The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 3 Colchester Utd 1

A match we didn’t look like winning for long periods, but in the end it all
fell into place and it was so amusing to see the reactions of the Cahwyoo
fans, who once again made this game seem like their cup final. We began in a
lively enough fashion, but after 15 minutes or so the opposition had
comfortably got the measure of us, surrounding our two beleaguered central
midfielders and preventing them distributing the ball to the wide guys other
than with panicky punts. We desperately needed a Plan B, but there wasn’t to
be one until much later in the game, and by halfway through the second half
I was beginning to think we were more likely to let in a second than
equalise. Not that we were that bad, or that Colchester were particularly
good, but they were just well organised, more tactically astute and willing
to keep getting stuck in across the board.

Then it all went mad. For the second home match running, we gave away a
penalty against an opponent breaking away down a channel at the edge of the
baby box, in exactly the same position. This time I didn’t think it was
quite as blatant a dive, but nevertheless, no way was it a penalty, and
justice was done when Alexander saved the penalty magnificently.

After that the crowd came alive, so did Town, and perhaps most significantly
of all, Colchester’s tactical discipline fell apart, letting us create
chances which they’d never have done in the previous 60 minutes. Bang bang
bang, in went three goals, and a night which could have been really grim
turned into one we’ll remember fondly for quite a while.

Overall Town performance:
5/10 – generally out-thought and a bit one-dimensional.

Opposition quality:
7/10 – they haven’t got much in the way of flair, and barely a single
individual who catches the eye, but their manager had the measure of us.

4/10 – didn’t do us any favours, and really wimped out by giving the penalty.

Match excitement:
6/10 – quite poor in the main, but it all went mental at the end.

Opposition supporters:
8/10 – loads of ’em and noisy, although limited in repertoire, mainly
because they’re obsessed with hating us, made even worse by the fact that we
really don’t care (and many of us actually secretly quite like them!).

Player ratings as ever out of 5 for each of effort/achievement…

ALEXANDER 8 (3/5) made one smart reaction stop from a corner just before the
penalty, then followed it up with *that* save, which – all in all – turned
the match.

WRIGHT 6 (3/3) was fairly comfortable; WILNIS 6 (3/3) and DE VOS 7
(4/3) had to work hard because the overrun midfield let the opposition run
at them far too many times for comfort – but they got away with it; and
HARDING 8 (4/4) was my MotM by being both solid on the back foot and
enthusiastic going forward.

WALTERS 5 (3/2) had a disappointing evening, with a fair bit of involvement
but little effective impact; LEGWINSKI 4 (2/2) looked off the pace and just
didn’t show the reliability in the simple things which characterises his
game; GARVAN 6 (4/3) didn’t really rise above the pressure he was put under;
and CLARKE 5 (3/2) just didn’t see enough of the ball to make his mark on
the game.

LEE 5 (2/3) had a half-decent first 45 minutes but disappeared for the rest
of the game; and although COUNAGO 5 (3/2) had a bit more involvement
throughout, nothing seemed to go anywhere on most of the occasions when he
was involved.

Of course, the subs were the story of the evening. I don’t think the game
opened up specifically because of HAYNES, but he’s certainly the man to have
when things go that way, and he read his goal beautifully. Where did TROTTER
come from? Last time I saw him he was just another gangly youth team player;
now he’s this really solid, imposing central midfielder who seemed to have
the composure of someone who’d played for ages, not one who was making his
first league appearance. It’s far too early to know if he’s going to be any
good, but boy, do I want to see more. ROBERTS came on for a few minutes at
the end, presumably because he’d be good at taking the ball into the corner
and wasting time. He wasn’t.

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