On this day in Ipswich Town’s history: Naylor nails it in his Testimonial
PUBLISHED: 10:40 02 September 2020
In this new daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history, selecting one particular year, this time from 14 years ago when Richard Naylor proved spot on during his own Testimonial match
It might have been a rather soft-looking penalty, which raised a few eyebrows, but it was appropriate that Richard Naylor should mark his own Testimonial match with a late, late penalty in a 3-3 draw at Portman Road on September 2, 2006.
Ipswich Town stalwart Naylor turned out for the ‘Town 2000’ team against the then-current Town side, in an entertaining Testimonial that featured six goals in a 3-3 draw, played in front of a crowd of 9,902.
Naylor had been a key member of George Burley’s Ipswich side who had beaten Barnsley 4-2 in the Championship play-off final at Wembley the end of the 1999-2000 season, and had remained a firm favourite at Portman Road. In all, he rattled up 323 league games (373 in all competitions) for Town over 14 years, having graduated from the youth team set-up in the mid-1990s.
A striker during the first half of his career, substitute Naylor replaced an injured David Johnson (leading scorer during the regular campaign with 22 goals) after just 22 minutes of the final, with Town 1-0 down and decidedly second best to Barnsley.
Full of running, an inspired Naylor proceeded to have a huge impact on the outcome of the game. After Tony Mowbray’s first-half equaliser, Naylor put Town 2-1 up before goals from Marcus Stewart and Martijn Reuser wrapped up promotion to the Premier League.
More than six years later and Naylor, by this time playing under new boss Jim Magilton, had long been transformed into a centre-half, to good effect, despite a career dogged by injuries.
His deserved Testimonial was a great occasion.
The Town class of 2006-07 established a 2-0 lead, showing little respect for their host Naylor, who had begun the match on the substitutes’ bench for the ‘Town 2000’ squad before appearing as an 18th minute substitute.
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Strikers Alan Lee and Danny Haynes were both on target, before ‘Town 2000’ responded with two goals of their own through Jermaine Wright and Marcus Stewart.
Haynes bagged a penalty to put Jim Magilton’s Town 3-2 up, only for Naylor to guide home a rather debatable late penalty past keeper Shane Supple.
One point of interest for Town fans was the inclusion of Njazi Kuqi, the younger brother of Shefki Kuqi, in the current (2006) Town line-up.
The 23-year-old 6ft 5ins striker, a Finland Under-21 international, had been released by Dutch club Groningen and was on trial at Portman Road. He was not offered a contract by Town, going on to play most of his career abroad in Greece and Finland, although he did make one appearance for Stevenage and three for Dundee (in 2010).
Naylor, who had ironically gone on loan to beaten play-off finalists Barnsley for a spell in 2002, eventually left Ipswich in 2009 bound for his home-town club of Leeds United.
TOWN 2006: Supple, Sito (sub Synnott, 71), Harding (sub Barron, 46), Richards (sub Moore, 46), Casement, De Vos, Brittain, Williams (sub Mulryne, 71), Lee (sub Knights, 61), Currie (sub Kuqi, 61), Haynes.
TOWN 2000 (and guests): R Wright, Croft (sub Miller, 46), Clapham, McGreal, Mowbray (sub Naylor, 18), Venus (sub Milton, 71), Magilton (sub Wark, 71), Holland, Stewart (sub Scowcroft, 46), Reuser (sub Westlake. 46), J J Wright.
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