The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 3 West Brom 1

I’m not sure we can learn much from this. We were on fire in the first half
an hour or so, but as West Brom began to get more and more physical, one by
one our players started to get very intimidated, and by the end only the
very hardest (Scowie, Matt and Jim) were prepared to mix it. We lost our
shape and quite frankly, we looked like the side with 9 men. But for the
first thirty minutes, with Scowie feeding Johnno and Psycho beautifully, it
looked like we were going to get a hatful. Think about it: two goals, but
Scowie hit the bar and put a header just over, there was a clear penalty
claim, Jim went inches close twice, Johnno blazed over with only the keeper
to beat… I could go on.
On the down side, right back looks to be a real problem position. Putting
Mick there (as several people on the List have suggested) was a total
disaster. He looked so exposed there, and quickly lost all his confidence.
Thankfully West Brom were too busy going quietly psycho to concentrate on
this. McGreal was very hesitant, not knowing whether to cover his man or
cover for Mick.
When Johnno went off (and West Brom really started to lose their senses), we
also found Naylor’s limitations. Confident and productive alongside Johnno,
he just went to pieces when asked to lead the attack – a real shame. Later
in the match, Scowie went forward to try and lead the attack, but by then it
was a park game. Very strange.
Up to this point West Brom’s disciplinary record has been relatively
innocuous, so I’m sure their fans will have been as startled as we were at
this extraordinary display. West Brom set out like they were all on drugs or
something. Starting off no more than a little physical, they slowly started
to cross the line into looking a bit dirty, but with a *terrible* ref
refusing to even have a word, the inevitable happened and it all went off.
Johnno was hacked down, possibly a red card offence in itself, then he and
his assailant came to blows, and everyone piled in. Both the original two
got yellows (making the West Brom player’s sentence a red, and giving Johnno
a five-yellow suspension). And it just got worse. The second West Brom
player to get a red, after hacking down Psycho who was clean through, also
had to go. But neither of the two who went off were the worst offenders on
the West Brom side. Gippo Sneekes, who thinks he’s Emmanuel Petit, was
constantly showing studs, and Lee Hughes just began to lose it totally.
After an awful challenge, far worse than the two which had got team-mates
sent off, but which didn’t even get a ticking-off from the bizarre ref, he
went in again and again on McGreal until he finally got a yellow. The West
Brom bench had the sub ready and were screaming for him to come off before
he became red card number three. After gratefully getting to the final
whistle without a broken leg in the side (although Johnno’s injury worried
me), we get home to find out that the West Brom players then started to
fight amongst themselves after the final whistle, assaulted two of our
stewards, and a couple of them were “helping Suffolk Police with their
enquiries”. Incredible.

Some ratings:
Wright 7 – a couple of good saves, and rightly furious that we let nine men
walk the ball into the net
Stockwell 5 (Wright 7) McGreal 6 Mowbray 6 Brown 7 Clapham 7
– – Mick looked well off the pace and dragged John down with him, Tony was
occasionally wobbly (again) but despite a few giveaways, Brown continued to
improve. Like Jamie though, he looked in fear of his life towards the end
and just tried to keep well out of it.
Holland 8 Magilton 8 Scowcroft 8 – magnificent performances from Matt and
Jim, played like four men (which they have to in this midfield-lite
formation). And this position gives Scowie the chance to use his strength in
midfield and run on to crosses, much better than receiving them with his
back to goal which he’s been stuck doing for too long. Scowie, although
playing further back, should have had three or four. (And can I just say
McGreal’s diagonal 40 yard crosses are becoming one of our most effective
weapons with Scowie on this sort of form)
Johnson 7 (Midgely 6) Naylor 6 – Richard would rated seven while Johnno was
on, but lost his way totally in the second half. Nice to see Midgely get a
run out, although I could only think we should have been singing “two
Richard Naylors, there’s only two Richard Naylors” the way he was playing).

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