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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Season ends with a bang - not a whimper

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:37 12 March 2010

NOT quite the perfect day - but not far off it for Blues fans when it could so easily have been a last day of the season dead rubber.

NOT quite the perfect day - but not far off it for Blues fans when it could so easily have been a last day of the season dead rubber.

The weather was good and Laura Wright from the popular operatic group All Angels sang Amazing Grace beautifully.

The crowd was in good spirits, welcoming new manger Roy Keane, whose entrance was typical of the man: Surrounded by his staff and substitutes, the message clear - 'this is not about me'.

And that was before Giovani dos Santos and Pablo Counago grabbed the two goals that all but killed off City.

To top it all, for all those who relish other people's misfortunes, Norwich were relegated.

While there will be plenty who wallow in the Canaries misery, others will miss the derby games and the rivalry that being in the same division brings.

But while there may not be a derby match next season - possible cup draws aside - there is plenty else to look forward to and the optimism is based largely around the appointment of Keane, who added around 10,000 to yesterday's gate.

While the Town team were given a cheer as each of their names were announced before the game, the biggest roar was reserved for Keane when he emerged from the tunnel, with all his back room staff, and made the 50-yard walk to the dugouts.

There was much for Town fans to cheer about and Keane to be pleased about in a terrific half-hour or so when at times the football was pretty scintillating.

Clever passing, plenty of movement, players closing down from front to back and flair football to enjoy, with goals topping it all off.

That said the Sky Blues didn't come to lie down even if they were battered by injuries before and during the match.

Robbie Simpson, the former Cambridge City player who Ipswich had been interested in signing a couple of years ago, almost spoiled the party but his low shot across goal flashed inches wide.

Town got into their groove, especially Pablo Counago who dropped deep to both win the ball and distribute it with panache.

He even hit a rare effort from outside the box but it rippled the side netting.

The referee's assistant in front of the Cobbold Stand give his arm a work-out flagging for offside, but the one that mattered most he appeared to get wrong.

Counago played a ball through for Jon Stead, who looked like he had timed his run perfectly but the linesman raised his flag and ruled him offside.

But Town were not to be denied.

Counago swept a ball out wide right for Dos Santos, who cut inside makeshift left-back Ben Turner and let fly, left-footed, from 18-yards and beat Keiren Westwood.

Two minutes later Kevin Lisbe laid a ball across the area for Stead, who turned and his shot knocked out James McPake. The ball fell to Counago who dinked his shot over the keeper for No. 2.

McPake got up to carry on but was clearly still dazed and replaced by 18-year-old Jermaine Grandison.

Town reverted to type and the pace dropped allowing City to alleviate the pressure on them by pushing the Blues back.

Jaime Peters, a lively right-back who looked happiest when bounding forward, was back to make a diving block in front of Freddy Eastwood to deny the former Southend striker.

Town regrouped in the second half and almost went three-up when Stead caused more mayhem, crossing in low but David Norris's shot hit the crouching Counago's back and spun up to hit the underside of the bar.

If that had gone in it would have been game over for sure but 'if' is a little word that can make a big difference.

During the build-up dos Santos collided with Isaac Osbourne and both would later go off.

Danny Haynes went on for the Mexican, who was given a well-deserved standing ovation for his service in eight games that netted four goals since arriving on loan from Spurs in March.

His energy and drive was missed, as was Counago, who went off around the hour mark.

While the North Stand chanted the score from Charlton, and let those who didn't realise know that it meant Norwich were going down, the game meandered along.

Town's old defensive frailties were once again exposed when an Eastwood corner was met by Elliott Ward, who headed back across goal and Morrison turned and finished inside the six-yard box.

Skipper Richard Wright and Bruce were almost embarrassed by Morrison, who got between them, but the keeper, outside his box, cleared.

Wright tipped over a Guillaume Beuzelin shot that bounced up and youngsters Tommy Smith and Pim Balkestein were given a hard time late on by Ashley Cain, who had gone on for the ineffective Leon Best.

And City almost snatched an equaliser deep into time added on when Simpson curled a free kick over the wall and it struck the underside of the crossbar.

Town got away with all three points. It made little difference as they still finished ninth but they were able to celebrate three wins in a row for the first time all season.

No need to get too upset, then, but it is doubtful that such sloppy defending will be tolerated for long next season when perfection will be sought by Town's new boss.

Comedian Griff Rhys Jones has invited an 11-year-old boy receiving care at a Suffolk hospice to visit him and his pet alpacas.

Prosecco lovers will be fizzing with delight to hear a three-litre bottle of their favourite beverage is currently on sale.

Ipswich’s newly revamped Cornhill was given an extra touch of glamour today, as filming for a new reality series came to town.

After suffering from a heart attack ten years ago, Davide Gasparin recalls being struck by a terrible fear that the same thing might happen again.

Train services between Ipswich and Cambridge will be delayed for up to 40 minutes due to a trespassing incident.

While most people tend to think of online offers when they think of Black Friday deals, some independent stores in Ipswich are also getting in on the act this year too.

Contemporary ballet director Holly Noble is premiering a new take on the Snow White legend at DanceEast this weekend. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to her about the contemporary concerns reflected in the timeless story

A college in Suffolk has said it believes the popularity in crime dramas on TV has helped boost take up in science subjects, after demand for places has quadrupled.

A customer at an Ipswich McDonald’s restaurant has described seeing a 16-year-old boy “writhing” on the ground in the car park after an alleged stabbing.

Campaigners have shared their views on the sudden resignation of a mental health trust chief – just days before a new inspection report is due to be published.

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