EDitorial ± 11-Apr-2002

Bolt-On Memories

It had to happen. After the fabulous highs of the previous two seasons with Ipswich Town FC, there had to be a less-good time. Which it feels like we're having right about now. Funny how one particular club's fate has become intertwined with our own in the past few years, that team being Bolton Wanderers.

Case 1 - 1999
In the year of Prince's party, Ipswich had thrown away the chance to secure the second automatic promotion spot in division 1, and so went into the play-offs, not for the first time. We went down 1-0 at the newly opened Reebok stadium, fairly confident of turning it round in the home leg.

We flew back from hols in Cyprus on the day of the second leg, and were listening in to Radio 5 driving back to sleepy Suffolk. Nails were bitten as we finally went down 4-3, crashing out on the away goals rule. Little Kieron Dyer, like the rest of the team, was gutted and left shortly afterwards.

Case 2 - 2000
Another year, another play-off semi v. Bolton. I remember lying on Felixstowe beach on my birthday, tuning in on my tranny to the away first leg as we went 2-0 down before marvellous Marcus Stewart scored twice to make it level. This time I gathered enough ticket stubs to attend the home leg - here's what I wrote at the time:

The crowd is very much on the pitch

What a night. 0-1, 1-1, 1-2, missed a penalty, and not yet half-time. Then 2-2, 2-3 pretty much straight away, a minute or so to go and it's doom & gloom, then Magilton gets his hat-trick to make it 3-3.

Out for extra time, Johnson's held in the box, and Jamie Clapham makes it 4-3 with another penalty before Reuser finishes things off. Despite police warnings to stay off the pitch, the crowd is very much on the pitch. Very bizarre to hear ticket arrangements for Wembley (Wembley!) on the way out of the ground at around 10.45pm.

Cars all honking their horns on the way home; you'd think we'd been promoted already. So, one more little match to go...

Oh, and we then beat Barnsley at Wembley to go up!

Case 3 - 2001/2002
The week before we're due to play the mighty Inter Milan in the UEFA, we face Bolton at the building site that is Portman Road. And lose, 2-1. Never mind.

Several months later, we're away to Lancashire to play what the Evening Star calls "the 20 million pound match", figuring that's what it'll cost either side if they lose, and consequently drop into the Nationwide. Hopes are high as the game kicks off, then we're 1-0 down within a minute. It's a disgraceful 4-0 to Bolton by half-time in what the ITFC chairman calls an "abject" display.

So, like the price of shares, they may go up, they may go down. At the time of writing however, One of these is more likely than the other. Funny old game.

Be seeing you!