At the Bottom of the Well There’s No Gold

September 13 1969

Division One

WBA                   1  ( Astle 50)

Ipswich               1 ( O’Rourke 29)

 

When you’re out of luck, nothing goes right for you: open goals go begging, rebounds head straight to opposition strikers, offsides never work for you, even your own fans boo you. And if you’re even lower than that then you get assigned to write about two such teams playing each other.

There was a deep cloud of wariness over most of this match. which was only broken when Ipswich accidentally scored and returned to silence when Astle equalised for the home team. The cloud almost shook in the 75th minute when Astle almost won the game for Albion, only to hit the post.

The two goals were spectacular feats of skill. Ipswich’s O’Rourke had the WBA defenders on his back. A lithe spin and he completed bypassed the defence and only had the keeper to stop him. He quickly dispatched that problem and scored for the visitors.

Ipswich decide to play some football

Ipswich decide to play some football

Brogan receives the ball from Woods.

Brogan receives the ball from Woods.

Brogan passes to O'Rourke. O'Rourke with his back to the goal...

Brogan passes to O’Rourke. O’Rourke with his back to the goal…

O'Rourke spin round to confound the defence.

O’Rourke spin round to confound the defence.

O'Rourke spins and is finally free.

O’Rourke spins and is finally free.

O'Rourke finishes a magical piece of skill by giving Ipswich the lead.

O’Rourke finishes a magical piece of skill by giving Ipswich the lead.

Astle is not only a giant in the midlands, but a giant of the English game. Once behind Albion broke their silence and began their endevour to equalise. It took 20 minutes of hard work to open up Ipswich but it took a splendid bit of solo work by Astle to reward the home side of an equaliser.

 

Second half and Astle picks up the ball and goes for a run.

Second half and Astle picks up the ball and goes for a run.

Astle passes one.

Astle passes one.

Astle faces another.

Astle faces another.

No problem, Astle rushes past the last defender.

No problem, Astle rushes past the last defender.

Astle only has the keeper to beat.

Astle only has the keeper to beat.

No problem for Astle as the ball hits the net. 1-1

No problem for Astle as the ball hits the net. 1-1

Once the equaliser went in, the home crowd had great expectations. However the teams had other ideas and any spark the game had petered out for almost another half hour. But it was that man again Astle, who almost won the  game for WBA. Alas the post stopped any fairytale finish for the home side.

Astle sublimely cuts into the penalty box, surrounded by Ipswich defenders.

Astle sublimely cuts into the penalty box, surrounded by Ipswich defenders.

Astle shoots and tries to thread the ball in between the post and keeper.

Astle shoots and tries to thread the ball in between the post and keeper.

The ball is curling into the goal, only for the post to stop the comback. Bad luck sir.

The ball is curling into the goal, only for the post to stop the comeback. Bad luck sir.

WBA: Cumbes, Williams, Wilson, Brown, Potter, Kaye, Krzywicki, Suggett, Astle, Hegan (Hartford), Hope.

Ipswich: Best, Carroll, Mills, Viljoen, Baxter, Jefferson, Woods, Collard, Wigg, O’Rourke, Brogan.

P1000169

 

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