Spot kick misery goes on for Ipswich

IT can't be much fun being an Ipswich Town and England fan when the final whistle after extra-time blows and penalties loom.We saw once again in the World Cup how our national side are flops from 12 yards, and at League Two Peterborough United on Tuesday night the spot-kick blues struck Town once more.

By Derek Davis

IT can't be much fun being an Ipswich Town and England fan when the final whistle after extra-time blows and penalties loom.

We saw once again in the World Cup how our national side are flops from 12 yards, and at League Two Peterborough United on Tuesday night the spot-kick blues struck Town once more.

It has been 15 years since Ipswich's one and only penalty success in a meaningful competition and even that was because Luton were truly awful, scoring only one of five.


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The game was a second round ZDS tie at Portman Road against the Hatters and even though former Blues trainee keeper Alex Chamberlain saved from Jason Dozzell and David Lowe, while David Linighan hit a post, Luton could not do any better and Craig Forrest also made two saves, pushing one on to a post, while Luton twice hit the woodwork. Steve Whitton and Romeo Zondervan were successful to put Ipswich through.

Ipswich were less fortunate in the next round with Chelsea banging in the first four and even though Graham Stuart skied the fifth, Linighan again failed from the spot and an earlier Mick Stockwell miss saw Town lose out.

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Chelsea got the better of Town on penalties in 1998 when Ruud Gullit's side only needed to take four kicks past Richard Wright to go through. After Adam Tanner got Town off to a good start, Mauricio Taricco and James Scowcroft missed and there was no point in anyone else stepping up.

The first failure in a shoot-out came in 1973 when the Blues lost 4-3 to Lokomotiv Leipzig in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals, with Peter Morris, David Johnson and Allan Hunter all having their shots saved, negating Brian Talbot and Kevin Beattie's conversions.

Only the ice-cool Mick Mills found the net in Barcelona in 1977 with Clive Woods missing after Brian Talbot and Colin Viljoen had their attempts saved.

Things have been no better this century with Town flopping in the three shoot-outs they have been involved in. They crashed out of the UEFA Cup in November 2002, when they went down 4-2 to Slovan Liberec. Andy Marshall could not stop any of the Czech side's efforts while Jermaine Wright and Finidi George failed after Matt Holland and Darren Bent were on target.

The following month they were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Liverpool in the League Cup at Anfield. Magilton put his shot away, along with Holland, Tommy Miller and Alun Armstrong, but Jamie Clapham rapped his against the crossbar and the Reds were relentless as the Steven Gerrard, Milan Baros, Arne Riise, Jamie Carragher and El-Hadji Diouf, who also scored from the spot in the regular 90 minutes, all netted.

At least Matt Richards was not the only culprit at Peterborough, as Alex Bruce put his wide. It was a shame for Billy Clarke and Martin Brittain who put their shots away, but topped a great night for the Posh keeper Mark Tyler, who is an avid Norwich City fan.

When Mark Arber converted the clinching penalty he took the run of successive successful kicks past Ipswich keepers to 17.

My thanks to prideofanglia.com, which I used as a valuable reference point.

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