The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 2 Derby Co 1

An afternoon which had just about everything for a large crowd in the sunshine, including a scrap, some encouraging football from Town, and of course a terrific comeback. I’d put this ninety minutes alongside the Colchester and Norwich games as the most memorable of the season at Portman Road.

Town were hugely unlucky to be behind at the break – an almost endless succession of chances had gone just wide of the same post at our end, while the North got to see Derby score 100% of their decent chances. But the football was crisp and intelligent throughout, and the movement from the front two was one of the highlights of the afternoon. This really is much, much better stuff.

Naturally, however, it’ll be the scrap which will be the main talking point. There was an Ipswich corner, the ball went off for a goal kick, and Alex Bruce and the Derby keeper had a bit of a coming-together. I didn’t see any punches thrown or anything, and it culminated with the two just doing that thing where they put their foreheads together and try to see who can shout the most nastily.

That was it really. The ref did call them over, but it was presumably just to have a word. Everyone was shocked when he pulled out his red card and waved it at both of them. Bruce then jogged off to the tunnel, and the Derby keeper sprinted up behind him, grabbed him and clearly gestured, very aggressively, that they should sort this out in the tunnel. As far as I could see, it was the first violent bit of the whole incident. Then it all went off, with players coming from all over the pitch to join in the pushing and shoving.

Town came out with as much purpose in the second half, and I don’t think the ten-against-ten or the changes which had resulted affected things that much. Magilton had a replacement defender on the bench (Harding), and Derby had a goalkeeper there, fortunately (unlike Ipswich). The ref continued to penalise and book everything that moved. But that just added to the spice of the occasion. It was predictable that when we eventually equalised – deservedly – it would come from a silly mistake by the Derby defence, rather than as a result of all our industry.

Nothing, however, was as predictable as Danny Haynes coming on and winning the match. We’d waited agonisingly long to see him introduced (surprisingly up front rather than wide), and then it seemed to take ages for him to get the chance to show his pace, but when he did, Derby had no answer, other than a foul and a penalty. “Have we ****ed your season up?” was the chant at the end, and we just might have done. The fact that Derby are challenging for automatic promotion is ample evidence that this season there’s even less quality than usual vying to be the sacrificial lambs in the Premiership next year.

Overall Town Performance: 9 (5 for effort/4 for achievement)

Player Ratings

SUPPLE 6 (3/3): Nice to see Shane get a chance, and he did reasonably. His kicking, allied with Jon Walters’ ability to win a percentage of long balls not seen since Scowcroft’s prime, is a real asset. Communication with the defence was a bit rusty, but that’s perhaps only to be expected.

WILNIS 8 (4/4), BRUCE, DE VOS 7 (4/3), WRIGHT 6 (3/3): I thought Fab had a cracking game. Right back, centre back, Jim could have asked him to play anywhere and I doubt he’d have let anyone down. Jason was very composed throughout in a tough marking job, and probably deserves more credit in the player-of-the-year stakes than I suspect he’s going to get. Two yellow cards all year in the festival of bookings going on around him is ample evidence of the calmness he’s showed under pressure.

PETERS 6 (3/3), WILLIAMS 7 (4/3), GARVAN 6 (3/3), ROBERTS: A solid, hardworking effort across the park, with Garv impressive in the first half, a performance matched by a lively display from Gav after the break. Jamie still can’t find the killer passes but he really keeps opposing defences occupied.

JEFFERS 8 (4/4), WALTERS 8 (4/4): Great stuff. For the first 30 minutes Franny Jeffers gave a masterclass in creating chances (as well as putting them just wide of the post), and he really looked a class above. But while Jon will never get the same share of headlines or goals, his contribution ws just as important. He seemed to win almost everything in the air, but we weren’t playing a long-ball game, and it was his hold-up play and distribution on the ground which was just as effective.

Subs: HARDING 5 (3/2) came on following the sendings-off, with Fab moving to the centre. To be honest, he seemed a little rusty, getting caught out quite a few times, but good to see his marauding runs forward again. O’CALLAGHAN 6 (3/3) replaced the injured Owen Garvan for the second half, and was impressively solid again. And what can you say about HAYNES? He just seems to do it again and again. Didn’t have that much to do, but my goodness, he made it count when he got the chance. The only blot on his copybook was his daft removal of his shirt after putting the penalty away; not that we cared of course, but having just seen Franny Jeffers get cautioned for the same thing, it was stupid to have a fifth player in the book – as far as he knew, I suspect, it might have been the sixth and a possible fine for the club.

The CROWD began fairly laid-back, but slowly got going, especially as events wound people up. The North were having fun by the end, but there was also a disturbing amount of noise coming from behind the other goal. Most alarming. The REFEREE was consistent, but that’s all that can really be said in his favour. Consistent in the low level of physical contact required for a foul to be given, and consistent in his brandishing of cards for almost any transgression. If he’d just had a word with Bruce and the Derby keeper, there’d have been none of the silliness which followed, but he simply over-reacted.

Reply to “Ipswich Town 2 Derby Co 1”

Follow us on Twitter!

Site Search