The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Cardiff City 0

A very satisfying start to the season, given the way that most teams (especially Ipswich) often look so disjointed at this stage. Cardiff will punch above their weight this season, with a decent manager and a lot of experienced players, and we can
probably count ourselves fortunate to have got them right at the beginning while they’re still getting sorted. They were a solid opposition, and it was a good win.

Even with a couple of out-and-out wingers knocking on the door of the first team this season, I doubt many of us can see Joe ever straying far from his favoured narrow 4-4-2, and indeed, that’s exactly how we’ve set out our stall for the new season.
Price in for Davies, the same back four, and Garvan in for Miller but otherwise the same midfield; perhaps the only difference is going to be in the style of the all-new front two. I think that if there are any changes to the team’s overall shape and
strategy in the next few months, they’ll be those forced on Joe by the rather thin-looking squad. Anyone wondering if we’re going to get a 4-5-1 with two wingers, or a 5-3-2 to gently introduce a new centre half, will probably have to continue to

The match was played at a decent pace throughout, and not over-physically. It was tight though, with nobody getting too much space. Chances weren’t exactly abundant, but they were fairly evenly spread. Cardiff can count themselves unlucky to have lost,
but we’d have been annoyed with a 1-1 if Price hadn’t pulled off a miraculous save at the end, clawing out what seemed a dead cert equaliser.

Other points of discussion? I just hope there was an injury- or fitness-related reason for Forster being substituted, because otherwise it was madness. And don’t talk to me about the referee’s performance, especially towards the end.

Match Ratings:
Excitement – 2/5
Town Performance – 3/5

Player Ratings (1-5 for commitment, 1-5 for impact):

PRICE 7 (3/4):
Just what we were hoping for. Looked slightly nervous at times, but that’s to be expected. More importantly, Lewis played like he’d been there for years, and it would have been a really encouraging performance even without the fabulous stop at the end.
He fulfilled all of the promise he showed last year, and I think we may just have got a replacement for Davis who’ll be every bit as good, and quickly too.

WILNIS 6 (3/3), DE VOS 8 (4/4), NAYLOR 8 (4/4), RICHARDS 6 (3/3):
I don’t honestly think the current defence are suddenly going to improve on last season’s barely-adequate performance, but they certainly gave the impression they might. Matt looked shaky at times in the first half, but put in some decent work later on.
However, Jason and Bam-Bam were impressively solid. They deserved the clean sheet. Jason most certainly did not deserve the yellow card – a dreadful decision from a ref who went mad in the second half.

MAGILTON 5 (2/3), GARVAN 7 (4/3), WESTLAKE 6 (3/3), CURRIE 6 (3/3):
Jim was wasted and, to be honest, out of position out wide on the right. A couple of times he didn’t attempt to chase for a ball because he didn’t think he could make it, when any other player on the park clearly could have done. It was most dispiriting.
And when Cardiff had a free kick on the edge of our area in the second half, who was immediately organising the wall? Yep, Owen Garvan. Jim was just whingeing to everyone in sight. But ah, Owen Garvan. Seventeen years old, and at this rate, we’ll have
forgotten about Tommy Miller by September. His influence on the game faded slightly as it wore on, but what a great start. Presence, commitment, he has it all. Awesome. Elsewhere, Westy worked hard, and Darren produced a couple of gems of crosses from
nowhere. However, it’s Garvan who’ll stick in the memory from this afternoon.

PARKIN 5 (3/2), FORSTER 8 (4/4):
Well, those who have been following pre-season around venues as exotic as Layer Road and Eastern Europe have suggested that Nicky Forster looks even better than we’d hoped, and Sam Parkin seems well off the pace. Today backed that up. Nicky was
excellent. His movement was great, offering as many options to the midfield as Kuqi and Benty combined, and his commitment was equally good. However, there’s a long way to go for Sam if he’s to live up to his billing. He missed a couple of sitters, but
worse was his inability to get into killer positions. Disappointing.

Subs – PETERS may have the potential to be the most exciting winger we’ve had since

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