French connection

ONLY two players likely to start for Ipswich Town tonight have experienced an FA Cup victory for the Blues.Richard Naylor and Matt Richards were members of the side that beat Morecambe in 2002/03 and Derby County in the third round 12 months later.

By Elvin King

ONLY two players likely to start for Ipswich Town tonight have experienced an FA Cup victory for the Blues.

Richard Naylor and Matt Richards were members of the side that beat Morecambe in 2002/03 and Derby County in the third round 12 months later.

With this lack of cup success among the ranks 33-year-old French midfielder Sylvain Legwinski will have a vital role to play in the third round replay against League Two Chester City at Portman Road.

Legwinski was part of the Fulham side which so nearly booked a spot at the Millennium Stadium in April 2002 - so he knows all about the magic of the FA Cup.

And the player, who played for Bordeaux and Monaco before moving to English football, still sighs with regret about missing out.

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The disappointment has left him keen to enjoy another run in the famous competition.

He said: “I will never forget that game against Chelsea.

“It was such an exciting run and an amazing experience, especially as it was my first year with Fulham and my first taste of the FA Cup.

“We could easily have won and losing was very hard to accept, but it made me realise how important the competition is.”

Legwinski played 87 minutes of the Villa Park showdown against Chelsea, only for the Blues to snatch victory thanks to a John Terry goal.

But the memories of the semi-final are still vivid for Legwinski: “The competition will always be special to me and a good run - just like we achieved that year - creates such a buzz of excitement.

“We want a run this year but we're under no illusions about the size of task against Chester.

“It was a very difficult game at their place - a typical cup tie.

“Personally, I felt we did enough to win because we finished strongly and hit the bar.

“Even so, it wasn't the best of performances so it's down to us to turn things round and put that right at Portman Road.”

After their FA Cup win over Derby, Town lost to Sunderland, and have since suffered third round defeats against Bolton and Portsmouth.

In fact, the 0-0 draw at Chester was arguably Town's best FA Cup result - apart from Derby - since they beat Tranmere 1-0 away in 1998/99.

Their only other victories since have been against Conference sides - Morecambe (twice) and Dagenham and Redbridge.

The 0-0 Chester result was the first Town draw in the FA Cup since they ended 1-1 against Sheffield United in 1997/98. They lost the replay 1-0 at Bramall Lane.

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