Sunday Snap: Remembering a legend, Norwood's warm-up and a false start for Skuse

PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 September 2019

Kevin Beattie was remembered at Portman Road this weekend. Picture: ITFC

Kevin Beattie was remembered at Portman Road this weekend. Picture: ITFC

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We look back at the goings on around Ipswich Town's 0-0 draw with Doncaster Rovers at Portman Road.

Town fans applaud the teams out ahead of the game.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comTown fans applaud the teams out ahead of the game. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

The Beat Goes On

Monday marks a year since the sad passing of a true Ipswich Town legend.

Kevin Beattie is regarded as the greatest player the club has ever had and will rightly never be forgotten.

Crowd-funding for a statue, which will cast the former defender in bronze outside Portman Road forever, has been successful and work is underway on the final design, which will capture Beattie at his dominant best.

Selfie time: Town manager Paul Lambert poses with a fan ahead of the game. Picture: Steve WallerSelfie time: Town manager Paul Lambert poses with a fan ahead of the game. Picture: Steve Waller

And to mark the one-year anniversary of his death, two banners were draped from the top tier of the Sir Bobby Robson stand simply stating 'The Beat Goes On'.

It really does.

Laidback Luke is Town's iceman

We've heard Paul Lambert's view on defender Luke Woolfenden, where he stated the youngster sometimes need a rocket up him to keep him focused, while Cole Skuse has stated 'jump leads' are sometimes required to spark him into life on a Monday morning.

The teams walk out ahead of the Doncaster Rovers match.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comThe teams walk out ahead of the Doncaster Rovers match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Woolfenden had his say this week too, saying his laidback demeanour is something of a 'life motto'.

And that was in full view again during this game as the teenager moved through the contest with an air of calm. He doesn't get wound up when opponents try to antagonise him, he can play his way out of trouble and is supremely confident on the ball. Above all that his ability to read the game allows him to play that way because he's one step ahead.

However, as Lambert and Skuse have noted, his guard does sometimes lapse. There were a couple of occasions where he could have shown more urgency or was perhaps a little over confident.

Lambert's regularly reminded us that his young players will make mistakes and that they have plenty to learn.

Alan Judge and Cole Skuse discuss options ahead of a first half Town corner.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comAlan Judge and Cole Skuse discuss options ahead of a first half Town corner. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

He's right, of course, and this was a reminder of that.

It doesn't mean we can't be excited by his start to the season, though.

A wrestling warm-up

It's going to be a busy week for Ipswich Town striker James Norwood.

Will Keane came on as a substitute for Kayden Jackson in the second half.     Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comWill Keane came on as a substitute for Kayden Jackson in the second half. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

The squad are contending with three games in just eight days, with Norwood having an extra booking to deal with on top of that.

He's the star attraction at a wrestling show in Harwich on Wednesday night where he will be the 'guest enforcer' - of course a product of the social media noise generated by his goal GIFs this season.

On the subject of Graphic Interchange Format, he's got another one ready to unleash following his homage to The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and I have to say it's excellent. His prop game is strong. Hopefully it will be unveiled very soon.

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Back to the point. This game was a frustrating one for Norwood as he toiled for much of it and saw two chances go begging. They may have both turned out differently had they fallen on his favoured right foot.

But it will have prepared him for what's in store on Wednesday night, given he spent much of the game grappling with giant Donny defender Tom Anderson.

Oh, and proceeds from Wednesday's event are going to Cancer Research. A wonderful cause.

Spoilt for choice

Flynn Downes with a first half volley.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comFlynn Downes with a first half volley. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Prior to the game it was announced Flynn Downes had won the club's official player-of-the-month award.

And who can argue? The midfielder was outstanding throughout August.

Not outstanding enough to earn nominations outside Suffolk, though, which certainly says more about how such contests are judged rather than Downes' own displays.

In addition to Paul Lambert winning the manager-of-the-month prize, five-goal striker Norwood won the PFA player's award for August and Kayden Jackson's four goals saw him nominated for the EFL prize. Peterborough's Marcus Maddison won that.

Alan Judge battling with Niall Ennis in the second half.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comAlan Judge battling with Niall Ennis in the second half. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

But when both were announced the news was roundly-greeted by the suggestion they hadn't been Ipswich's best players, let alone the best in the league.

Having four different individuals recognised in this way is a great marker for how Ipswich are doing at the moment.

On the Ed

Ipswich Town's most famous fan was not in attendance this weekend but Ed Sheeran's presence was certainly felt at Portman Road.

Luke Chambers rises high to win the ball.   Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comLuke Chambers rises high to win the ball. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

We were treated to a mega-mix of Sheeran's biggest hits pre-match before the teams emerged from the tunnel, in what is fast becoming the new Portman Road soundtrack.

Plenty of Sheeran's 'Divide' shirts were on display, too, and the fact the world's biggest pop star is an Ipswich fan (and finished the highest-grossing music tour of all time in Chantry Park, is only adding to the feelgood factor around the club at the moment.

Skuse's milestone miss

You can't always trust statistics.

Doncaster Rovers keeper Ian Lawlor saves this James Norwood effort.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comDoncaster Rovers keeper Ian Lawlor saves this James Norwood effort. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

And that was true this week in the lead-up to what was thought to be Cole Skuse's 250th Ipswich Town appearance.

Despite what a few reliable online stats websites will have you believe, Skuse is actually only on 249 now and will reach the milestone at MK Dons on Tuesday night.

Without getting too nerdy, the reason for the confusion is down to the fact the Blues were errantly recorded to have used five substitutes in last season's 1-1 draw with Stoke, with Skuse making an imaginary appearance from the bench at a time when he was still on the way back from knee surgery.

He's been a superb servant since being acquired from Bristol City in 2013 and his early season form, which continued this weekend, suggests he's still got more to give and he'll have his sights set on 300..

After a false start, we can celebrate his milestone in just a few days.

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