The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 5 Luton 0

Blimey. Didn’t see that one coming. Over the years, various teams have gone
down heavily at Portman Road by letting us play football and relying on
devices like the offside trap; squads and managers may come and go, but some
things never seem to change. Luton’s tactics this afternoon may have been
forced on them by injury and illness, but they ended up on the receiving end
of one of Town’s most comfortable victories for years. I just hope they
weren’t affected by the awful news about Sol Davis.

The funny thing was, we never really beat the offside trap, and it certainly
stifled a lot of Billy Clarke’s running and creativity. But it was
symptomatic of an approach which just played into our hands. Several players
stepped up to the mark and took the opportunity they were given to play some
fine football. Our erratic season goes on; the goals for and against columns
are looking like the Royle era never went away, and our embarrassing
position in the yellow-card league is something I can’t ever remember. Mind
you, we haven’t had the luck on this front – I’m seething after just
watching Legwinski’s booking on the telly, for apparently charging down a
free kick; the video shows he hadn’t taken a single step forward when the
kick was taken. And who would call Bruce a dirty player? Not me.

So there you go; one weekend we let in five at home, the next we score five,
both against teams from the same area of the table, several places above us.
It mystifies me. Welcome to management, Jim.

Overall Town Performance: 8 (3 for effort/5 for achievement)

Player Ratings

SUPPLE 6 (3/3): There’s more of an air of confidence about the place when
Shane is between the sticks, although I’m not certain why. Little to do, but
couldn’t be faulted when called on. Good stuff.

WILNIS 6 (3/3), BRUCE 7 (3/4), DE VOS 7 (4/3), HARDING 6 (4/2): Very solid,
with the only weak spot being a tendency for Dan Harding to be caught out of
position and beaten fairly comfortably. Jason led by example again, and
Alex’s distribution impressed.

PETERS 6 (3/3), LEGWINSKI 8 (4/4), WALTON 6 (3/3), RICHARDS 8 (4/4):
Much better. There was movement and yet solidity here too, with Monica
showing why he was worth a Premiership place as recently as this time last
year. Simon Walton has grown on me – he seems less belligerent now, and more
of a team player, although his control could have been better on some
crucial occasions. Peters was a handful, on and off, but the most noteworthy
performance was probably from Matt, who’s completely recovered from a few
weeks ago and put in one of his best performances for a long time. He was
instrumental in so much of the one-way traffic in the first half, and his
crosses and corners were exemplary.

CLARKE 7 (4/3), LEE 8 (3/5): Alan now seems alert, fit and strong – more so
than at any time since immediately after he first joined. And you can’t ask
for more than a hat-trick from any striker. How Billy Clarke didn’t get on
the scoresheet too, I’ll never know, but he was terrific and never stopped.

Subs: ROBERTS really looked the part and I hope we get to see a lot more of
him; tricky, but not flash, and intelligent too. HAYNES may well have
benefited from his loan spell, because he seemed sharp as well. NAYLOR
covered well for Jason.

The CROWD were good, with the North Stand in fine form. The REFEREE ruined
his afternoon by giving two ridiculous bookings, but thank heavens for the
intelligence of his linesman for disallowing what would have been a Luton
equaliser. Everyone seems to have missed the fact, but Vine came from a
clearly offside position on the halfway line to finish off the goal. Top
marks as well to MIKE NEWELL for staying at the tunnel to shake the hands of
every single Ipswich player as they came off, and this took quite a while as
one or two wanted to stay on the pitch to milk the applause a bit. That
didn’t put Newell off though. Interesting that he hardly acknowledged his
own side as they trooped by.

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