In the dying minutes of our encounter with Ipswich, the game boiled over.
Jon Nolan, on whom I shall not cast judgement, flew into a dangerous and unnecessary tackle on Harry Anderson, getting a justified straight red card. Players from both sides then steamed into a big confrontation, the sort of scenes that somehow always remind me of Wealdstone (if you’re old enough, you’ll know). Fists didn’t fly, but it was substantial enough to prompt social media posts shouting ‘City Aggro’ in the hours afterwards.
All for one, and one for all, right? Michael Appleton certainly thought so, he said any fine might be worth the money because the situation proved that our young squad doesn’t lack fight, aggression or togetherness. Alex Palmer ran the length of the pitch to become involved and Tayo Edun looked like a piece dropped off Tomas Holy, but he wasn’t backing down either.
We now know the cost of the incident, £2000. That’s the price the FA have put on it, fining Ipswich £2500 and giving Paul Lambert a further charge following his red card. He’s got to defend himself against a breach of rule E something or other, not entirely sure and have no reason to check, but I’m sure it reads something like being a ‘sour, dour man’.
I know the club won’t welcome the fine. I know the powers that be will probably be unhappy at those scenes being broadcast from a family club, but not me. A bit of passion never hurt anyone, unlike Nolan’s tackle, which could easily have done just that. It proved our boys look out for each other and I think that fight is massively important, especially when you consider we have Gillingham up in a few weeks, a side that are bound to be up for a scrap.
On the bright side, the ground was empty, so impressionable kids won’t immediately see a coming together in 20 years time and think ‘Ipswich’, unlike me, who still hears my Dad shouting something like ‘get in there’, not when we scored against Wealdstone in 87/88, but when our players steamed in swinging.
Ah, the good old days. Just watch John McGinley preparing to destroy some young lad off to the right as it all kicks off, I suspect that is what my Dad cheered.