The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 2 Oxford 1

Laugh? Cry? Be pleased with the slick interplay? Or despair at the
atrocious finishing? I don’t know what to think. The only time I can
remember us missing so many chances in a game was the away match at
Portsmouth back at the start of the season. Individually, the players had
great games. As a team, they performed marvellously. And yet… and
yet… get them within 10 yards of the goal and they went to pieces.
We’ve all been moaning recently about not creating chances. Today it all
came together. We created a dozen clear-cut chances in the first half
hour. But whether the ball dropped at a surprised striker’s feet 1 yard
out, whether it was yet another brilliantly worked move setting someone
free one-on-one with the keeper, or whether it was simply a useful gap
opening up at the edge of the area, whoever got the opportunity suddenly
turned into an awestruck schoolboy who couldn’t quite believe he had a
chance to make a name for himself.
Five up at half time? It should have been at least that. Instead, we were
hanging on for dear life at the end. We shouldn’t complain. The passing
was vastly improved, the movement off the ball was terrific, and Oxford
at times just looked on like spectators. If all we’re missing is
Scowcroft, we’ll be world-beaters on that form. But I can’t believe
that’s all there is to it.
Richard pulled off a couple of good stops although his kicking was
occasionally (and unusually) suspect. Jamie and Wilnis had good games but
were sometimes stranded too far forward, leaving Thetis and Venus a bit
exposed. Mogga made a few uncharacteristic errors and seemed slightly
intimidated by some over-aggressive forwards, but coped well,
considering. Thetis still terrifies me. I always think he’s going to get
skinned, or do something rash, but he never quite crosses the line.
Still, good entertainment when he gets into the inevitable scrap. Venus
has got his passing act together and put some nice runs in with the ball.
Magilton was marvellous, we’ve got to have this man permanently. Not only
did he do much of what Matty does at the back, but he did it in style,
and set Matty free further forward. Funnily enough, it was less effective
in the second half when he came forward a bit and started straying into
what had become Matty’s territory. Despite only having three midfielders,
we bossed the midfield, and that was the difference. Kieron was on fire.
A class above everyone else on the pitch, no doubt. He was everywhere.
Yet like the rest, with the goal in his sights he cracked up.
Johnno ran his heart out again, although he’s shirking his
responsibilities when it comes to finishing. He really frightened their
defence time and time again. Harewood was lightweight, and Naylor looked
more effective, but then he’s at his best running against a defence
playing the offside trap, and we rarely see that nowadays.
Great entertainment I suppose, but don’t do that to us too often, lads.

Some ratings:
Wright 7
Wilnis 7 Thetis 6 Mowbray 6 Venus 7 Clapham 7
Magilton 8 Holland 8 Dyer 9
Johnson 7 Harewood 6 (Naylor 7)

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