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Noel Hunt show wins the day for Town


Noel Hunt (R) of Ipswich Town celebrates his goal

Noel Hunt (R) of Ipswich Town celebrates his goal

Noel Hunt

Noel Hunt


Noel Hunt (R) of Ipswich Town celebrates his goal

TECHNICALLY, he was the man with no name.

Not long after his introduction off the bench for his Ipswich Town debut, Waterford lad Noel Hunt was forced to leave the field again after he suffered a head wound in an accidental clash with Charlton's Andre Bikey, a former team-mate, and, for health and safety reasons, Hunt had to ditch his blood-stained shirt.

He'd only signed for Ipswich the previous day so the kit man didn't have a back-up shirt with Hunt's name and number, so the striker bounced back into action with a blank jersey, no name or squad number on the back.

Then Hunt got on the end of a move started with a clever piece of play by Ireland man David McGoldrick and scored the winner, his first goal in just under two years.

"You couldn't write it, could you. As debuts go, it was a dream come true," said a delighted Hunt after the goal and the win.

The win over Charlton was a big moment for Ipswich as they move up to second place in the Championship table, just a point behind leaders Derby.

But it was also a big, big moment for the striker, who turns 32 later this month.

Hunt, capped three times at senior level by Giovanni Trapattoni, has had few good times since he joined Leeds United from Reading in 2013, failing to score in 20 appearances for Leeds last season and this season he was frozen out altogether.

Mick McCarthy, who took Hunt to Ipswich on loan, mentioned last week that the striker was unable to show his face around Leeds as fans were on his back due to the striker's lack of goals and what they perceived, however unfairly, as a lack of effort.

But already the striker has won over the supporters at Portman Road.

"It's fantastic, isn't it? Wonderfully rewarding," said McCarthy, pleased to see his loan signing deliver such an important goal on his debut, loan move reuniting Noel with his older brother Stephen.

"I've always admired Noel Hunt, the way he goes about his job, about his business.

"I thought that if we can get him going again we've got a good player. He's a great character, he's like his brother (Stephen). He's a great character to have around, added McCarthy.

Irishmen Stephen Hunt, David McGoldrick, Daryl Murphy and Jay Tabb all started for Ipswich in their win, Noel Hunt and Conor Sammon came off the bench while recent signing Sean St Legder was an unused sub as he continues to build up his fitness following last week's move to Portman Road after a spell as a free agent.