Sunday Snap: Green shoots of normality, Cornell the magic man, corner kings and initiation songs
Ipswich Town won 2-1 at Plymouth Argyle yesterday. Andy Warren looks at the events surrounding the game.
A momentous day
When the home fans shouted ‘the referee’s a w*****’ at official Ollie Yates midway through the second half, you knew a sense of normality had returned.
This was a momentous day as supporters returned to an Ipswich Town game for the first time in March.
There were no away fans present, of course, but the 1,800 Plymouth supporters inside the ground meant the most vital of ingredients was restored to a recipe badly lacking passion, soul and heart for the last few months.
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It’s the little things you miss. The ripple of applause when the players come out to warm up, the boos when the opposition names were read out and the sight of fans walking to the stadium with their team colours on.
The smell of onions from the burger vans outside the ground made a welcome return too.
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We’ve not got the packed stadiums and full away ends we all so crave, but this was a wonderful step towards normality.
It’s Portman Road’s turn to welcome fans back next weekend on what is sure to be a special afternoon for many.
Hopefully Town can achieve the same result.
It’s been 50 days since Gwion Edwards found the net with his fifth goal of the season, making him the Blues’ top scorer on five.
The Welshman then went six without a goal before becoming the latest Town player hit by injury, but he’s finally now been matched at the top of the Ipswich scoring charts.
Jon Nolan’s equaliser also moves him on to five, with the former Shrewsbury man scoring in each of the season’s four months to date.
It’s good to see Kayden Jackson finally get off the mark – the Blues are going to need to see their strikers contribute plenty more if they are to remain in the thick of the promotion race.
Remember Frank Nouble? The erratic centre-forward with a unique approach to the game who played for Ipswich Town under Mick McCarthy.
Well this was a very different player to the one we used to see in a blue shirt.
Now on the 16th club of his career and still only 29, the forward looked much more controlled than many will remember him as he led the Plymouth line well with some good hold up play and clever passing to help exploit space on the flanks.
There was still plenty of running and physical play, as you would expect, but it’s clear Nouble has adapted his game since departing Portman Road a little over five years ago.
He was arguably his side’s best player.
The magic man
David Cornell was sporting the Blues’ third choice goalkeeping kit in this game, a decent coral number which completes a trio alongside the club’s green and black/aqua numbers.
It’s an ok kit but, by far its greatest quality is the fact it can change colour every few seconds, as the above video shows.
Is it orange or is it pink? You decide.
Ipswich Town need to threaten more from corners, so fair play to them for trying something different.
Midway through the second half the Blues won a corner kick and, keen to take it quickly, Brett McGavin placed the ball in the quadrant and was ready to go. The only problem was, Alan Judge had the same plan and was ready to take the kick from the other side of the pitch.
Two balls, two takers both ready to go at the same side from opposite corners.
Full marks for trying but, even though we’re fully aware the standard of refereeing isn’t the best in League One, there was no way this one was going to be allowed.
Simply the best
In my mind this game saw the best two home kits in League One go head-to-head.
I have nothing further to say on this.
A first away trip means only one thing for footballers – it’s time to sing a song in front of your team-mates.
That honour fell to teenagers Liam Gibbs and Elkan Baggott this weekend, with the former making the bench and the latter travelling with the squad as an extra body.
I’m reliably informed Baggott impressed with a verson of John Legend’s All of Me while Gibbs contributed a solid rendition of Stand By Me, originally sung by Ben E. King.
It was also a big weekend for club media staff members Jacob Henderson and Mikey Hale who, having travelled on the team coach to Devon, were also required to perform.
One did a solid job of Islands In The Stream while the other flopped with a version of Oasis’s Don’t Look Back In Anger. I can’t reveal which way round they were.
Get well soon
One man instantly springs to mind when you think of both Plymouth Argyle and Ipswich Town – Paul Mariner.
The former striker of course was a major player in blue under the management of Sir Bobby Robson, making his name with the Pilgrims before moving to Suffolk in 1976. He also spent a spell in charge of Argyle from 2009-10.
He’s not been in the best of health of late, having had surgery on a brain tumour, but has recently thanked fans for their support and insisted he’s ‘fighting’.
He’ll have the support of all those in blue and green. Get well soon, Paul.