Days gone by | Portman Road memories
Saturday sees the Bluebirds renew their rivalry with the Tractor Boys, almost five years after the last fixture. Ahead of this weekend’s game, we take a look back at three City triumphs at Portman Road.
A Christmas win
After only playing a handful of games after the end of the Second World War, the 1946/47 season represented the first full season of football, and City found themselves in the Third Division South.
Having spent the last couple of seasons in the middle of the table, the Bluebirds started the campaign strongly, only dropping points in four of their opening 18 games.
The Tractor Boys had been a yo-yo team before the war, so the fixture represented a tough challenge for Billy McCandless’ side. In a tight game, both teams traded blows with both defences thwarting any attacking drive.
But, City’s Colin Gibson scored the winner in a 1-0 victory, as the visitors kept up their impressive run of form.
McCandless led his team to 30 wins in a 42-game season, as they romped home to win the league by nine points and get promoted to the second tier for the first time since 1931.
Nine games into the 2012/13 season and the Bluebirds were sitting pretty at the top of the Championship. Having picked up back-to-back victories against Blackpool and Birmingham City, a trip to Portman Road was always going to be a tricky test.
The first half was cagey with neither side able to break the deadlock. That was until stoppage time, when DJ Campbell scored a goal to put the home side ahead. However, replays showed that the nomadic forward used his hand to guide the ball past David Marshall.
The controversial call galvanised City, as they came out roaring in the second half. After Peter Whittingham’s effort just sailed over the bar, the Bluebirds equalised after the hour mark. Craig Conway’s cross was fumbled by Town keeper Scott Loach, allowing Icelandic striker Heiður Helguson to tap in from close range.
With the game hanging in the balance, City pushed for a winner, with Rudy Gestede and Andrew Taylor going close. With two minutes remaining, it was Helguson who would have the last laugh, as he rose highest to nod home Taylor’s cross. The Bluebirds would go on to win promotion to the Premier League.
The Last Win
Our last win over Ipswich did in fact come at Portman Road in 2018. Heading into the February fixture, Neil Warnock and his men hadn’t lost a league game since the middle of January and found themselves in second place behind Wolverhampton Wanderers.
However, a chasing pack consisting of Aston Villa, Derby and Fulham were ready to pounce if the Bluebirds faltered. Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich side were coming into the contest after conceding a last-minute equaliser against Norwich in the Old Farm derby.
City controlled the game in the first half but couldn’t fashion out any clear chances; defender Matthew Connolly going closest from a corner. The Tractor Boys, on the other hand, hardly tested Neil Etheridge in the Bluebirds net. The second half was a far more open affair with chances falling to both sides, but it was the visitors who took the lead. Gary Madine’s nod down was met by the foot of Kenneth Zohore, who found the net for the Bluebirds.
Ipswich pushed for an equaliser, with Grant Ward and Adam Webster having chances on goal, but saves from Etheridge and tremendous blocks by Bruno Ecuele Manga maintained City’s slender one goal advantage. Like they did in 2012, the Bluebirds would go on to gain promotion at the end of the season.