The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Stoke City 0

Not a match which we’ll still be fondly remembering this time next
year, or indeed this time next week, but a welcome three points
after Boxing Day’s disappointment. Although we played some sublime
football for the first twenty minutes, it didn’t amount to anything
and (whisper it) the second half was rather boring. However, we were
by miles the better team, and if Stoke had made anything of our
nervous last few minutes it would have been an absolute travesty of

With everyone fit and available (or at least everyone we’d want*) it
was interesting to see which midfield selection Joe would go for.
Leaving “Trevor” Horlock on the bench was the answer, and although
he can count himself unlucky, it at least means we now have an
obvious option whenever Jim runs out of steam. Other than that,
little to remark on. Stoke were pretty dreadful, we were great for
twenty minutes and OK for seventy, the three points became all the
sweeter later in the afternoon, and the table looks great.

*1st bloke behind me: “When’s Dizzy gonna be fit again?”
2nd bloke: “Too soon…”

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

DAVIES 6 (3/3): Now that’s what I call a quiet afternoon. I can
recall one easy save. That may have been about it.

WILNIS 7 (4/3), DE VOS 6 (3/3), NAYLOR 7 (4/3), RICHARDS 6 (4/2):
Matt worked hard all match, but continues to be a bit of a liability
in terms of giving away possession far too easily (and frequently).
His tackling can be excellent, but too often this is followed up by
a wasted ball, or worse. Got forward well though, as usual. Fab was
equally positive on the other side, which was (as usual) far less
crowded. The centre-backs weren’t particularly stretched at any

MILLER 8 (4/4), MAGILTON 6 (3/3), WESTLAKE 7 (4/3), CURRIE 7 (3/4):
You seldom see a midfield win as many balls as ours did in the first
half, whether it was intercepting or tackling: in fact, that was the
one abiding memory of this game. All played their part, although
Tommy Miller should be singled out as the best of the lot. Darren
Currie has terrific potential, and when he gets on the same
wavelength as the rest of the team could be really exciting. Some
great skill in areas we’ve been missing since Reuser’s heyday. He
just has to work out our style, notably the obsession with balls to
feet rather than balls into space.

KUQI 7 (4/3), BENT 5 (2/3): Shefki didn’t rattle Stoke’s strong back
four, but he showed his normal astonishing commitment in every area
of the park. Darren’s mysterious quiet patch continued, and has gone
on long enough now that he’ll be looking over his shoulder at the
talent on the bench.

The REFEREE was able to jog off the Christmas dinner without having
too much to think about. The CROWD were quiet throughout. But the
TABLE still looks lovely.

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