The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 2 Derby Co 0

And so Portman Road bids adieu to one of the least memorable seasons in the
thirty years or more that I’ve been watching the blues, with a pleasant
kickaround in the sun – and three points which may give us some hope of
finishing higher than the late John Lyall’s hopeless 1990/91 squad.

The high points of the afternoon probably took place before and after the
ninety minutes: Fab getting his player of the year award, and Jim’s
emotional lap of honour with the team long after the Derby fans had left.
The player of the year award probably summarises everything about why the
supporters have utterly failed to warm to the current management: after
hearing on Friday that the Portman Road faithful had decided that the 1-2-3
would be the three central defenders, Willieandjoe decided to do an
interview the same day saying the defence had been awful this year. Guys: we
know they’ve not been great. But Fab, Jason and Bam-Bam always tried their
best, and the fans empathise with that. It wasn’t bad timing, or sheer
crassness, to rubbish the fans’ choices – it was yet another two-fingered
salute to the crowd from the least-loved management here since the one
before Mr Lyall. Whenever they go – unlike Jim – they won’t be missed.

It’s fair to say Jim has always had mixed support in the stands: his
attitude seemed all the more hard to like next to the saintly Matt Holland,
and for the past couple of years he’s been past his sell-by date. But for
seven years of bloody-minded commitment he deserved every cheer he got
today, both at the start of the game and as he walked round at the end in
the suit he’ll probably have to get more used to wearing on matchdays in
future. I think everyone at the club will wish him well.

And the game? Nobody seemed that bothered.

Match Ratings:
Excitement – 2/5

Town Performance – 2/5

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

SUPPLE 6 (3/3):
Lewis Price would have loved an afternoon off in the sun like this.

WILNIS, NAYLOR 6 (3/3), DE VOS 6 (3/3), McEVELEY 6 (3/3):
They just did their stuff. Fab had to be taken off before half time (on his
big day too!). “Jay” was reassuringly competent, although I’m not sure he
offers too much that Scott Barron doesn’t, other than a bit more weight.

MAGILTON 8 (4/4), GARVAN 5 (2/3), RICHARDS 5 (3/2), CURRIE 5 (3/2):
Yeah, it’s a generous 8, but for half an hour it was the Jim Show – or at
least everything we did came through him. So disappointing that it was
decided to retire him quietly at half-time. Matt ain’t a central midfield
player, although he tried. Owen looks very, very tired.

FORSTER 7 (3/4), HAYNES 5 (3/2):
Nicky was quiet in the first half, but after Danny had to go off after an
hour, he became a lone striker and seemed to come alive. One goal and two
close shaves/glaring misses later, and he’s staked his claim to be the
club’s senior striker for next season.

Subs – SITO 6 (3/3) did what he had to do, like the others at the back.
PETERS 5 (3/2) looked like an exciting prospect on the right wing, although
his pace and control is let down by the final ball. Time’s on his side
still, though. JUAN looked more of a presence than in some of his recent

The REF had little to do – neither side had much passion. The CROWD were
noisy when it was merited (for Fab before the game, and for Jim after it),
and wonderfully quiet when required too (the minute’s silence). Reasonable
marks for the Mexican Waves.

And that’s it from me until August. I suppose after all those consecutive
seasons of something to play for until the last game, it’s about time we had
a damp squib of an ending. Let’s hope next year’s an improvement, and that
in April 2007 we’re talking about how successful our exciting youngsters
have been. See? My blue-tinted specs are on already.

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