The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 2 Preston NE 3

The change in defence was probably expected tonight, although the double
change in midfield may have been more of a surprise; whatever the case, this
was quite a different Town lineup to Saturday. And for 45 minutes, it
worked. Admittedly, Preston played nothing like their recent form has
suggested they would, but Town moved the ball around sweetly, looked very
confident, and might have had more than two goals to show from a very solid
half. They fully deserved a good ovation as they left the field.

A completely different side came out after the break. Up in the stand, we
couldn’t work out what Preston were doing differently, other than they’d
decided to come at Town with a sense of urgency, but it was a totally
changed game. We looked like we thought the game was wrapped up already. Do
we never remember we have a comedy defence? We gifted them one, with a
stupid back-header from Fab, then gave them a free header for a second (Fab
again perhaps?), and finally played on in attack when Fab had gone down
injured, meaning that when Preston mopped things up and broke away, we were
missing a fit full-back. Inevitably, they stuck in what would turn out to be
the winner.

We never really got back into it, although the introduction of young legs
ten minutes from the end (far too late) livened things up. Things are all a
bit of a mess at the moment – we need to find a settled side which will give
a performance like the first half more often than not, and we need to find
it quickly.

Overall Town Performance: 5 (3 for effort/2 for achievement)

Player Ratings

PRICE 5 (3/2): The distribution wasn’t as awful as Saturday, but Lewis has
to take a small amount of responsibility for the mix-up which led to the
first goal, seemed all at sea for the second, and it really looked as if he
should have got much closer to the third than he did. I think Supps might
get the call on Saturday.

WILNIS 4 (3/1), BRUCE 5 (3/2), DE VOS 6 (4/2), HARDING 5 (3/2): Jason looks
the part at the moment, and despite the lapses in the second half, the
defence did look more solid in the centre with Alex Bruce there. But we were
stretched in both full-back positions; Dan seems easy to pull out of
position, and Fab made just too many mistakes. All a bit worrying still.

PETERS 6 (3/3), LEGWINSKI 7 (3/4), NOBLE 6 (3/3), RICHARDS 6 (3/3):
This was a better midfield, although Jaime faded rapidly and might have been
substituted, I felt. In the first half, when he’d been given opportunities
to run at Preston, he was the most exciting player on the pitch, although
never really delivered. There was a very different Monica in the middle of
the park compared to Saturday – much more presence, and a commitment which
lasted right to the end. A word too for Matt, who played his best game for a
while, and showed for our second goal that he’s still the best crosser in
the club.

MACKEN 5 (3/2), LEE 7 (4/3): This was the best we’ve seen from Jonathan, for
the first half at least; he won balls in the air and on the ground, and
dropped back to lose his man and make opportunities on numerous occasions.
Unfortunately he disappeared from the scene after the break. Alan Lee got
stuck in for the whole game though, and was probably our MotM.

Subs: CLARKE couldn’t repeat the heroics of some recent appearances as sub,
but did a lot more in 10 minutes, as you’d expect, than Macken had done in
the previous 35. Gary ROBERTS, who’d barely had time to wipe his feet on the
club’s doormat, looked like he could be an interesting and tricky
left-winger, something I’d love to see us have.

The CROWD were OK, generous in their appreciation of the first half and when
the substitutions were made, but frustrated by the end (although probably
nothing like as much as Jim was). The REFEREE had a lot of niggles and
dissent to deal with, which he did reasonably well, and in the first half at
least played some good advantage and used his linesmen competently.

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