The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 0 Barnsley 2

Firstly I have to say that I enjoyed this game more than the awful
Birmingham game last week, despite the fact we lost. Does this make me a
bad person? But Barnsley are an ordinary side, with probably even more
injury problems than we have, and it’s worrying how easily they found us
out: run straight through the middle (our biggest weakness) then change
formation and see how slow we are to react (our second biggest weakness).
I’ve been frustrated in the past at how reluctant Burley is to change
formations, but this match went to the opposite extreme, and it was an
extreme of silliness. In the first half it was the same formation as
Birmingham, although with Petta much more lively he was allowed to change
sides as is his will. But Barnsley played little out wide, and Jamie
Clapham was left out of the game completely. With Tanner playing (for the
third match in a row) like a Sunday League player, we were two men short
and only got away with it because Deon Burton was such a liability for
them. He was awful, and then after handbags with Manuel, he completely
lost his head. Only when Hignett and Dyer kept the ball away from him did
Barnsley cut through us as easily as we feared.
Clearly at half time changes were needed, and we got the right one:
Clapham into midfield, and Petta further forward with an even looser
brief. But it didn’t really work, and so Burley started all sorts of
experiments. Tanner back to make a flat back four, Dyer into central
midfield, and finally Clapham onto the other wing where he looked like a
bemused tourist. What with Naylor having to come on for the injured
Scowcroft, and Abou’s somewhat errant nature, nobody knew where anyone
was (or more importantly was going to be). Way before the end, heads were
beginning to drop, and the likes of Venus were visibly frustrated with
not knowing who was going to be where.
Then of course Barnsley brought on a wide man, the guy they’ve just got
from a non-league club! Some time in the hour or so it takes us to
reorganise for a change like that (about 4 minutes into that time, in
fact), the guy strolled down the right wing past Thetis and centred for
an easy goal. Don’t blame Tanner here by the way, the scorer might have
beaten him to the ball, but he wasn’t Tanner’s man – that was Bruce Dyer
at the far post, who he’d covered as long as possible. The second goal
was an even more tragic example of a defence on holiday, but by then we
were beaten.
The ref wasn’t brilliant, but after the joker in the Birmingham game, he
was OK. A few howlers (Kieron should have got a penalty after his
fantastic run), but he was fair on Petta, and he put the lid on Barnsley
well when they started to get dirty in the first half. Burton should have
gone off though.
We need to put more pressure on opposition defences. Scowcroft can do it
when he puts himself about a bit (he didn’t yesterday, and I hope the
collision wasn’t as bad as it looked, or he might not be doing it for
several weeks to come). Johnson can do it. But Naylor isn’t really doing
it. And Abou is certainly not.
Some ratings:
Wright 7
Clapham 6 Venus 6 Mowbray 6 Thetis 7 Dyer 7
Petta 7 Holland 7 Tanner 5
Scowcroft 6 Abou 6
(Sub Naylor 6)
MotM is tough: Petta and Dyer were often brilliant, but Petta gave up at
half time, and Dyer’s head dropped later on as he gave the ball away time
and time again. Richard was like a rock most of the time in goal, but two
did go past him. Matt was solid and perhaps for the goal line clearance
(which nobody else would have reached) he gets my vote.

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