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Farewell Griffin Park, it was emotional... love from Ipswich Town

PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 July 2020

Ipswich Town fans pictured in the away end at Brentford. Photo: Pagepix

Ipswich Town fans pictured in the away end at Brentford. Photo: Pagepix

Brentford bid farewell to Griffin Park tonight ahead of a move to their new 17,250 capacity home of the Community Stadium. STUART WATSON looks back at some of Ipswich Town’s memorable visits to the West London ground which once had a pub on every corner.

The charming two-tiered away stand at Griffin Park. Photo: PagepixThe charming two-tiered away stand at Griffin Park. Photo: Pagepix

WE ARE GOING UP...

December 26, 2014

Brentford 2 Ipswich Town 4

A Boxing Day clash between two Championship heavyweights. Town left their in form hosts on the canvas and supporters began to believe.

Former Blue Daryl Murphy has signed for Waterford. Photo: PagepixFormer Blue Daryl Murphy has signed for Waterford. Photo: Pagepix

Daryl Murphy broke the deadlock with just 18 seconds on the clock courtesy of an angled strike and then took his goal tally for the campaign to 16 after proving too strong and quick in a chase over the top.

Paul Anderson made it 3-0 before the break, Tommy Smith then netting the fourth (a feint and top corner finish worthy of any top striker) in between home sub Sam Saunders’ late double.

Mick McCarthy’s men would beat Charlton 3-0 at Portman Road four days later and start 2015 top of the Championship table.

Tommy Smith celebrates after scoring Ipswich's fourth. Photo: PagepixTommy Smith celebrates after scoring Ipswich's fourth. Photo: Pagepix

Heady days. If only we knew that it would all be downhill from here.

STOPPAGE-TIME DRAMA

August 8, 2015

Brentford 2 Ipswich Town 2

Ryan Fraser celebrates his goal at Brentford at the start of 2015/16. Photo: PagepixRyan Fraser celebrates his goal at Brentford at the start of 2015/16. Photo: Pagepix

How on earth did the Blues not start the following league campaign with a win?

New Bournemouth loanee Ryan Fraser enjoyed a scintillating debut, with McCarthy’s men looking a real upgrade on the side that had lost in the play-off semi-finals to Norwich.

Kevin Bru's scissor kick put Ipswich ahead at Brentford in August 2015. Photo: PagepixKevin Bru's scissor kick put Ipswich ahead at Brentford in August 2015. Photo: Pagepix

Kevin Bru opened the scoring with a spectacular scissor kick, then Fraser finished off a superb counter-attacking move.

The Blues could and should have been out of sight come the death, but in the end were made to pay for their profligacy. Substitute Andre Grey scored what looked to be a mere consolation in the 92nd minute before James Tarkowski scrambled home in the sixth minute of stoppage-time.

All smiles from Mick McCarthy as Ipswich Town prepare to start the second half at Brentford in August 2015. Photo: PagepixAll smiles from Mick McCarthy as Ipswich Town prepare to start the second half at Brentford in August 2015. Photo: Pagepix

Ipswich Town fans celebrate a super start to the 2015/16 season at Griffin Park. Photo: PagepixIpswich Town fans celebrate a super start to the 2015/16 season at Griffin Park. Photo: Pagepix

MICK’S TIPPING POINT

April 7, 2018

Brentford 1 Ipswich Town 0

Griffin Park remembers Ray Wilkins before the start of the clash between Brentford and Ipswich in 2017/18. Photo: PagepixGriffin Park remembers Ray Wilkins before the start of the clash between Brentford and Ipswich in 2017/18. Photo: Pagepix

Neal Maupay converted the softest of second half penalties, awarded against Jonas Knudsen, to settle a forgettable stop-start game lacking urgency and quality.

To compound matters, Luke Chambers broke his ribs after colliding heavily with keeper Bartosz Bialkowski. He would later reveal that ‘I honestly thought I was dying that day’.

Town had little to lose in this end of season dead rubber, but McCarthy had reverted to ultra-pragmatic mode following on from an entertaining 2-2 home draw with Millwall.

Mick McCarthy leaves the pitch to abuse at Brentford in 2018 - he quit days later. Photo: PagepixMick McCarthy leaves the pitch to abuse at Brentford in 2018 - he quit days later. Photo: Pagepix

This was Town’s fifth blank in sixth and they’d produced just one shot on target. The travelling Blues fans let the manager know what they thought as he left the field close to their proximity. Months of increasingly strained relations between the fed-up Yorkshireman and frustrated fans boiled over. It wasn’t a pleasant sight and some of the abuse was abhorrent.

It was at that very moment McCarthy decided he’d had enough. Three days later came his infamous pre-planned table-thumping exit following a 1-0 home win against Barnsley.

LET’S PRETEND WE’VE SCORED A GOAL

April 11, 2019

Collin Quaner hits the post at Griffin Park as Town slipped towards relegation. Photo: PagepixCollin Quaner hits the post at Griffin Park as Town slipped towards relegation. Photo: Pagepix

Brentford 2 Ipswich Town 0

Collin Quaner fluffed a one-on-one, Brentford went straight up the other end and scored through Maupay. Moments later Flynn Downes slipped on the halfway line and Ollie Watkins made it 2-0.

That was the Blues’ miserable relegation season in a nutshell. Thankfully, it was nearly over.

A blue smoke bomb was let off in the away end as an act of defiance. Then there were chants of ‘let’s pretend we’ve scored a goal’ followed by some very realistic celebrations which left Bees fans bemused.

Flynn Downes holds his head after his slip led to Ollie Watkins for Brentford. Photo: PagepixFlynn Downes holds his head after his slip led to Ollie Watkins for Brentford. Photo: Pagepix

We’d seen jubilation in that charming two-tiered away stand at Griffin Park, we’d seen raw anger, this time it was gallows humour.

Farewell Griffin Park, it was emotional. Love from Ipswich Town.


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