The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 2 Crewe 1

A mixture of an encouraging gradual return to form (Johnson), continued
poor form (Clapham, Scowcroft), more Burley stupidity (taking Brown off),
and classic Ipswich switch-off (the second half). Although the return to
the Mowbray back five had given us three clean sheets, Burley decided
Crewe weren’t worth wasting a fifth defender on, and he would have got
away with it were it not for his normal inability to spot who’s playing
well (and who’s not) on the day. Clapham was having a second successive
poor game (this time as the left midfielder in a 4-4-2) and Brown was
looking relatively confident behind him at left back. So in the 71st
minute, to accommodate bringing on Friars, Burley doesn’t just take off
Clapham in a straight swap, he takes Brown off and drops Clapham back to
left back. It took Crewe about 3 seconds to walk straight through the
left back position and equalise. Burley’s decisions during the game are
as dire now as they’ve ever been. After having been dominated by Town in
the first half, Crewe (with a manager who can think on his feet), simply
moved up 10 yards and played the same game, closing us right down, and
getting right back into the game. Against any other team, this would be
risky, opening up the possibility of the attack getting into the ten
yards which has opened up behind you, but against Ipswich? Well, perhaps
Crewe knew there was no way we’d change our tactics. What’s good enough
for Burley at 3pm is always good enough for 4.30pm. Thank goodness whilst
finding our feet again we’ve had a string of matches against ordinary
sides.

Some ratings:
Wright 7: one fine save, little else to do really (in fact, not one shot
to save in the first half)

Croft 6 McGreal 7 Mowbray 7 Brown 7: whilst Croft was an improvement on
Wilnis of late, he seemed a little nervous about his responsibilities at
the back and could have supported Stockwell better. Brown’s distribution
wasn’t up to the standards he’s promised.

Stockwell 7 Holland 7 Magilton 7 Clapham 5: Jamie’s going through a bad,
bad spell, giving the ball away, not making space and looking more
one-footed than ever. Jim and Matt still get in each other’s way too much
(in terms of the shape of the team). Jesus tired earlier than usual, and
like Jamie, seemed slighly unsure of his role.

Johnson 7 Scowcroft 6: a continued return to form for Johnno, although he
was making little effort to contribute (by making space) for much of the
game – two sparkling goals though, which is good enough for me. Missed
two easier chances! Scowie has spent three years looking like a misfit
when we play the short-passing, more fluid game, and yesterday was no
exception. There wasn’t much of a target-man role for him, and his poor
close control is looking increasingly a bit of a liability; only his
strength remains as an asset at the moment.

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