A storied club full of history, a ground that’s up there with one of the best in the country, a well-known owner, and a home defeat to Cambridge United. We’ve written plenty already about our win against Newcastle, but this week the more pedestrian matter of playing East Anglian laughing stock Ipswich Town was the task in hand for Bonner and his squad.
Ipswich Town wear three stars on their kit, yet a look through the club’s honours list strangely turns up no European Cup wins or World Cup titles, a level of Tinpottery only matched by Forest Green. For some reason, their fans get incredibly rattled when this is pointed out to them.
Those same fans spent the entire week leading up to the game reminding us how little they care about Cambridge, something they pained to point out on an almost hourly basis, whilst also trying to turn the game into a derby due to the fact they’d not beaten their actual rivals Norwich City in over 20 years. The ‘second East Anglian derby’ history books make even more grimmer reading for Town fans, with no league win over the mighty U’s in over 30 years.
Bonner named an unchanged side for the game, which meant Wes Hoolahan started on the bench, with Harvey Knibbs continuing to play the supporting role he’s started to shine in with Brophy and Smith feeding Ironside in attack. At the back, Jones and Jubs were flanked by Williams and Dunk, with Adam May and Paul Digby providing the grit in midfield.
Backed by over 2000 U’s fans United started brightly in the sun, with Smith testing Town’s keeper early on. On 16 minutes Joe Ironside had the ball in the back of the net, yet the linesman (incorrectly) flagged him offside. Was it gonna be one of those days?
Ipswich were a physical side, bordering on dirty, although United weren’t fazed by some of the rough challenges coming their way. George Williams tussled with Dominic Thompson down by the touchline a few minutes later, making the little Ipswich man look like a right dickhead as he attempted to bring down the United right back, who responded by goading the Town fans to Thompsons displeasure. A small bit of handbags was aggrovated by Sam Smith as usual, sprinting the length of the pitch to get involved and earn himself another booking, whilst Suffolk Road Safety Champion James Norwood also went into the book for his part in the aggro.
Minutes later the ref bottled sending Norwood home for an early bath (or a drive to the nearest off-licence) when he went clattering into the back of Harrison Dunk, and with that the half was over.
In the second half it was Ipswich who looked the most likely to open the scoring, but on 56 minutes Harvey Knibbs was fouled out on the wing, and Adam Mays whipped free kick was met by little Dominic Thompson or Joe Ironside to turn the ball across the line. Was it an OG? Was Joe offside? Who got the last touch? None of it matters, United were ahead and the away fans went crazy.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the rest of the game to be honest, Ipswich putting in a number of firm challenges but United standing resolute. At the back Jones and Okedina looked calm and composed, and ahead of them Digby was a rock in the middle. Brophy and Knibbs kept pushing United forward, and Mitov was at his shithousing best, winding down the minutes and winding up the Ipswich fans behind the goal.
As the clock ticked down there was still time for one last bit of drama though, as Ipswich had a goal rightly disallowed for offside in the dying seconds. Cue a Town meltdown and some wonderfully salty reactions from these fans after the game
Overall then a great away day and a great win that not only all but assures United of safety in the Division, but also ensures three-time Champions League winners (what do you mean they’re not? what about all them stars on their shirts?) Ipswich Town would be in League One for a fourth consecutive season. We also did it all without Wes Hoolahan, who looks likely to end his career without ever losing to Ipswich Town. On top of that, a fantastic weekend was made even better by news of yet another home thrashing for B*ro, meaning at least one of Cambridge and Ipswich will have a derby game next season.
Man of the Match: Hard to pick this one, as Okedina, Jones, Williams and Digby all played out of their skin, but we’re giving it to Harvey Knibbs for another fantastic performance in the Number 10 role. If this is what a post-Wes Hoolahan Cambridge United looks like, then we’re all for it.
Soundtrack of the Match: Oasis – I Hope, I Think, I Know