Paul Anderson looks back at his Ipswich Town play-off goal and the regrets that followed
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich Town winger Paul Anderson says the Blues’ painful play-off defeat to Norwich will act as an extra motivation to those players that suffered heartache in 2015.
Anderson was the first-leg hero as his equaliser salvaged a 1-1 draw for Town at Portman Road.
The second leg was then finely poised at 0-0 when Christophe Berra was sent-off for deliberate handball and Wes Hoolahan scored from the penalty spot.
Although Tommy Smith equalised for Town, City eventually ran out winners, Nathan Redmond and Cameron Jerome booking their Wembley place.
The Blues head to Norwich this Sunday, chasing their first derby win since April 2009, having not won in Norfolk since February 2006.
Anderson, now at League One Northampton Town, said: “I don’t think it matters which 11 players go out on the pitch, but there will be a few at Ipswich who will remember how it fizzled out after the second leg.
“I can’t say we would have won the game but we had the best chances in the first leg, then we were the better side in the first half of the game at Carrow Road.
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“Their players were having tiffs and arguments as we walked off at half-time and we had them rocked.
“Unfortunately, the sending-off, with how early it came, put us on the back-foot, and the lads were left with a lot of ‘what-ifs’. It could have been them playing in the Premier League.”
Anderson wrote his name into Blues folklore by scoring in the first leg – a goal which prompted a passionate celebration.
“I had not played a lot beforehand but unfortunately, when Luke Varney was injured, I ended up coming on,” he recalled.
“For me it was a real nice moment. I thought I had done well throughout the season, but the manager had changed the formation.
“It was quite a passionate celebration. I’d been frustrated not playing, so the timing was perfect
He added: “When the ball fell to me it seemed like a fairly simple goal, but when the defenders and ‘keeper are coming towards you, you have to keep making sure you are not going to mess it up.
“The fans were incredible as was the noise, and the memory is something I will have with me all my life.”