On this day in Town’s history: super sub Reuser bags last gasp winner on his Town debut
PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 March 2020
In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history, selecting one particular year – this time it’s the turn of late-goal specialist Martijn Reuser, from 20 years ago
The Dutch magician, Martijn Reuser, made an immediate impact following his loan switch from Ajax, in the year 2000 (a golden year for Town).
On this day 20 years ago, on March 25, 2000, Reuser made a glorious debut as a 76th minute substitute, for Jermaine Wright, in a home match against Fulham, played in front of a crowd of 20,168.
These were exciting days for George Burley’s men, the season culminating in a visit to Wembley and a play-off final win over Barnsley to reach the Premier League.
Back in March, Town looked to be heading for a frustrating goalless draw against Fulham – the sides had already drawn 0-0 at Craven Cottage on Boxing Day – until attacking midfield playmaker Reuser did the damage.
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The 25-year-old crowned his debut with a dramatic 90th minute winner, kick-starting a good late run which saw Town win their last four home matches to finish third in the league, behind the automatically promoted duo of Charlton Athletic and Manchester City.
Reuser had initially arrived at Portman Road as a loanee, but further key goals and Town’s promotion sealed a permanent deal that summer, a stay in Suffolk which lasted for four years.
In addition to scoring the third in a 3-1 win at champions-elect Charlton, he went on to bag an extra-time (109th minute) goal in the second leg of the play-off semi-finals against Bolton Wanderers (5-3 win on the night, 7-5 on aggregate) and of course a famous 90th minute strike to seal a 4-2 win over Barnsley in the play-off final at Wembley when he burst clear from near the half-way line to finish in style.
Reuser’s career was dogged by injuries, a knee injury seriously hampering his early progress at Ajax, but he played the best football of his career at Ipswich and was always a big fans’ favourite.
In addition to his knack of scoring some late goals, he was always a danger with his quality free-kicks.
He eventually returned to Holland to play for the likes of Willem II, RKC Waalwijk and NAC Breda.
But it all started back on March 25, 2000 when Reuser, who started the afternoon sitting patiently on the bench alongside fellow outfield substitutes Wayne Brown, Mick Stockwell and Richard Naylor, was to make his mark in a big way, against Fulham.