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battyblue added 15:29 - May 2
Town score early with a cracking finish from Murphy them try the normal of late and try to control the game without much success ,poor free kick given by ref for their equalizer and even poorer defending by Tommy Smith who let Rhodes dominate him to head in,,,More bad defending for the second from a long throw again town failed to win a clearing header and it falls kindly for the tap in ,,the third more bad defending albeit a shade unlucky with Mings heading straight at Berra the fall falling nicely for Gestede to tap in with Bialkowski having little chance town up there game after this and an excellent run into the area by Bishop won a deserved Penalty kick which was put away by Murphy .Town put the pressure on but were guilty of poor final balls and to much heading tennis to get an equalizing goal.
2



brazil1982 added 17:01 - May 2
A predictable performance but we're there. Sears and Chambers were excellent today.
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Mullet added 18:49 - May 2
So it here it was, the final day of the season or perhaps not? Across the world Town fans began to paint artful elucidations of trepidation in the build up to today's game. Some perhaps even in a vibrant palette of browns across porcelain canvases, as fear soon became hope. And hope made way for a frothing sea of blue and orange at the Ewood end made for now, a far from small corner of Ipswich.

Nothing could have been more Mick McCarthy than today's line-up. Bart the guardian of our goal, Berra and Smith shouldered defensive duties with Chambers and Mings. Tabb returned as Skuse, Bishop and Parr kept the middle, allowing Murphy and Sears to complete the line-up. at the head of Mick's orange column.

Kicking of apace, Town pushed down the left and worked an early corner. Swinging out from Tabb's little left boot and in to who else but Murphy. Not since the God's of old has blue and white parted so magically as the Irishman put a left foot through the ball and onto the hearth of destiny. Thundering in for the top scorer in the division as excitement and dread tingled across the away end like a lover's touch. Sweet ecstasy after only minute, just as it should be when gratification is so desperately needed.

With the lead ours, good news flowed in from grounds across the country just like grudging admiration had all season. Reading were ahead and so were we, the top six finish looked us right in the face and winked. It did so with so long and so far to go. Bodies twitched and twisted, muscles and sinews spasmed and shouts escaped as the clattering of footballers below played out a drama for the Sky cameras.

Blackburn began accumulating counters as a second Town corner in succession was found wanting. The notion that Dunn's swansong would be a dirge soon put to bed by the hosts willingness to push it and run at Town. Berra and Smith won much in the air and yard of space they found themselves with all too often. Out wide as ever, Blackburn looked to push us back and make that yard of space count for two sharpshooting marksmen.

Town plodded as the journeymen hosts found fight in them even they seemed not to know they had. Skuse eventually took his card like a man, having taken his man where Mings had feared to tread following a poorly cleared attack. Tabb picked up his for his reaction to the ref's whistle as much as the nibble that drew the foul initially. You sensed the players were as rattled as teeth and phone buttons in the stand.

The 442 for both sides had made for a close run thing. Two of the best strikers in the league made less and less impact as Ipswich's suicidal tactic of withdrawing service and attacking intent meant Rhodes and Gestede worked their way into the game with greater success. Parr collided with one attacker on the touchline, moments after Chambo had done the same and bafflingly conceded a free-kick. The former Town kid was now a man and who else would stand above the flat footed blues and head home unchallenged from close range? Wheeling away in delight, the striker stretched out his arms and former employers' nerves. When like Blackburn you spend like the Greeks, you get Rhodes. It was a deficit Town could ill-afford to lose track of.

If the electricity of the early lead had seen us shaking like a Glaswegian crackden the twenty odd minutes between goals had been a floaty almost hallucinogenic experience. August and everything after flashed between every mistake, missed pass and badly timed run for both sides. Within six minutes the shakes ensued.

A long throw met by the head of Gestede again all too easily, and fell at the back post for Conway to stab home. Agony. In a half where Bart had made taken two goes at catching one soft header he'd been beaten twice now with no hope and no help. With a win becoming a draw, the sudden shock of looming defeat snapped at the away end who had let the adversity galvanise the voices. Encouragement and defiance were the timbre of voices rising to spur on the lads one more time. Tellingly a bibbed 'Unty was doing similar on the touchline, gesticulating frustration and encouragement in a furious interpretive dance.

As halftime came Bialkowski was again left to single-handedly keep out Blackburn as Gestede dominated the aerial battle to drop a bombing header down onto a Polish palm. As the ref blew for a foul and then half time the keeper lay writhing in the net when it should have been the goal to kill Town off – everyone else trudged off to dressing room and urinal alike it seemed.

The second half started with a prayer. Pole resurrected and a substitute S.Hunt upon the left flank for the carded and carelessly emotional Tabb. It then restarted due to encroachment at blistering pace. Unfortunately Town's first half trick of bringing the heat to Rovers was less forthcoming. Where a goal was more than needed, the second 45 began much like the first had ended with frustrating touches and mistimed movements in a macabre ballet of emotional torture.

The new addition on the left drew boos from the home fans and spluttering of disbelief from the away ones as he couldn't seem to make the right decision time and again. An early break thanks to the lively Sears was wasted. Town were struggling to gain a foothold in a game and seemed likely to slip from the running in every sense. The more defensive Parr was soon removed and Anderson given the go ahead. It expanded Town's horizons and belief even if it allowed a dangerous yard too many for the breakaway for both sides.

Two minutes later and Chambers was too close to the new man and moving forward a step too many as Blackburn did the same. Pinning us back the cross was headed clear by Mings low and hard, straight at Bishop instead of to him and the disbelieving Gestede finished with ease. Colour drained from Town faces as we were artfully painting ourselves into a corner.

As both teams played out a match to entertain the neutral, Town fans began to spontaneously bounce and cheer, happiness combusted across the eyes of those keen enough to be reading about Derby. You could see the energy ripple across the 22 men below as the days biggest shock was felt so far from the iPro.

Murphy as ever looked to flick and forage whilst the pace and running of Sears eluded his markers and colleagues alike too often. Mings' poor afternoon on the ball had not stopped the confident lad bring down balls in defence or make flying runs forward. The lack of shape or structure to Town's middle all too apparent as he, Bishop, Sears, Murphy, Hunt and Anderson all migrated from line to line in efforts to get Town high up the table again.

As all those moments came back to baited breath and whirring brain, Murphy's miss of the season was another accolade Sears soon came looking for. From what looked like almost under the bar, he got a foot under the ball and sent it over by miles, the keeper had handed Mings' goal-bound header to him on a plate. Crumbs and no comfort. If there was a collective noun for the distraught it should sit here.

The fact that the impressive King had nearly crowned the win with a thunderous volley past Bialkowski and off the bar minutes earlier was lost on no one – this game was fast, furious and no matter how bad it got, just would not die. Nearpost, far out or from close range the keeper was keeping us in it with everything he had.

It was time for every man to step forward and none have done so more often this season than the boy Bishop. Twisting in from the left like a little ginger Communist plot he streaked past Rovers before being felled well inside the box. Less than ten minutes left and Murphy stood over the ball. As the last two steps came towards the ball, heads bowed, hands and feet curled and the ball thundered into the net. Air punched, hats knocked off (as well as spots off the fact we might not make it too) as all went wild. A goal behind meant a limping Town could surely not be caught as this playoff/promotion race was all but run. An accidental headbutt met with the words “we've fcuking done it haven't we?” was tenderly rasped in the nearest ear.

With the time remaining still in double digits thanks to stoppage time the opportunity to right so many wrongs felt all too near. Berra had stopped piling forward and the back was again a four, the low braying of Bru saw the Mauritian magician sweep onto the pitch for the boy wonder and Town would go again. There was no sense and no style just industry in the depths of Lancashire.

Alas, Town could not make a more honourable end to the game and the regular season. A defeat has never felt so sweet. Arms, flags, inflatable bananas and banners aloft as every man, woman, taco and penguin sang in triumph. A select bunch of heroes spoke clichés and summaries into microphones below, as young Freddie looked apprehensively at the scoreboard seemingly in need of reassurance of the fact we all knew.

It was over. The long walk to extending a season was at an end. The play-offs and Norwich await....
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philpott2 added 19:57 - May 2
Hunt awful. After a decent 1st half from Tabb.
Bishop and Skuse okay.
Sears worried Rovers, ran at them and looked good until going for goal (yes, I remember the one excellent effort)
But defensively we are simply woeful. Why oh why don't our centre halves jump to meet the damn ball, head it clear, don't worry about their man when the ball is in the air....at that point they need to stop the thing reaching that player.
We were great defence wise early on in the season....then everyone started talking about it...then we forgot how to!
But we believe, we trust the lads, big Mick (loved his reaction to that odd restart from Hunty, when he kicked it off for a throw-in.....f'ing this and that, lol).....you can stuff the budgies!!!
1



Super_Cooper added 20:02 - May 2
Mullet, Have you swallowed a dictonary?!
Great report though. :-)
2



Ryorry added 03:20 - May 3
Apart from Murphs, we seemed to have left our shooting boots at home!
Murphs & Bart joint MOM - without them, we'd not have had the +4 difference which saw us get into the play-offs!
Not sure why we were so passive returning from the break for at least 20 mins, during which time Blackburn seemed to actually want it more.
2



Pilgrimblue added 09:03 - May 3
Just amazing and we got what we deserved in the end. Hope that MM brings Bru and Reg into team in place of Parr and Tabb. I thought we looked v good at times stringing passes as players loooked to keep ball. great to see Bish show us his skills into box to earn penalty. Freddie was too anxious and should have got shots on target so hope he has saved them for Naarwich
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