Sunday Snap: Christening Portman Road’s newest addition, separating excellence and a ‘dodgy keeper’

Luke Garbutt celebrates his goal. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Luke Garbutt celebrates his goal. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

We look back at the goings on around Ipswich Town’s 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers this weekend.

All eyes on the ball for a Town corner in the first half. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwal

All eyes on the ball for a Town corner in the first half. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

A Christening

What better way to Christen the latest addition to Portman Road than with a four-goal haul.

You may or may not have noticed the new goal nets at the Blues' famous old ground yesterday, with big splashes of Blue added to the usual white.

And they've been hit five times already.

This is just the latest in an identity drive at Ipswich Town which has seen the club spend a good amount of money at the training ground, add a splash of colour and club crests throughout the Playford Road complex, as well as renovation work at the stadium to ensure the club's presence is felt.

Paul Lambert and his team take blue rugs with Ipswich crests, as well as flags, to away games for the same reasons, making sure the visitors dressing room is a good environment.

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That's not even mentioning the club's renewed efforts to be a major player in the local community when it comes to school visits, engaging with business and the newly reinvigorated Community Trust.

A couple of new nets (which they've had at the training ground for a while) is of course a trivial matter in itself, but it all helps foster a spirit of belonging which has been vital in the club's reconnection with the town.

Kayden Jackson is congratulated by James Norwood and Luke Garbutt after restoring Town's lead with t

Kayden Jackson is congratulated by James Norwood and Luke Garbutt after restoring Town's lead with their second to take then 2-1 up. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Boot race

It looks as though we're going to have a true race when it comes to Ipswich Town's leading scorer.

Freddie Sears and Gwion Edwards shared the prize on six during what was a miserable 2018/19 campaign, but Kayden Jackson and James Norwood are both on five already and look set to battle it out for the rest of the campaign.

The team as a whole only managed a combined 37 goals last season but Lambert's class of 2019/20 have scored 23 already this time around.

If they continue at that pace, of a little under two goals a game, the Blues will have passed last season's tally by early November.

Tough call

As I walked home along the waterfront last night I gave my brother Chris (I really call him 'Bruv') a ring and we ended up debating the merits of Luke Garbutt and Kane Vincent-Young's excellent goals.

It's an unnecessary conversation really. They were both brilliant. But I would just be interested which you all thought was best.

For the record, Garbutt's gets it for me. I love pure strikes of the football almost as much as I like bullet headers and any goal which goes in off the underside of the bar.

Many happy returns

Yesterday ultimately ended up being a very happy 34th birthday for Ipswich skipper Luke Chambers.

He joined the Blues as a 26-year-old in the summer of 2012 and is now into his eighth year of sterling service to the club both on and off the pitch.

He had a wobbly moment in this game, when his attempt to control the ball gave possession to Tranmere at the start of the move which led to their goal, but he recovered well and contributed to the win.

So can we no officially call him a 'veteran'? He'll love that.

Hard time for Davies

When you're sitting or standing behind the goal at a football match, is there anything more fun than attempting to wind up the opposition goalkeeper?

The fans in the Sir Bobby Robson Stand certainly had fun with Tranmere stopper Scott Davies yesterday.

The Rovers captain spilled the ball at the feet of Kayden Jackson for Town's second goal, did the same for a Flynn Downes effort which was ultimately disallowed for offside, slipped at the crucial moment when taking a string of goal kicks and fired balls straight out of play.

All that meant the classic playground 'dodgy keeper, dodgy keeper' chants rang out around the stadium… among other things.

Tomas Holy rolls out the ball early in the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League one) match

Tomas Holy rolls out the ball early in the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League one) match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

All white on the night

On the subject of goalkeepers, was it only me who struggled to pick Tomas Holy out in his crowded penalty area yesterday?

Maybe it was just my eyes but his all silver/grey kit clashed with Tranmere's white shirts whenever play was in the Ipswich box.

Thankfully it didn't appear to cause any issues for those on the pitch.

There was a similar incident in the Under 23s recently when Harry Wright was made to change his kit having already made his way to his goal for kick-off, because his strip clashed with Nottingham Forest's white ensemble. He went back to the dressing room and five minutes later returned clad in green.

Jon Nolan celebrates his goal in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers. Picture: Steve Waller w

Jon Nolan celebrates his goal in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Bar games

Just before the Ipswich players began their warm-up, members of the backroom staff had a little bit of fun with an on-pitch crossbar challenge game.

Lambert's assistant, Stuart Taylor, nailed his effort and began to celebrate with Matt Gill just as kit man (and former Town goalkeeper) James Pullen had his own effort.

Don't worry, James, I saw your attempt thump back off the bar, even if you struggled to convince Taylor and Gill it really happened.

If you haven't seen the former goalkeeper's 'dizzy penalty' attempt during the summer trip to Germany, that's well worth watching. It's below for your viewing pleasure.