RAMBLE: Ipswich Town 0-1 Wednesday

RAMBLE: Ipswich Town 0-1 Wednesday

I’d been looking forward this since the hard-fought win over Derby last week.

As with the game against Cardiff last year, we knew that a win at Ipswich meant qualification for the playoffs and with a game to spare.

Our recent form has been unprecedented.

Five wins in a row and only a last-minute equaliser at Barnsley from that being six in a row. Confidence is a rare feeling as a Wednesdayite but I couldn’t see anything other than three points and hopefully forcing Leeds out of the playoffs.

It was an early start with Mark due to pick us up at 8am there wasn’t much time to sort breakfast out, so I was planning on one of the local sandwich shops being open.

There are loads of them round here, so surely one must be open! I left with good time (allowing for Mark being characteristically late).

First one, closed. Bugger.

Then I had a dilemma, the next ones to try were in opposite directions down Eccy Road and I won’t have time to try both. Do I gamble left, or right? I opted for left and realised it was a longer walk than I’d anticipated.

On the way, there was a text from Mark saying he was en route. SHIT. He’s never this punctual. I can see the café and there’s tables and chairs. Hope! I get to the door … they’re closed.

ARGH. I’m going to end up travelling to the other side of the country on an empty stomach. But then I saw Spar had on-the-go hot bacon rolls.

I assume they’re awful but it’s food. Fook it, I need food.

Actually, it was ok considering.

 

THE JOURNEY

 

I got back to the agreed pick up point in time to eat that and buy a paper, just as Mark appeared. Phew!

I get in the car and I’m shortly joined by James, who immediately pipes up:

“What you doing sat in that side, you’re ALWAYS on this side (of the car)? That’s it. It’s your fault if we lose.”

I offer to swap but he says don’t bother. Fine, then! Anyway, we’re off and it’s barely gone 8am, so good time being made.

The playoffs: the light at the end of the tunnel?

As we start discussing the day ahead and whether we’d just be happy with qualifying for playoffs or should make a big punt for third or fourth and get “home advantage”. Last year Carlos, said that he’s always preferred being at home first, but whether that was just mind game or not is hard to know. James was certain that it was. From a fan point of view, it’d be a lot better to have the home leg as a 7.45 kick off.

Personally, I think we will and should rest key players next week and give some of those the fringe a chance to shine.

Once 9am had passed James and I decided it was an appropriate time to open our first beers of the day.

I had a four pack of Brew Dog’s Dead Pony Club, which is probably the most hoppy beer that’s under 4%. James had a selection of fruity beers which cost about a fiver and are a lot stronger! That said, they were very tasty.

Time and beer was flying and it was time to stop off and relieve bladders, stretch legs and have a bite to eat.

We were just about to get into the car when Mark and I started to discuss politics, in what was a heated but respectful debate.

We must have been going for a while when Tom suddenly perked up and asked if we were going to Ipswich? We decided that going to the game was better than a political debate in a layby, and agreed to disagree. To Ipswich!

It says something for how easy the journey was that the first traffic we hit was Ipswich itself. As we meandered around, we realised that the pub we were supposed to be meeting in didn’t open until 4.30pm! A rethink was needed.

We park and Ipswich appears to be bathed in sunshine, so I opted for only 2 layers and left my hoody in the car. What I didn’t realise from within the car is that is a there the icy wind accompanying the sun. It was much colder than it looked when the sun wasn’t there.

 

MORE BEER

 

We decided to get our bearings in this chain pub across the road, get a drink and decide where to go. We go in.

The only half decent looking beer is off. The rest is shit lager, John Smiths or bottles.

Time for a beer

The bottles were worse, all alcopops, lager or Newcy Brown. To top it off, the barman had a Sheffield United shirt. A strong contender for the worst pub of the season.

We saw there was a place that looked OK but in the wrong direction. Plus it was on the waterfront by loads of boats, so at least was a nice setting.

The place was good; the beer was awful, bland and insipid. As we were there, it turned out that Adam was a in a place around the corner, which looked decent and since Adam was local, we hope for better things.

We get there and it’s got all the surroundings of a great pub, but as we get to the bar, I can’t see any proper beers. Will the agony never end? Then I realise that the proper beer is in barrels behind the beer! At last!

Sadly the beer was still not great, better than before, but just a bit tasteless and flat. Ah well, clearly we’re spoilt for beer in Sheffield. We work through the beer and catch up with Adam.

Soon enough we catch up with Chris who’s been playing the rail replacement bus game from London. I’m not sure why I say game, when it’s so painful.

He’s drinking the dry hopped lager, which is actually better than the pale ale that we’ve been drinking. Maybe things just work in reverse down south?

Anyway, time was running on and soon enough it was time to stop moaning about beer and watch some actual football. To the ground!

I have to say, that as a ground, I like Portman Road. A proper town centre ground with a lot of history and is in decent condition for an older ground. Fair play to Ipswich for avoiding bowls in oversized carparks just off from a motorway.

 

THE MATCH

 

Wednesday started unchanged and were straight out of the blocks, looking to attack Ipswich.

We clearly were not going for a point this week and next.

We want the job done now! Hunt whipped a ball in after typical interplay with Wallace and Fletcher was there to score … but Spence just got there first. Corner! COME ON WEDNESDAY!

Wednesday dominated possession and Ipswich were barely in the game, but they were will organised and tough to break down. What else do you expect from a Mick McCarthy side?

Bannan: enjoyed his best game for a while

The Wednesday fans were in brilliant form. There was no drama, no moaners and a great backing for the team. It’s amazing how often the smaller allocations give the best atmosphere.

There wasn’t too much to get excited about and we were all checking our phones for news from Elland Road. COME ON NORWICH! REFRESH. REFRESH. REFRESH.

The app I use for scores was still saying 0-0 but I heard this song start to the tune of Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division:

LEEDS, LEEDS ARE FALLING APART

AGAIN….

Could it be my app, apparently really slow, was still saying 0-0 but it was confirmed that Norwich were one up. Then by the time the full away end were in full song, the whispers started again.

You could hear people further back saying “2-0”.  Yet again my app was slow but our best hope was coming through and Leeds were 2-0 down.

Into the last five minutes of the half and Wednesday surged forward to get ahead. We looked threatening but nothing that challenged the keeper. The intent is clearly there and it’s going to be a game that requires patience.

Then it was turned out it was 3-0 at Elland Road. This was too good! Unfortunately, that proved to be the case, by the time the half time whistle blew, it was 3-1 to Norwich. They’re not coming back from that, are they? That one goal had me worried.

 

HALF TIME: Ipswich 0-0 Wednesday

 

Ipswich don’t do beer at half time so James and I settled for tea, neither of us had finished for the first five minutes of the second half, which would have resulted in some getting burnt had we scored.

The game followed the same pattern.

Falling apart again

Wednesday dominating and everybody obsessing over what’s happening at Elland Road, instead of Portman Road. And it was now 3-2. They can’t can they. We NEED to get this win.

If they managed to get a win, then we drew and then lost next week, we’d forever be thinking of the moment when they went 3-0 down and we thought it was over.

Again, we dominate but nothing testing the keeper.

Patience. Patience. One good moment. One good move and the playoffs are there.

We made a double sub, one clearly forced after Wallace collapsed injured. Hopefully this was just a precaution.

Wallace and Fletcher off for Fessi and Rhodes.

We keep going. The ball goes in the box. They looked stretched. It comes to Hooper, who crosses but doesn’t find anyone.

It comes to Bannan, who’s having his best game for long time. He’s patient and picks out Pudil on the by-line, who squares it …… AND IT’S IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pandemonium.

YEEEAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

The four of us ended up in a huddle all facing each other screaming. What a moment.

A fine move and a fine finish! Watch all the highlights at swfc.co.uk

Posted by Sheffield Wednesday FC on Sunday, 30 April 2017

You could feel the relief across the 2,000 Wednesdayites.

And then, almost immediately, the inevitable sub: Semedo on, Hooper off.

Normally, I’m never convinced we’ll win until we’re about six goals up, but the way this game had gone and the way we’ve seen leads out of late, I knew that this was the win we wanted.

And, to be honest, it was clear that Ipswich were playing on the beach. They huffed a little and they openings but nothing else.

Leeds were also now 3-3 but nobody cares anymore. Except for round after round of LEEDS ARE FALLING APART AGAIN!

Sure enough, there was a predictable four minutes added, which were seen off with ease. To the playoffs!

 

FULL TIME: Ipswich 0-1 WEDNESDAY

 

As we applauded the players off (almost nobody in the away end had left). The usual Atdhe Nuihu celebration started …HURRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAHHHHH ….

Except, we couldn’t see Atdhe. Suddenly Carlos came forward, put his arms forward and conducted the crowd … HURRRAAAAAAAAAAAA….. one, two, three …

HUUUUUURRRRRAAAAAAYYYY

HUUUUUURRRRRAAAAAAYYYY

HUUUUUURRRRRAAAAAAYYYY

And then punched the air as if he’d scored the winning goal himself. The relief in this was clear! To the pub for a celebratory pint before heading back North.

Get in

We headed to the pub, where we’re intended to go pre-match had it been open but sadly was closed. It heaving and seemed a good pub.

We were joined by Chris, so four pints of a half decent pale ale ordered and time to plan for the playoffs. We also checked the table to find that unless Leeds can overturn a 13-goal deficit they won’t make the playoffs.

It tasted even better.

Time to head home with three points and a playoff spot in the boot. Perfect.

OWLS ALIVE circliar yeller SPACE

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JP

Owls Alive
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