Sunday Snap: Fashion success, three Shears for Freddie, Jackson’s birthday card and the Ipswich Town Escape Squad

PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:42 23 February 2020

Flynn Downes looking uncomfortable late in the game.  Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.com

Flynn Downes looking uncomfortable late in the game. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town lost 1-0 to Oxford United yesterday. Andy Warren looks back at the events surrounding the game.

Freddie Sears comes onto the pitch as a late substitute.  Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comFreddie Sears comes onto the pitch as a late substitute. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Here we go again

There are times when I wonder, as I sit down to write this on a Saturday night, why we decided to start a Sunday morning column looking at the 'lighter' side of Ipswich Town's football journey.

This is very much one of those times.

The Blues' 1-0 loss to Oxford was a tale we've seen play out so many times during Paul Lambert's Portman Road reign - play decent football, have plenty of the ball, don't take chances, get punished and then find themselves unable to respond.

Town manager Paul Lambert and his assistant Stuart Taylor searching for options, late in the game against Oxford.  Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comTown manager Paul Lambert and his assistant Stuart Taylor searching for options, late in the game against Oxford. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

This loss sees Lambert's men drop to eighth and is another blow to a promotion bid that has been hit time and time again. The boat's not sunk but it is letting in a concerning amount of water and the string quartet are ready to entertain their guests on deck.

Freddie Sears was right when he said, prior to the Burton game, that the dream of automatic promotion was gone and that Town are now playing for a play-off place.

For me, with my realist head on and looking at the table, the form guide and the games in hand held by others, they are now in a scramble for sixth. It's a position currently held by Fleetwood Town, who are two points ahead with two games in hand. They're also the next visitors to Portman Road - the definition of a must-win game.

Town's run-in (let's call that the final six games) is extremely kind as they face five of the current bottom seven and mid-table Doncaster, but they will need to win some big games between now and then to even be in striking distance.

Time is running out.

Anyway, back to our regular Sunday morning jaunt.

An award-winner

Oxford's away kit is the best we've seen at Portman Road this season.

Teddy Bishop in action after coming off the bench late in the game.  Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comTeddy Bishop in action after coming off the bench late in the game. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

It's a thing of beauty. Striking white with a yellow and navy sash. Think Crystal Palace, Peru, River Plate... or Huddersfield's Paddy Power stunt from the start of the season. Truly iconic.

I've still not unleashed my League One kit rankings for this season (yes, it's been left very late this season and yes plenty of people will complain that an article of that nature isn't serious enough given Ipswich's predicament) but Oxford will be featuring highly in both the home and away lists.

A familiar moan

Not for the first time this season it was sometimes hard to pick goalkeeper Tomas Holy's grey/silver kit out from the visitors' white strip. It was a similar problem during the game with Tranmere in September.

Will Keane heads just wide of the far post.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comWill Keane heads just wide of the far post. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Just wear the green one... it's the nicest of the three goalkeeper kits by far.

Three Shears for Freddie

Rob Chandler was back on the mic this weekend after missing last weekend's victory over Burton (he was at the game, enjoying a rare visit as a fan).

He's the best in the business in my opinion and he made me and many others smile yesterday when reading out the teams during the warm-up.

Josh Earl and Luke Woolfenden involved as tempers flare towards the end go the Oxford United match.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comJosh Earl and Luke Woolfenden involved as tempers flare towards the end go the Oxford United match. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

When he reached Freddie Sears (not Shears) there was a telling pause between first and last names. He knew why he was doing it, those who were also at last weekend's game at Burton knew why he was doing it.

If you know, you know. It was good to have Rob back.

Jackson's birthday card

His late red was not the birthday card Kayden Jackson would have wanted yesterday on the day he celebrated 26 years on this earth.

The striker was excellent in the first half and was the most-likely man to make something happen for Ipswich, but his actions in added time will now rob Lambert's side of their biggest threat for three vital games.

In his desperation to win the ball back he put in an extremely late boot on U's defender Rob Dickie, with victory in any appeal looking to be extremely unlikely.

He gave the Portman Road tunnel an almighty whack as he left the pitch for his ever-so-slightly-early bath. Despite the knock it should be fit for the visit of Fleetwood on March 3.

Escape to victory

If you haven't tried out Escape Ipswich in Tacket Street, you should. It's a lot of fun.

For the uninitiated, Escape Rooms see you bid to solve a succession of clues against the clock to ultimately reveal a code which will allow you to unlock the door and... escape.

The Ipswich Town squad did exactly that this week, with mixed results.

"We tried to get some guys locked in so they couldn't come back out," manager Lambert said on Friday.

Kayden Jackson is sent off by referee Scott Oldham.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comKayden Jackson is sent off by referee Scott Oldham. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

"There are one or two not in this morning so they're probably still in there. You find out the brainy guys and the not-so-brainy. There's a few of them, I'll let you work that out.

"It's something different and it breaks things up.

"I was with Cole (Skuse), who was good and Adam the chef who is incredibly not all there. Jackson was great at giving the clues and Flynn Downes was George McFly from Back to the Future. He was terrible. Myles Kenlock, dear oh dear. Myself and Cole were brilliant.

"Without Skuse we'd all still be in there. I kept it to myself and let those guys do it."

With Town a goal down owner Marcus Evans can’t look, as he sits with Town general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill.    Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comWith Town a goal down owner Marcus Evans can’t look, as he sits with Town general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Skuse would be the first name on my team-sheet for an escape room, followed by Kane Vincent-Young, Will Keane, James Wilson and James Norwood (morale reasons). We'd smash it.

Gone with the wind

Aaron Drinan scored again for loan club Ayr yesterday but, sadly for him, it's already been removed from the record books.

He had given the visitors the lead at Arbroath with what was (briefly) his second goal of what is proving a productive loan spell in Scotland, but the game was abandoned at half-time due to high winds which brought on icy conditions.

Jon Nolan is taken off his feet by Marcus Browne.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comJon Nolan is taken off his feet by Marcus Browne. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Before anyone asks, he can't be recalled.

We'll meet again... (maybe)

Karl Robinson got the better of Ipswich Town yesterday and, sadly for the Blues, it's not completely out of the question they could be facing him next weekend as well.

The Oxford boss is one of the favourites for the Blackpool vacancy, with speculation suggesting he would favour a move back to his native North West.

Kayden Jackson vents his frustration on the tunnel as he leaves the pitch following his red card.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comKayden Jackson vents his frustration on the tunnel as he leaves the pitch following his red card. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

He was asked about the link after yesterday's game and certainly didn't kill it dead, insisting the speculation was 'news to me'.

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