Ipswich 0-3 Millwall ~ Match Report

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And there you have it. The last away day of a fairly tempestuous season which is ending on a ridiculously high note as the Lions blaze a trail through April like a team of titans smiting all before them.

Fresh from the success at Coventry mid week, me and MrsB fired up the Bonemobile for one last haul across the highways and byways of England to see if we could notch up our fifth win on the spin in the land of the six fingered (my Gods that sixth finger don’t half help with the banjo playing) Tractor boys of Ipswich Town.

There are some that say the A12 should have warning signs up at some point to let the unwary know what they are heading into, I mean it is not exactly Southern Comfort meets Deliverance, but not too far from it. These locals are the ones who didn’t make the cut for that Channel 4 show about undatables.

Creatures is the best description I can think of for the local inhabitants, androgynous mammal like beings, walking upright and displaying all the characteristics of humans, they can be volatile if provoked but usually are comfortable in the presence of people.

They have managed the power of speech though rarely seem to use it to any good effect, preferring hand signals and gurning as a means of communication that is easy enough to follow and replicate if the need arises for you to have any social contact with them.

Some basic signals to bear in mind are “Thumbs up or down” can mean they are happy or sad but it also indicates if they have shit their knickers or not so be careful with this one. “Pointing finger while staring intently” is an easy one to remember. This usually means that the pointer believes you are a witch and should be burned immediately or that you have made their companion use the thumb signal for the messier version of the two options.

Your average Ipswich Town fan is not likely to cause you any harm although they do takes things quite literally so be careful what you say to them. For instance, a simple jokey song (that really should be banished from the song book in this tired old hack’s opinion) “you take it up the arse” is not seen as an insult but merely an opportunity for the local to present their copious buttocks to you and expect you to oblige.

Of course, having the extra digits on their hands (and feet) has not really helped them other than the pre mentioned banjo playing, but one particular strain has developed enough digits to allow them to paint their hand blue and wave it about like a pompom, as witnessed by many Millwall fans situated adjacent to the Sir Alf Ramsey stand.

But as I say, the natives are relatively harmless enough so me and MrsB made our way into the ground and joined the other 1200 odd Millwall fans that were there to enjoy themselves no matter what and the lively and boisterous nature was flowing through each and everyone as the teams came onto the pitch.

Mr Jackett had made a change from the Coventry game so we lined up as follows. Taylor in goal, Craig, Robbo, Lowry and Smith at the back, Trotter, Abdou, Wright and Henry in midfield with Kane and Keogh as our resident front two.

Referee Webster got us going and we were out of the blocks quicker than an eligible young farmer looking for a wife at a family reunion and the home defence had the worried look of a local prostitute as we pushed deep into their half.

Less than three minutes it took for their defence to crumble under the onslaught as Trotter played a give and go with Kane and the former got his cross across their six yard line where Keogh was waiting for a veritable tap in. 0-1! What a start, the roof actually lifted a couple of inches of the stand we were all in, I swear it did.

The home fans away to our left looked mightily dejected, especially the Jimmy Krankie look alike who had been thumb waving at us from the off. Knickers definitely in need of some assistance, I believe the literal translation might’ve been, but she did not look too happy, I can tell you.

Our midfield was too tough for them to handle so they attempted to get back on level terms with a hopeless long ball game that by passed our middle four at every opportunity but Lowry and Robbo were mopping up comfortably, ably assisted by Smith and Craig. The only shots at Taylor were all from distance so where of no consequence to our reliable stopper.

Kane and Keogh were causing the usual strife at the other end and Kane tried to match his partner’s opener with one of his own, shooting from just outside the box that had their ‘keeper flailing but just, just getting his hands to the ball in time.

Robbo had a header go just over from an inch perfect Henry corner as we kept the Ipswich on the toes and then Taylor pulled off a fine save, tipping a long range shot over the bar while diving at full stretch and followed this up with a point blank save from Chopra who really should have scored.

Half time arrived soon after and we cheered the lads off , a satisfactory first half performance in line with what we had now gotten used to.

The second half saw the Lions really put the home side to the sword, a really excellent display of how counter attacking football should be played. Keogh broke up play in the middle of the park and quickly fed the ball to the marauding Henry. Henry wasted no time getting up field and then picked out a lovely pass to Kane who did everything right by turning his man and making some room but his shot flew over the bar.

We had a bit of a scare when Chopra, looking a mile offside , got hold of the ball and made it to the bye line only for Robbo to brilliantly intercept his cross in the nick of time and play a one-two off of our goal post and then clear the follow up off the line.

Soon after we made them pay a heavy price for that miss. Again attacking on the back of an Ipswich move, Keogh raced along the wing and put a low ball across the box towards Henry but it went slightly behind him. The Ipswich defence, clearly rushing back in blind panic managed to lay the ball right into the path of Liam Trotter who struck it from the edge of the 18 yard line and arrowed the ball into the back of the net. 0-2!! Fucking get in you lovely Lions! The away section erupted in a cacophony of noise that had one particular shaven headed local apoplectic with rage. He was full of vehemence and fury, his hand signals in over drive, the thumbs were not being used this time, this was the full 12 finger pointing and bulging eyes mode. He clearly wanted to taste forbidden meat and we were on the menu. He tried to negotiate that bit of black cloth that football clubs use to separate fans and once again this excellent piece of structural brilliance did job and the bald one was saved from himself.

The Millwall cry went up and the reverberating sound of the infamous monk’s chant was echoing all around the place for a solid ten minutes if not more, The home fans were putting flippers to ears to try and dampen the decibels but it was no use, we were winning and winning in style and we milked every pour out of the situation.

Ipswich tried to hit back straight away but they knew we were going to catch them on the break so shots from distance seemed the likely tactic and sure enough this is what happened but Taylor was irrepressible in goal for the Lions and he saved magnificently from a low scudder of a shot from Emmanuel-Thomas.

Then, if the cake needed some icing, we watched Ipswich gain a penalty from a dubious tackle by Jack Smith only for Maik Taylor to replicate his Coventry achievement by saving the spot kick from Leadbitter with ease. His follow up save from the loose ball was even better. I think this save got a bigger cheer than both goals put together.

Poor old Baldy had veins pulsing on his temples now and if you looked closely I swear you could see steam coming out of his ears, all four of them...

We knew the Gods of football were on our side now, useless attempts by the locals to sacrifice virgins (hah! Virgins in Ipswich, I don’t think so) had clearly not appeased those most holy watching over our fortunes, as we continued our singing as the players continued their playing and we surely saved the best until last as with four minutes left to play James Henry collected the ball just inside our half and spotted Keogh ready to go on the half way line. He hit a lovely through ball that Keogh cantered after and as Lee-Barrett raced out of his goal Keogh pushed the ball to his right and ran around the distraught ‘keeper’s left, collected the ball and slotted home. 0-3!!! Unbelievable scenes in the away section, a truly fantastic goal to cap of a fantastic away day.

Ipswich were abject misery personified as we saw out the remaining few minutes and as the final whistle sounded the players took the plaudits for a simply perfect afternoon’s football.

What a crazy end to our season. 5 wins on the trot with just a home game against Blackpool left to come, it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride but at least we get to go around again next season.

I expect we should get a decent crowd for the visit of the Tangerine ones but at least it will be a happy place for all concerned so it should be an enjoyable game to watch, I expect to see a lot of you there!
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