.
“When I scored that hat-trick I didn’t have to buy a drink that night.”
He added: “We were the dominant team for so long, we always beat them, but they have had the bragging rights in the last few years. It would be good to see the tables turn again.
“As soon as the fixtures come out they will be the first games everyone is looking for. I’m hoping to get to both of them, but I might have to take a bodyguard to Carrow Road!”
MEMORABLE EAST ANGLIAN DERBIES OF THE LAST 20 YEARS
Ipswich Town 2 Norwich City 1 – 1993/94
Gary Megson thumped a header beyond his own keeper in the last minute to send Town fans wild. Town had led through John Wark’s penalty but been pegged back by a Mark Bowen goal.
Ipswich Town 2 Norwich City 1 – 1995/96
With four minutes to go, Rob Ullathorne’s back-pass took a bobble to leave keeper Bryan Gunn kicking at thin air, the comedic own goal still shown on blooper reels to this day.
Ipswich Town 5 Norwich City 0 – 1997/98
A first half hat-trick from Scottish striker Alex Mathie, above left, who was substituted at the interval, and two second half goals from Dutchman Bobby Petta gave Town an overwhelming victory.
Ipswich Town 3 Norwich City 1 – 2006/07
Teen striker Danny Haynes, above right, stepped off the bench to score twice, the 18-year-old ending Norwich’s five-game undefeated run at Portman Road. The very next season, Haynes scored the winner in a 2-1 come-from-behind home win and duly became nicknamed ‘The Canary Crusher’.
Ipswich Town 1 Norwich City 5 – 2010/11
Having lost 4-1 at Carrow Road under Roy Keane’s management (Grant Holt getting a hat-trick) it seemed as though things couldn’t get worse. Wrong. Town, with Paul Jewell now in the hot seat, lost 5-1 in the reverse fixture at Portman Road, with there being five different away scorers. The Canaries went on to secure back-to-back promotions to the top-flight.