Norwich City's chance to prove they are truly the pride of East Anglia
Eastern Daily Press © 2004
Norwich City have had the East Anglian bragging rights locked down in recent years but this season offers the Canaries another opportunity to claim superiority over Ipswich Town.
In the last six derbies Norwich have won five and drawn the other – moving them to within one win of Town’s historical superiority in the fixture.
Of the 97 fixtures between the two clubs in the Football League, FA Cup and League Cup, the Tractor Boys have won 40 and City have won 39.
Which means if Norfolk can once again triumph over Suffolk this season and the Canaries can complete a third successive league double, Norwich would truly be able to claim they are the pride of Anglia.
The very first East Anglian derbies came in the Norfolk and Suffolk League after City were formed in 1902-03.
Back in the early 20th century it was Norwich who first laid claim to the eastern crown, winning 1-0 at home – with A Witham scoring the first ever derby goal – and 2-1 away.
The following season the Canaries romped to a 6-1 triumph in Suffolk, before being held to a 1-1 home draw, and in 1904-05 City won 2-1 in Norfolk, before Ipswich claimed their first derby win on the final day of the season.
It wasn’t until 1946-47 that the first derby was played in the Football League though, when Town thrashed City 5-0 at Portman Road in Division Three South, having not turned professional until 1936 – a full 16 years after Norwich.
Ever since the battle for local supremacy has swayed back and forth.
Ipswich were largely on top in the 1980s – other than City’s League Cup semi-final triumph – when winning six of the 14 matches and then also completed a Premiership double when rivalries resumed in 1992-93, after seven seasons without a derby.
Ever since we’ve seen plenty of drama. From Bryan Gunn’s air-kick at Portman Road in 1996 and Alex Mathie’s hat-trick in Town’s 5-0 win in 1998, through to derby doubles for Iwan Roberts, Leon McKenzie and Danny Haynes’ handball winner at Carrow Road in 2006.
Feisty tackles on the pitch and even feistier fans in the stands always makes for a raucous atmosphere as the anticipation builds on derby day.
It will take a real epic to beat the last encounter though, as City won a two-legged Championship play-off semi-final.
After a 1-1 draw south of the border, the tie sprung to life at Carrow Road when Christophe Berra used his hands to stop a Nathan Redmond shot going in early in the second half.
Wes Hoolahan slotted home the penalty but Tommy Smith restored parity in the 60th minute, only for Redmond and Cameron Jerome to fire the Canaries to Wembley and spark jubilant celebrations on and off the pitch.
But who will be celebrating at full-time of the 98th edition of the East Anglian derby on Sunday?