Andy Munro’s been waiting a long time to use that headline…
It was a typical winter’s tale on a windy night, with rubbish swirling onto the pitch hardly discernible to the rubbish being served up on it.
Yet it could have been so different, with Blues uncharacteristically racing into a one-nil lead and the Ipswich defence looked to fulfil its unenviable reputation. Even more glorious than the early goal was its unlikely source as Ziggy rose like a haddock to flick home a long throw from David ‘Rory’ Murphy. We all sat back to enjoy the inevitable goalfest but it wasn’t to be despite one or two narrow escapes in the opposition penalty area. In fact Ipswich broke away to score an excellent goal, from one of their midfielders, admittedly aided by a Blues defence whose retreating mode would have done justice to the Italian army.
Blues continued to splutter but, much as I’m an admirer of Chris H, the lack of pace down the middle is very noticeable. Ziggy is never going to win a race and Marlon is only likely, at his advancing age, to break into a sweat if somebody stands behind him and shouts “Police!” Meanwhile, the best that can be said of the lateral movement of Fahey and Gomes is that they are neat and tidy but so’s my Mum and her wages would be a lot less.
So cue a depressed half time break only enlivened by Tilton transfer talk with a level of rumour that would have made the Sunday People ‘Transfer Talk’ look positively BBC World Service in its authenticity. Allegedly somebody knew somebody who had talked to Peter Pannu before the Posh game and he had said that Ziggy and Beausejour had already been sold but nobody else would be allowed to go. Additionally another source said that Mancini had offered £20 million for Butland and Redmond(or was it in exchange for Ballotelli?).Perhaps somebody should tell Chrissy H all this.
The second half was more of the same and it was crying out for Woods to come on and we all know that the likelihood of that ever happening again is receding. Eventually substitutes were made with Nathan Redmond and Jordan Mutch coming on with, to be honest, only a moderate degrees of success. Marlon King was unlucky with a rasping volley that hit the post although he wasn’t too popular ducking out of a challenge beforehand with the Ipswich keeper. Spector and Burke were probably the best chance of success, both wasting the chance of good crosses after working the ball well to a byline position.
Then we had a slice of luck when Ipswich had an apparently gold plated penalty appeal turned down by the woman linesman…..a fact later drawn out by Paul Jewell who will, no doubt, be in line for a commentator’s spot on Sky Sports when he is inevitably sacked. Having got away with the decision, the game drifted into extra time with Blues huffing and puffing until another long throw from ‘Rory’ Murphy, nodded on by Curtis Davies to the lurking Ziggy to net. He then celebrated in front of the Tilton, like the clumsy, last kid to be picked in a playground kick around who scores a goal hanging, last gasp winner. As he waved to the fans, to the cries of “Ooooh Nik-ola –Zigic”, one wondered if it was a wave goodbye. Call me an old sentimentalist but, in a way, I hope not, as in many unlikely ways he remains a talisman.
Anyway three points in the bag and, if you play badly and win they say that’s a recipe for success so maybe the play-offs beckon after all.