The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 2 Southampton 0

This 100% home record has to end soon, or else in the stands we’re going to be in danger of taking for granted being the country’s most spoiled supporters. In any one of the past few seasons, a comfortable two-nil home win against Southampton would have been extremely satisfactory, but this one left most of us with a “could do better” feeling. I promise I’m not complaining about three points though!

The problem with our performance last night was simply that the creative engine failed to spark. The defence were rock solid, recording their third clean sheet in a row at home, Pablo was lively up front and Jonny Walters proved his normal threat. But elsewhere in the middle, it wasn’t really happening. Owen and (particularly) Alan Lee seemed to be labouring a bit, and more went wrong than right for those who normally make things happen: Dan Harding, Tommy and Owen.

Fortunately Southampton were clueless, relying on a combination of nippiness (which we coped with) and an edgy, petulant attitude (which we avoided getting sucked into). They look to have some problems there which can’t be explained away by having a lot of defenders out injured. Of all the home matches for us to have a bit of an off-day, this was the right one to pick.

Overall Town performance:
6/10 – frustrating: too much didn’t come off. But we made it with the help of good defending and a bit of good luck with the first goal.

Opposition quality:
3/10 – worst opponents of the season so far (how did we stick 6 past a far better Bristol City side?).

4/10 – over-ruling his linesman for a penalty decision was just one of many quite odd decisions, and whilst I like to see a ref keep his cards in his pocket, it took an astonishingly long time for him to (finally) yellow-card that bizarrely stroppy ex-Pompey defender.

Match excitement:
3/10 – if you were one of those people stuck on the A14 just north of Ipswich, there were worse games to miss.

Opposition supporters:
3/10 – usually a decent bunch, but seemed a little depressed.

Player ratings as ever 1 to 5 for each of effort/achievement…

ALEXANDER 7 (4/3) another confident performance without having much to do, but he has a really good developing relationship with De Vos and Bruce, and I think is the key to their solid displays as a unit all season.

WRIGHT 7 (3/4) was my pick of an impressive back four display, making the most of the advantage he has over Dan Harding in having – for a full-back – a dream player in front of him; BRUCE 7 (3/4) and DE VOS 7 (3/4) rarely looked anything but in total control of the situation; HARDING 6 (3/3) was quieter than usual, and misplaced quite a few passes.

WALTERS 6 (3/3) inevitably worked hard and almost made the breakthrough on a few occasions; MILLER 5 (2/3) failed to make much of an impression; GARVAN 5 (3/2) put himself about despite nothing seeming to be working; CLARKE 5 (3/2) was lively but rarely made much happen.

LEE 5 (2/3) was a presence but looked increasingly off the pace as the game wore on; COUNAGO 7 (4/3) worked hard and eventually got the break which was eluding everyone else.

WILLIAMS looked very useful during his 25 minutes, and despite having to play quite deep, really started to make things happen. I’m looking forward to his full return. HAYNES and LEGWINSKI didn’t get a chance to do anything really.

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