Ipswich Town column & highlights: Can Ipswich Tuesday turn on a Saturday matinee performance?

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  • FA Cup exit gives Town a free Saturday with scheduled league opponents Reading agreeing to rearrange game for Tuesday
  • No deadline day incomings at Portman Road, with former Manchester City winger Alex Henshall being released from his contract
  • Blues struggle to overcome mid-table Reading with Ryan Fraser opener levelled by Garath McCleary penalty before Brett Pitman’s late winner
  • 2-1 win for Mick McCarthy’s side puts them back up to sixth and makes it 16 consecutive Tuesday night wins at Portman Road
  • Royals game sees first sub-17,000 league crowd at Portman Road of the season
  • Town travel to 13th placed QPR on Saturday (3pm)
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Read Russell Claydon’s weekly take on all things Ipswich Town as well as watching highlights of all the goals from Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Reading.

Until Luke Varney crossed for Brett Pitman to steer home in the 89th minute on Tuesday, the knives (in a theoretical sense, I hope!) were being sharpened.

A dull draw with a Reading side marooned in mid-table - from a squad Mick McCarthy infuriated fans on transfer deadline day by saying he couldn’t better without spending silly money - would have seen another golden opportunity pass us by.

BBC Radio Suffolk’s phone-in would have been a gruesome inquest into a largely lifeless affair played out in front of the lowest league crowd of the season (16,616 with 205 in away end).

The dominating discussion point would have been the club’s lack of ambition and how the fans were starting to vote with their feet.

It would’ve been said that perhaps Mick had done a good job in getting rid of the rotten wood, steadying the ship and returning us to contenders, but he had now gone as far as he could take us with the budget he has been working on, and seemingly revelling in working within, I might add.

But football really is a funny old game, isn’t it?

Those super subs combining provided not just three points, but had the same effect as a vicar being asked to turn water into wine at a wedding table. It was time for the party to begin in the stands as we jumped back into the top six and kept an incredible record going.

You’ve heard of Sheffield Wednesday, our play-off rivals? Well, this Ipswich Tuesday side are one of the best around. That late winner meant it was 16 consecutive wins at Portman Road on a Tuesday.

The secret now is for Mick and his staff to bottle the feelgood factor Pitman’s goal has created in the dressing room and send that energy and belief out onto the pitch to end a miserable run of Saturday results at QPR (3pm).

Subs combining had the same effect as a vicar being asked to turn water into wine at a wedding table

There will be a good following, myself included, there going into it with high spirits - let’s hope nothing bursts the newly-formed bubble.