The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Hull City 1

Ipswich Town 1 Hull City 1

Well, a better performance than Millwall, although we probably seemed better
than we were thanks to Hull’s determination to let us ping it backwards and
forwards across the park and then just mop up once we got it in the area. We
must have had about twenty goal attempts, and there were some real sitters
amongst the missed efforts, so it was probably inevitable that our only goal
was a fluke.

Once again Joe opted for a frustrating one-up-front approach, which pleases
nobody. Not the fans who want to see youngsters getting experience, and not
his employers who desperately want to see the sort of excitement which will
get the season ticket holders renewing. Alan Lee worked hard throughout, yet
time and time again when he needed some help, all he could find was the
belated arrival of Matt Richards from midfield. It’s easy to say “we might
not have had so many chances without five across midfield”, but even if we’d
only created a fraction as many chances as we did, a second striker would
surely have helped tuck three or four of them away.

As it happened, Westy was once again targeted by an opposing midfield for
tough treatment, so we eventually got a second striker when he hobbled off.
And although Deano Mac seemed a bit out of his depth, he kept things
bubbling along in the second half when, on previous performances, I’d have
expected our heads to have dropped.

So, just one of those days then, when it wasn’t to be. But you can sense a
real air of exasperation around the place, and not only because this is
going to be the first time for over 15 years (apart from the two Premiership
relegation seasons) when there’s nothing left to play for before Easter’s
arrived. Joe’s already said that as far as he’s concerned, we’re not out of
the playoff chase until we’re ten points behind with three games left, and
only then will he start thinking about next season. He doesn’t really
believe that, surely? Oh for a five year plan again, rather than a five
minute one.

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

Player Ratings (1-5 for what they put in, 1-5 for what we got out):

SUPPLE 6 (3/3):
Confident, and furious to have been beaten by a header which he (and the
whole ground) could see coming weeks in advance.

SITO 6 (3/3), WILNIS 6 (3/3), DE VOS 6 (3/3), BARRON 5 (3/2):
They were OK. Scott Barron looked a little shaky at times, but he’s got time
(and the crowd) on his side, and he’s progressing all the time. Jason is
continuing to look more imposing – he might have been a wonderful player if
he’d done this five years earlier. Fab filled in well (he really has been Mr
Reliable for much of this season), and Sito showed good concentration
throughout, for once.

MAGILTON 5 (2/3), GARVAN 6 (3/3), CURRIE 7 (3/4), WESTLAKE,
RICHARDS 6 (4/2):
A mixed bunch of performances, even if the marks are a bit boring. Jim
played within his limitations, and whilst he did little wrong, it’s no
coincidence that the games when we just seem to pass the ball backwards and
forwards across the pitch endlessly are the ones where Jim’s involved. Owen
was solid again, and Westy hustled well before getting a painful-looking
knock. Dazzling Dazza was my pick of the bunch, not because of the goal
(which he must have been as surprised about as anyone), but because he just
stuck to the task of being a provider, wherever he was asked to play. Matt
worked the hardest of the lot, and looked much more at home on the left, but
played far too many loose balls for most people’s liking.

LEE 6 (4/2):
Alan put in the miles again, but had very little to show for it other than a
couple of really bad misses. Desperately needed support on numerous

Subs – McDONALD 5 (3/2) looked scarily lightweight at times, and seemed to
keep making the wrong choice between shooting and passing. Lively, but a big
disappointment. HAYNES was stuck out on the right wing and was all but
ignored by the rest of the team – a really anonymous performance. CASEMENT
came in as right-back when Barron got a knock, and although only on for a
few minutes, played some intelligent and impressive stuff.

The REF was one of those where you start off thinking “oh good, he’s letting
a lot go”, then you move on to “I think it’s about time to get the book
out”, and finally you’re screaming for the guy to please do something, or
anything, before it gets silly. The foul on Haynes out on the touchline was
the worst unpunished tackle I’ve seen all season. The CROWD was deathly
silent – at times, we could make out what players up the other end were
shouting. Jim got a good ovation when he went off though, as if we were
scared we might not see him again. I think we will, somehow.

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