The View From Churchmans

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


West Ham 2 Ipswich Town 2

In the end, one of those magnificent performances where we came away feeling incredibly proud of our team. But it could have been oh so different! We were very slow out of the blocks, and West Ham didn’t miss the chance of taking advantage of our
usual calamitous defending. As the half wore on, we got back into the game, and that was perhaps the most impressive part of the afternoon: heads didn’t drop, and when we eventually got one back it wasn’t against the run of play. That gave the side
the platform to come out in the second half and play with the combination of both commitment and skill that we know they can when backs are against the wall and the occasion demands. The equaliser was easily deserved, and a winner wouldn’t have been
out of place in the end. Big respect to Joe, Willie or Jim, whoever fired them up at half-time, but if we can find that sort of drive on Wednesday night it’ll be in the bag. Of course, we know we can’t take that for granted…

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

DAVIES 7 (3/4): Can’t be faulted for the goals, and made a fabulous save in the second half when called on. Handled confidently throughout, and how West Ham must wish they’d got a keeper as good as we have.

DIALLO 4 (3/1), DE VOS 5 (3/2), NAYLOR 6 (3/3), WILNIS 8 (4/4): What a liability Drissa was this afternoon. Not just because he was left floundering for both West Ham goals, but on several other occasions he didn’t seem to know what he was supposed to
be doing. Surely he can’t start on Wednesday night. Fab, on the other hand, was not only one of several players who were totally up for it, but coped well with being asked to play both left-back and right-back. Jason wasn’t as positive as we’d have
liked, with the half-hearted clearance which led to their second goal (when Row Z was quite possible) fairly symptomatic of the way he’s been playing of late.

MILLER 7 (4/3), MAGILTON 9 (5/4), HORLOCK 6 (3/3), WESTLAKE 7 (4/3): For Jim to pull a performance like this out of the bag this late into the season was remarkable. As the game wore on, he just began to take over. But even in the first half-hour,
when we were definitely second- best, he was a real presence. A tremendous captain’s display. The main criticism of the midfield was tactical, in that they were far too narrow at first, leaving Fab and (disastrously) Drissa exposed. The biggest
tactical advantage which Darren Currie gave us in the second half was that it allowed Westy to play a proper central role, which he did well. But Westy and Tommy’s biggest contribution was a level of commitment in the second half which was as
inspirational as Jim’s sheer presence was. They chased down every ball in sight, and it was great to see.

KUQI 7 (4/3), BENT 7 (4/3): Shefki was a man on a mission today: he had one thing in mind, and it was goal-shaped. Sadly, that meant on more than one occasion he shot (badly) when a pass to someone else might well have got results, but hey, there are
worse criticisms for a striker. One amazing rampaging rhino charge in the second half took him half the length of the pitch and past three opponents. Dazza looked classy again, and kept West Ham’s defence busy from first to last.

Sub: CURRIE 6 (3/3) and RICHARDS 6 (3/3) changed the game at half- time, looking solid, and working well as a team. I’m not always the biggest fan of having Darren in the team, despite his undoubted skill, but he played a strong part. And Matt looked
committed and confident – great to see.

The REFEREE was not as bad as the managers made out; sure, he made one or two odd (i.e wrong) decisions awarding corners and goal-kicks, and his opinion on what was and wasn’t a foul was inconsistent, but he kept the lid on a game which I think could
easily have boiled over. And for that we should be grateful, because if things had gone off, either side could have suffered unfairly. The AWAY SUPPORT was good, with six and a half thousand there making themselves heard. But perhaps the star of the
afternoon was, unexpectedly, “BIG FAT” JOE, for his spat with the irritating Pardew, and his fantastic post match comment when asked if we now had the upper hand, psychologically, replying that we’ve got the upper hand in that we got 12 more points
than them and we’re much better than they are. Genius.

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