The View From Churchmans

Ipswich Town home match reports from just another season-ticket holder


Ipswich Town 1 Burnley 1

Whether we deserved it or not, even neutrals would have been willing an
injury-time winner for Ipswich to ensure Burnley got what they deserved this
afternoon, which was nothing. With four nil-nils under their belts already
this season, we should have known what to expect, but the reality was worse
than most of us could have feared. Without doubt Burnley were the most
boring, defensive outfit I can remember seeing in recent years, and sadly we
didn’t have the invention or flexibility to strike a blow for proper

Remember how John McGreal used to bring the ball forward for us regularly?
Today he (and his defensive partner) were firmly under instructions to step
out of their penalty area only when the referee blew his whistle for the end
of each half. It wasn’t eight at the back though: Burnley work on the
premise that strong defence starts with a strongly defensive midfield, and
they didn’t give us an inch in their half at any stage of the game.

We needed something different as the game went on, but with Joe seemingly
unwilling to give any of the three teenagers on the bench a go, his only
option was to bring on Pablo. Fair enough, but I’d have preferred to have
seen one of our ineffective midfielders (Miller, Westlake) sacrificed rather
than Deano, who was the only player making any sort of space. When you’re up
against a team with their backs to the wall like that, it’s a question of
getting the ball into the box as much as possible and hope, and we just
continued to try to work a clever goal that was never likely to come.

Still, if we’d lost it I’d have been really annoyed.

Some ratings:
(1-5 for effort, 1-5 for achievement)

PRICE 7 (3/4): Looks increasingly comfortable, and may well give Joe pause
for thought before automatically reintroducing Kelvin Davies. Made a
tremendous save from one of Burnley’s three or four attacks, and was
helpless for the goal.

DIALLO 6 (3/3), DE VOS 6 (3/3), NAYLOR 5 (3/2), RICHARDS 6 (4/2): Little for
any of them to do defensively, and it only went wrong for the goal, both
with Bam-Bam’s calamitous giveaway and with whoever left the other Burnley
striker completely unmarked. Dizzy made acres of space down the right all
afternoon, but with most of both teams’ play concentrated on the other side,
we never got it over to him quickly enough for him to use that space. Matt’s
distribution was even more rubbish than Bam-Bam’s, but he worked tirelessly
and of course he did the business at the end.

MILLER 4 (2/2), MAGILTON 5 (3/2), HORLOCK 6 (3/3), WESTLAKE 4 (2/2): A poor
afternoon in the midfield for the most part. Westy was bypassed for most of
the game, only seeming to pop up towards the end, and Tommy hardly figured
at all. Jim needed to get forward more: almost everything was going through
him, but it was those floated balls over the forwards’ heads rather than
shorter, incisive balls on the deck which we needed.

KUQI 5 (3/2), BOWDITCH 6 (3/3): The service was dodgy and with things so
tight it was never going to be an afternoon for Shefki, so doubly
disappointing that Deano was the one to be substituted. He’d shown some
lovely tight control throughout the first half, but never really created
much with it.

Subs: COUNAGO scurried around a bit but contributed little. I’m trying hard
to be open-minded and see something positive in his contributions, but today
I couldn’t see anything, really. Sorry.

The REFEREE missed a cast-iron penalty (or at least his assistant did) when
Sinclair (I think) handballed it right in front of us. And I thought he
might have given the guy who brought Westlake down a straight red at the
end, not that it would have helped us by then.

The CROWD were OK, given the turgid display going on in front of them, and
got quite lively at the end when it became clear that the bad guys might not
steal the points after all. But it’ll be one most of us will want to forget.

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