Top clash for Town

DESPITE another disappointing loss on Saturday, Ipswich fans have been given some festive cheer today with an FA Cup third round draw against Morecombe.

By Nick Richards

DESPITE another disappointing loss on Saturday, Ipswich fans have been given some festive cheer today with an FA Cup third round draw against Morecombe.

While Town are languishing in 19th place in the First Division, they have hopes of another good cup run starting with what appears to be a winnable game against the Conference outfit.

And it's a chance for the club to renew their relationship with the Lancashire club for the second time in two years.

In January 2001, Ipswich beat Morecombe 3-0 in a third round away tie with goals from Alun Armstrong, Jermaine Wright and Marcus Stewart.

That day will be remembered for the superb camaraderie between Town fans and their lower league opponents, a rapport which was cemented by the Evening Star.

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Shortly after the 2001 cup tie, we launched a survey to find Town fans' second favourite club and it was no surprise that most of the votes were given to Morecombe.

They may be a non-league team but have plenty of admirers, not least their

honorary president Jim Bowen.

After their encounter two years ago, the former Bullseye presenter said he believed a strong bond had developed between the two clubs.

He said: "At the end of the game all the spectators ran on the pitch and then our fans started shaking hands with the Ipswich players.

"I will never forget the scenes at the end of the match the pitch invasion was a statement of joy I turned to the directors and said didn't we just lose?

"The Ipswich fans were magnificent. They stayed and applauded our players when the Ipswich players had gone back. The way the fans and players conducted themselves was smashing."

n Ipswich will face Morecombe at home on Saturday January 4 2003 at Portman Road.

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