The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Luton 0

Great buzz before the game: “Deano and Danny Haynes up front!” (“You’re
kidding, right?”) and we all had to agree that with those two, a 4-4-2, and
most of the old men absent from midfield as well, many of the supporters had
got what they’d been asking for. And if it turned out to be rubbish, it
would prove once and for all that supporters know nothing (unlike
experienced managers). There was going to be little room for armchair
coaches like this one to complain if we’d been overrun today.

But of course, we weren’t. OK, I’m not going to suggest we suddenly changed
into world-beaters, or even that we created chances for fun. But the
enthusiasm and the workrate in the side was a joy to behold, the crowd’s
spirits rose accordingly, and it was one of those days where the score was
irrelevant (even if the three points were most welcome).

There were some good performances throughout the side, but hats off to the
midfield, which looked more confident than at almost any time this season.
Deano and Danny really made a nuisance of themselves with their movement,
even if the finishing was no improvement over other strike pairings we’ve
had this year, and they really deserve a longer run to see what they can do.
But most of all, there was something about the team selection and the
attitude of the players which gave the whole place a lift. It still rankles
that it takes the right combination of injuries for the supporters to get
the team they want, but perhaps, just perhaps, we’re not going into 2006
anything like as gloomily as the last few weeks might have suggested.

Match Ratings:
Excitement – 2/5
Town Performance – 4/5

Player Ratings (1-5 for how much they cared, 1-5 for how well they fared):

SUPPLE 7 (3/4):
As with his last home performance, Shane did everything which could have
been asked of him, and must be very close to edging Pricey out of the team.
His communication with the defence was pretty decent, he pulled off all the
saves required, and his distribution wasn’t bad either. We should enjoy
having these two at the club together while it lasts, because neither
deserves to be warming the bench, however young they may be.

WILNIS 7 (4/3), DE VOS 5 (3/2), NAYLOR 5 (3/2), SITO 6 (3/3):
There were a few gaping holes in the defence (as usual) whenever the
opposition ran at us at an angle, but fortunately Luton don’t have an Andy
Johnson. Fab seemed to be playing his heart out, and at the end, along with
De Vos and Garvan, was acknowledging the crowd as if we’d just won promotion
rather than having squeezed past Luton (Luton!) at home.

CURRIE 4 (2/2), JUAN 7 (4/3), GARVAN 8 (4/4), RICHARDS 7 (4/3):
The three younger players put on the liveliest midfield display we’ve had
for months. Matt in particular was a real playmaker in the first half, and
might have been MotM if he’d been allowed to stay in that position.
Unfortunately, Sito’s injury meant he went into the old left-back role where
he found himself rather exposed. Garvan matured as the match went on, and at
times was the most influential player on the pitch. Only Darren let the side
down; not just because almost every dead ball he played was poor (he had an
awful day in that respect), but because his static style of play stuck out
like a sore thumb with all the movement going on around him and up front.
Now I can suddenly see where Gavin Williams might fit in. Credit for the
ball which set up the goal though: top class.

HAYNES 6 (3/3), BOWDITCH 6 (3/3):
Sure, both missed great chances, and Danny wilted visibly (and worryingly)
over the last twenty minutes, but these two played as much of a part as
anyone in it being such a sparky performance. If they were given a chance to
get a bit of a relationship going, and to learn to time their runs across
the defence better, they could be as good a pairing as we have in the club
at the moment. They certainly have the crowd willing them on, and that can’t
be said for the more senior strikers. Danny seems more reminiscent of Benty
with every game.

Subs – WESTLAKE threw himself into the game and was the equal on
left-midfield to Matt Richards’ first half performance. He took the goal
really well too. MacDONALD was lively enough, without creating much.

The REF was …well, let’s be grateful there isn’t much to say about the ref
when it’s Andy D’Urso.

The CROWD was buzzing, but at times almost funereal, as if making any sound
might upset what was going on in front of them. As the match wore on though,
the stunned silence gave way to noisier appreciation, and the team got the
ovation they deserved at the end.

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