Ipswich honour Sir Bobby in style
IT WAS perhaps fitting that the master got one over the apprentice at the club where Sir Bobby Robson made his name.
The football world stood together yesterday to mark a national football day in honour of the legendary former England manager.
And at Ipswich Town, whom Robson led to UEFA Cup and FA Cup glory before taking over the national side, the pre-match celebrations at Portman Road ended in perfect fashion – as three second-half goals sunk a poor Millwall side.
Town boss Mick McCarthy said: “I think Sir Bobby might have liked a bit more silky football to be honest. But I still think he would have taken a 3-0 win, however it came.”
The tame Lions were architects of their own downfall, making crass errors, including scoring two own goals.
McCarthy was left to cele- brate his side’s first victory of the season and get one over Millwall boss Steve Lomas, who used to clean the no-nonsense Irish defender’s boots at Manchester City.
Lomas, 15 years McCarthy’s junior, was taught a tough lesson about the Championship after a mistake by Jack Smith led to Aaron Cresswell forcing an own goal out of the unfortunate Shane Lowry shortly after the hour mark.
It was a decisive moment with Millwall improving after the interval following a first half which should have seen Ipswich ahead.
David McGoldrick was a constant thorn in the visitors’ side, denied by Stephen Bywater after five minutes and then seeing a rocket shot superbly tipped away by the Millwall keeper.
The Lions crept back into the game in the early throes of the second half and Richard Chaplow should have done better following good work from new loanee Shaun Derry. But once Lowry had put the ball into his own net, there was only going to be one winner.
The points were safe in the 70th minute when the left-back needlessly fouled Daryl Murphy by the corner flag and Smith rose highest to powerfully divert Paul Anderson’s free kick into the roof of the net.
As Sir Bobby’s name was sung by the stand adorning his name, the icing was applied when Anderson’s header was deflected in by Beevers.
Lomas said:“The first goal was a mistake from our point of view. It was a really poor, soft goal, pretty much out of nothing.
“Once you concede one, especially away from home, you have to keep going and keep it at onenil for as long as possible.
“But we didn’t give ourselves a chance to get back in the game. The second goal was a needless free kick out wide and a free header inside our box.
“We knew Ipswich were going to come out of the traps, at home on Sir Bobby Robson Day and after two defeats. It is not the end of the world, but of course we are disappointed.”
McCarthy was left purring over Smith’s decisive second – one that he admitted he would have been proud of.
He added: “Of my 12 goals in my 500-odd league games, they were genuinely all like that – I can remember most of them. It was a magnificent header.”
OPENERS: Tommy Smith, second right, scores the first goal for Ipswich
saves at the BRAVE: Stephen Bywater feet of Ipswich’s David