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Mixed emotions on Roger's big night

PUBLISHED: 18:00 06 March 2007 | UPDATED: 08:25 02 March 2010

Wanderers' Roger Wosahlo

Wanderers' Roger Wosahlo

IPSWICH Town's Club Colours Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final against Ipswich Wanderers tomorrow turns up an ironic twist for Wanderers' development officer Roger Wosahlo.

IPSWICH Town's Club Colours Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final against Ipswich Wanderers tomorrow turns up an ironic twist for Wanderers' development officer Roger Wosahlo.

The last time the Blues were involved in the competition they reached the final - and Wosahlo was in the Town side.

Ipswich beat Sudbury Town 6-1 at Portman Road at the end of the 1969-70 season.

Since then Town have paid a forfeit every year to the Suffolk FA and have not entered the county's highest level cup competition.

When Jim Magilton took over as Town boss last summer he decided to change this, and previous games in the competition at Felixstowe and Walton United and Needham Market have attracted big crowds and provided lucrative income to the Ridgeons clubs.

“We are hoping for a big crowd tomorrow and to give a good account of ourselves,” said Wosahlo, before turning his attentions to recalling that 1969-70 triumph.

“I was back at Ipswich for one season as a player having left Peterborough at the end of the previous campaign.

“Ironically, Peter Smith had been at Peterborough with me, and he was in the Sudbury side that night that had Jimmy Leadbetter as their player manager.

“I used to have digs with Peter's parents at the Hare and Hounds in Norwich Road.

“We went a goal down, but then hit back to win well.”

Ipswich played a reserve side that night with the likes of Chris Barnard and Brian Honeywood involved, but tomorrow it could be a stronger Town side as Magilton has confirmed that Richard Naylor and Fabian Wilnis will play alongside squad members who do not feature in the Championship at Hull tonight.

Wosahlo, who played for Chelsea before his two spells at Portman Road, moved to South Africa within days of the Premier Cup success and played football there for three seasons.

He has been involved with Wanderers now for more than 17 years and was at the club when Town played at Humber Doucy Lane in October 1994 to open new floodlights.

“It was our late chairman Jimmy Barker's big night,” added Wosahlo. “Between us we pushed the lights through as without them Wanderers would have been evicted from the league at the end of the season.

“Wanderers were big to Jimmy, who died not long after that game, and he wanted a high level non-league club situated in the town.

“Our current chairman Ed Nicholls is a strong supporter of Ipswich Town and he has put a lot of effort into tomorrow's game.

“We are hoping for a good performance and a good-sized crowd.”

Wanderers, who will be without the cup-tied Gareth Jones and Paul Betson, are through to the final of the Ridgeons League Cup, where they will meet Lowestoft Town.


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