Sunday Snap: Norwood the milestone man, Pitman's sin and April's goal-of-the-month competition
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Ipswich Town beat Swindon Town 2-1 on Saturday. Andy Warren looks at the events surrounding the game.
Not only did James Norwood’s penalty end a goalless run which had passed the 11-hour mark just a couple of minutes prior, it also saw Town finally score the first goal of their new era.
The Blues new American ownership, and new chairman Mike O’Leary, who has been at every game so far, had yet to see a goal since buying the club on April 8.
Madness, really. But the Blues are finally up and running in the goals column under their new bosses. Though an ultimately meaningless goal, Norwood will go down in the history books as the first scorer under Town's new stewardship - hopefully he has plenty more of those to come.
It’s just a shame it came on the day where it became mathematically impossible for them to reach the play-offs.
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In the lead up to this game, manager Paul Cook joked he would run a lap of the County Ground with his top off, if his side eventually scored a goal.
And his staff wouldn't let him forget his promise as Norwood's penalty hit the back of the net, with some pulling at his top and suggesting he should follow through with his promise.
Sadly, or perhaps thankfully, I'm not sure, he kept his blue training top on.
"If I'd have got my belly out I'd have been in trouble!" he laughed, when asked after the game why he didn't deliver on his promise.
Norwood is clearly Town’s most potent striker and things could have been very different had he stayed fit all seasons.
This brace puts him on eight league goals now, nine in total, with his League One strikes coming at a rate of a little over a goal every other game.
That’s the benchmark for a striker.
Hopefully 2021/22 brings better days.
Norwood is used to hitting the deck under heavy challenges, given battling away up top is a big part of his game.
But as time ticked down in the first half, the striker looked to pick up possession and drive into Swindon territory, only to be chopped down in his stride with an excellent challenge.
It came from Town team-mate Teddy Bishop 😂 (I have just discovered we can use emojis on our website. Wonderful).
If the glove fits
Brett Pitman is always a fascinating player to watch.
The former Ipswich striker captained Swindon in this game and produced a typical Pitman display as he moved around the field in an unorthodox fashion but was effective in many things he did.
He should have scored in the first half but did find the net in the second, needing more than a helping hand from Town goalkeeper David Cornell as the Welshman fumbled the ball into his own net.
Pitman does need to be pulled up on one thing, though. He was wearing gloves, in blazing Wiltshire sunshine, during what was certainly a lacklustre warm-up.
He clearly knew he was in the wrong, though, given he took them off for the game itself.
It’s worth nothing that Gwion Edwards wasn’t allowed anywhere near a set-piece this weekend, given his horror show a week ago.
That job went to Andre Dozzell.
Goal of the month
Here we go then, it’s time for April’s goal of the month competition.
It promises to be a tight affair between two absolute crackers – because that’s all Town managed last month.
First up is Luke Leahy’s ugly own goal which set the Blues on their way to victory over Bristol Rovers at Portman Road.
Then it’s Alan Judge (remember him?), who profited from Dozzell’s sliced shot to slam him from close range at the second attempt, giving Town a 2-0 lead in the same game.
That’s it. Town failed to score in the remaining six games of April.
Cast your votes above.
A few Ipswich Town eyes took a look at events more than 5,000 miles away on Saturday morning as the Blues’ new sister club got their campaign off and running.
Phoenix Rising, the club co-owned by new Ipswich chiefs Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer, got their USL season off and running with a 4-1 victory over San Diego Loyal.
The win came in their new 10,000-seater stadium at Wild Horse Pass, which was built in just three months.
A perfect start.
Well done, lads
The biggest success in the Ipswich Town world this weekend undoubtedly goes to Ipswich Town’s Under 18s, who produced the performance of the season to beat Sheffield United in a dramatic game on Friday night to take them into the last four of the FA Youth Cup.
There were joyous scenes in the homes dressing room following the game, scenes surely not seen in there in some time, with first-team boss Paul Cook in the thick of the action as he celebrated with the young players.
He’s not experienced much joy since taking charge of Ipswich at the start of much but maybe, just maybe, scenes such as these may become more common for the senior side over the course of the coming year.
Next up for the U18s is a semi-final clash with Liverpool. Exciting times for an excellent group of young players.