On Easter Monday last year I took my 86-year-old father to his first football match. I had recently moved back from Wiltshire to support my ageing parents. Although not ideal, this did enable me to come to regular home matches having only recently seen Town play at Reading, Bristol or Cardiff and very occasionally at Portman Road.
Two games. 180 minutes. That’s all it is. All that stands between us and a place in the top six. Another 180 minutes. The chance of a Wembley final. Possibly against our nearest and not so dearest. It’s all in our hands. We can reach out and touch it. Thirteen years of hurt could be ended. We’re almost there.
The ball is shifted sideways. There’s space to go forwards, space to meet it, space to shoot. But just as people all around Portman Road begin to lift up in their seats, they realise with an upsetting sense of inevitability – it’s Cole Skuse.
As we celebrate the day Christians say defined history - our beloved Town take on high flying Bournemouth in the game that will surely define our season - and possibly theirs. They are high flying and I'll be looking to the Sky... as I sit in front of the TV in the home of many Bournemouth fans to shout for my team!
This is undoubtedly the most exciting time to be an Ipswich Town supporter in a decade. For the first time since the days of Joe Royle, we have a chance of promotion, possibly automatic. Being sat in sixth place with seven games left, the task is in our own hands.
Being born in 1999, and with my first game at Portman Road coming at the age of six, I have skipped the Town's most recent stint in top flight football a mere 13 seasons ago. This, as is expected, suggests that I have never seen glory in my time as a football fan.
There's ten games of the season remaining. Town are one point off the play-off places and five off the top of the league. But we've only won one of our last five games, and something's not right. Time to ask some honest questions of this team, before it's too late.
It has been discussed at length the pitfalls of round pegs and square holes – a ‘problem’ that appears to have been borne of the Roy Keane era only to manifest itself in Paul Jewell and lately Mick McCarthy.
Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Norwich was both painful and disappointing. It is never nice to lose to your arch-rivals, especially given our recent record against them, but in many ways, this game re-affirmed what we already know about Town’s shortcomings.
This international edition comes straight from France. So in the spirit of the occasion, crack open a bottle of Bordeaux, stick a tartiflette in the oven and soak up the oelignanthic atmosphere of this winning edition of If Statistics Won Games.