On this day in Town’s history: Keane’s men hang on against 10 men

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 April 2020

Celebrations after Gareth Mcauley scores the first goal for Town, in their 2-1 win over Reading. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Celebrations after Gareth Mcauley scores the first goal for Town, in their 2-1 win over Reading. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history, selecting one particular year, this time from 10 years ago when Roy Keane’s side hung on against 10-man Reading

Jon Walters scores the second goal for Town, from close-in, during the 2-1 victory over 10-man Reading. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJon Walters scores the second goal for Town, from close-in, during the 2-1 victory over 10-man Reading. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It rarely came easy for Ipswich Town, under Roy Keane, to record comfortable victories.

And that was even the case when playing on home turf, against visitors down to 10 men.

Such an example was Reading’s visit on April 3, 2010, when Town were left hanging on for a 2-1 win after having the luxury of the Royals being reduced to 10 men, by Matthew Mill’s early dismissal, and a 2-0 goal lead achieved just before half-time.

Keane’s men always seemed to make it difficult for themselves, and they were given a scare when the gifted Gylfi Sigurdsson halved the deficit on 90 minutes with one of his trademark free-kicks.

Ipswich Town players celebrate after Jon Walters scores the second goal against Reading, on April 3, 2010. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNIpswich Town players celebrate after Jon Walters scores the second goal against Reading, on April 3, 2010. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In the final analysis, though, Mills’ 30th minute red card (flashed to him by referee Keith Stroud) was to prove costly for an in-form Reading side.

Not that Mill’s dismissal was controversial - he had challenged David Norris with a two-footed lunge - although Royals boss Brian McDermott insisted it was only a booking, at worst, during his post-match press conference.

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Pinpoint headers from centre-half Gareth McAuley (41 minutes) and striker Jonathan Walters (45) put Town in the driving seatthem two goals up at the break.

Yet Town could not add to their tally, and they were certainly breathing heavily after Sigurdsson’s late free-kick gave the Royals hope of salvaging a point during stoppage time.

Reading captain Matthew Mills is sent off, following a challenge on David Norris. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNReading captain Matthew Mills is sent off, following a challenge on David Norris. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Despite the late scare, this was still a fine win for Keane’s men against a Reading side who had been unbeaten in their previous seven league fixtures, with their Brian McDermott having been named as the Championship manager of the month for March.

Town ended the day in 14th spot, on 51 points, with Reading two places above them.

For the record, Newcastle United were on top of the Championship table, and Peterborough United propping it up.

Keane admitted: “We made hard work of it but we’ll take the 2-1 victory.”

Newcastle were duly promoted as champions that season, along with West Brom and Blackpool (via the play-offs).

Peterborough, Plymouth and Sheffield Wednesday were relegated, while Town finished in 15th, with Reading rising to ninth.

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