Remembering Ipswich Town’s visits to Upton Park as West Ham prepare to leave the Boleyn Ground

Shefki Kuqi and friends celebrate at West Ham as he makes it 2-2
West Ham v Ipswich Town Football

Shefki Kuqi and friends celebrate at West Ham as he makes it 2-2 West Ham v Ipswich Town Football Play-off 1st leg at Upton Park Picture Warren Page EADT 16 05 05

After West Ham said goodbye to their iconic Upton Park home with a 3-2 win over Manchester United last night, we look at Ipswich Town’s record away at the Hammers.

Since first competing at Upton Park in 1950, when they lost 5-1, the Blues have taken on the Hammers on their home turf on 33 occasions, winning eight, drawing 13 and losing 12 of their visits to face the Claret & Blues.

They had to wait until 1963 for their first victory, which came thanks to goals from Doug Moran, Ted Phillips and Ray Crawford. That win came as part of a 10-match unbeaten run at Upton Park which stretched from 1957 to 1974, but came to an end as Billy Jennings struck to secure a 1-0 win for the Hammers in the old First Division.

Another notable clash saw the two sides face off in the fourth round of the FA Cup in 1986, where they drew 0-0 at Upton Park before a replay at Portman Road ended in a 1-1 draw, forcing a second replay in Suffolk which a single Tony Cottee goal won for the Iron.

Martijn Reuser’s free-kick earned the Blues a 1-0 win which kept them in the hunt for a European place in March 2001, but a 3-1 defeat a year later saw George Burley’s side pushed closer to their ultimate relegation.

In recent times there have been two monumental play-off clashes between the two sides, with the Blues coming off second best on each occasion.

The first came in 2003/04 when Darren Bent’s goal gave the Blues a 1-0 lead heading into the second leg at Upton Park; a game being mentioned now as having one of the best atmosphere’s in the old ground’s history. Sadly, that night, Matthew Etherington gave Ipswich a torrid time and fired home the first for his side before Christian Dailly doubled the advantage to take the Iron to Wembley.

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They lost in Cardiff to Crystal Palace, meaning the two were able to meet again in the post season the following year. This time the tables were turned and the first leg took place in east London, as an own goal from Jimmy Walker and Shefki Kuqi’s prodded effort saw Ipswich come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 heading into the second leg at Portman Road.

Sadly, that night, two goals from Bobby Zamora did for the Blues, as the Hammers made it to the Millennium Stadium where they beat Preston to return to the Premier League.

But they were back in the second tier five years later, which allowed the Blues one more crack at Upton Park.

And they went out with a bang in what has turned out to be their final visit, as Lee Bowyer scored with just a minute left to secure a 1-0 win in 2011.

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