The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Leeds Utd 0

A satisfying result against an unadventurous and occasionally unpleasant
side. It’s almost as if Ken Bates thought: “Hmmm, is this the Leeds I
remember? No. Let’s bring back the Leeds everyone knows and hates,
shall we?” So with Roy Keane already snapped up, it was natural that
he’d turn to the odious Dennis Wise as manager, and it shows already.
Charitably, you could suggest Wise has tried to install some steel
into his underperforming squad, but in reality I think he’s trying to
install his own brand of nastiness. Nicholls can clearly mix it as he
proved, and players like Foxe can niggle with the best of them, but
I’m not sure the bulk of the squad will rise to that sort of
challenge. Expect to see Westy on his way before long.

I can’t say we were brilliant. Up against a stifling game including
five in midfield, we needed a mobile attack, which was never going to
happen with the heavyweights up front. The midfield (which is probably
the only part of our team currently “first choice”) battled hard, but
couldn’t produce miracles, other than Gavin Williams’ goal. Rarely
have I seen a Town side pass aimlessly sideways quite so much, but
it’s better than long punts, I suppose.

But it was nice to see us hold on to a slender lead for so long, and
not give away silly goals. And doubly nice to see us win against
opposition who don’t deserve any sympathy whatsoever.

Overall Town Performance: 6 (3 for effort/6 for achievement)

Player Ratings

PRICE 6 (3/3): Surprisingly little to do.

BRUCE 5 (3/2), NAYLOR 6 (3/3), DE VOS 6 (3/3), HARDING 6 (3/3):
Weren’t punished when they went to sleep and presented Leeds with a
sitter, fortunately. Alex Bruce looked occasionally weak, the rest
were relatively untroubled.

ROBERTS 8 (4/4), LEGWINSKI 6 (3/3), GARVAN 6 (3/3), WILLIAMS 7 (3/4):
It won’t surprise anyone that Jim’s concentrated on getting the
midfield right, and with his two signings and two injury returnees
back in to replace the loanees, it’s probably now the midfield he
wants to see. And I’d say they’re starting to look like a very useful

MACKEN 6 (3/3), LEE 6 (3/3): Macken was fairly useless in the first
half, but picked up after the break. If only he could be more
consistent and build on that. I doubt we’ll see much more of him
though. Lee biggest involvement was as the recipient of our
far-too-frequent “aimless balls into the corner” first half tactic (a
tactic which Conference fans are probably more familiar with than we
are). Nodded on the goal beautifully though.

Subs: HAYNES was terrific, and brought the game to life, scaring the
Leeds defence witless at times. WALTON bulked up the midfield for a
bit at the end.

The CROWD started quietly but the North Stand in particular got
reasonably animated as the game wore on. The REFEREE was pretty
inconsistent but at least produced the right decisions when it kicked
off at the end. Nicholls’ comical dive following a half-hearted push by
Garvan (*after* the assault on Haynes) might have earned him a second yellow
to accompany his straight red. That might be something of a record.

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