Ipswich Town 'set the benchmark' during 6-0 demolition of Doncaster Rovers
It has certainly been a long time coming. You had to go back to February, 15 of 2020 for the last time a Portman Road without restrictions witnessed a competitive Ipswich Town victory.
Three single-goal defeats followed that 4-1 triumph over Burton Albion before the Covid-19 pandemic removed supporters from football grounds for almost 18 months.
And yet while Ipswich fans would have been champing at the bit to return in August, Paul Cook's new-look side had ultimately flattered to deceive, winning none of their first seven home fixtures – three defeats and four draws in all competitions.
But the wait was ended in style last night as visiting Doncaster Rovers were trounced 6-0 in front of a crowd of 18,111.
Lee Evans was the star of proceedings with a hat-trick, closely followed by Macauley Bonne. The Queens Park Rangers loanee is now the joint second highest scorer in League One after his two goals took his tally for the campaign so far to seven.
The night was rounded off 10 minutes from time by defender George Edmundson, who managed to divert Evans' near-post free kick into the roof of the Doncaster net.
An understandably delighted Cook told the club's website: "It's a really good night for us. It was a superb team performance. We played really well and we've set the benchmark.
"Partnerships are building as well, and that comes with time. Look at George (Edmundson) and Cam (Burgess) against Bolton and you would think they hadn't played together. Tonight, though, it's like they've played together for ages.
"Lee (Evans) and Sam (Morsy) were outstanding, but so was everyone else.
"We take the pats on the back and move on. Yes we're delighted and it's a fantastic night, but we've won a game of football. It's one step."
The win has left the Tractor Boys 19th in the table, seven points adrift of the play-off places with a game in hand on a number of the sides above them.
Next on the agenda for Cook and his players, who have picked up seven points from the last nine on offer, is a trip to 12th-placed Accrington Stanley on Saturday (3pm).