Last-gasp hero Hunt hoping for a repeat of Ipswich Town’s last Charlton visit
It’s been a year of TV nasties for Ipswich Town, but Noel Hunt is hopeful that memories of the club’s last televised triumph can prove inspirational when the Blues take on Charlton in front of the cameras tomorrow (12.30pm ko).
Who can forget Hunt’s dramatic 95th-minute winner at The Valley back on December 30, 2014? The Irish striker had only just arrived on loan from Leeds that week, stepped off the bench late on and sparked wild scenes of celebration among the 2,300 away fans with his last-gasp debut strike.
Mick McCarthy’s men had also beaten Fulham and Wigan in live Sky games at the start of that campaign, but 2015 has been a different prospect altogether when it comes to matches beamed out to a wider audience.
This calendar year there have been 11 Town games shown live and not a single victory (four draws and seven defeats). Now the Blues have a three matches in a row on TV – Middlesbrough at home (Friday, December 4) and MK Dons away (Saturday, December 12) coming up.
“That was one of the best moments of my career to be fair,” said Hunt, recalling his own magic moment at The Valley.
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“From a personal point of view it was great because I’d been out of the picture at Leeds for so long.
“And from a team point of view it was such an important goal. I just remember all those away fans going crazy and every single one of my team-mates joining the celebrations. I think big Baj (Balint Bajner) was first on the scene, my brother (Stephen) was there too. It just summed up the brilliant team spirit.”
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Hunt, who is now at League One club Southend United, continued: “I wasn’t there that long, but Ipswich will now always be a club close to my heart. I absolutely loved my time there working with the manager and TC (Terry Connor).
“I was close to signing a contract in the summer but then I think the club agreed to sell Mingsy (Tyrone Mings) to Bournemouth and got a couple of players (Ryan Fraser and Brett Pitman) as part of the deal.
“I understood that and I have absolutely nothing negative to say about Ipswich Town.
“I am really grateful for the way they showed faith in me and I’ll be tuning in on Saturday cheering the boys on.
“I still speak to a lot of the lads and I hope that all the memories of that game I scored in come flooding back and they can use that as inspiration to get another win there.”