The View From Churchmans

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


Crewe 1 Ipswich Town 2

File this one under Just The Sort Of Performance We Needed. If you weren’t
there, don’t let the late goal fool you: we were well worth the three points
against a poor Crewe side, but (as usual) the faithful had to endure plenty
of heart-stopping moments. Marcus Stewart had a stomach upset, and George
Burley obviously went down in sympathy by having a brain upset: here’s a
good idea, Fabien Wilnis has been rubbish recently at right back, let’s play
him at left back! Right George, and why not put Mogga as left-winger?
Needless to say, it was confusion all round on the left side, with Wilnis
and Clapham falling over each other and huge gaps being left behind for
Rodney Jack to exploit. On the other side, Michael Clegg made a sound, if
unexceptional debut. The 4-4-2 was ambitious, especially as two of the
defenders were the erratic Wilnis and the untried Clegg, and it didn’t work
in a fairly uneventful first half. The awful pitch didn’t suit our passing
game (I thought Clegg might have felt at home though), and that only added
to the Sunday League atmosphere you get in a ground where three sides are
ten or less rows of seats deep. But (and here’s a shocker!) Burley actually
changed things at half time (yes! After 45 minutes, not 85!), taking Naylor
off, pushing Scowie up and bringing on Jermaine Wright. Normally, I’d have
been sceptical about this – we all know how effective the Johnson-Scowcroft
partnership is (not) but the game changed totally for an unexpected reason:
the space and creativity of Wright! For 15 minutes he made all the
difference (until Crewe got to grips with things), but even in a more muted
role he eventually delivered the biggest bonus of all.
Some ratings:

Richard Wright 8
– – beaten twice (one hitting the post), but both times was badly let down by
the defence. On two other occasions came out brilliantly to save the day.

Clegg 7 McGreal 8 Mowbray 6 Wilnis 5
– – John’s reading of the game saved the day several times. Mogga was
stretched to keep up with things, and is starting to give away one too many
fouls (leaning etc) for my liking. Wilnis put in a couple of decent passes,
but sinfully neglected his out-and-out full-back responsibilities most of
the time.

Scowcroft 7 Holland 8 Magilton 8 Clapham 7
– – Matt and Jim worked their socks off, and Jim was always, always there to
provide the option to other players, whether defenders coming forward, other
midfielders, or forwards laying it back. The only downer was an unforgivable
0 shots on target out of 5 decent attempts. Jamie C’s strike for the first
goal was a peach, but he didn’t like being paired up with Wilnis.

Johnson 6 Naylor 5 (Jermaine Wright 7)
– – Well, Johnno would definitely get a 7 for effort, which is an improvement,
but he just can’t see past playing with his back to goal and laying off the
ball to the nearest blue shirt. About 75% of our attacks broke down when the
ball reached Johnno, and we can’t waste our superbly won midfield domination
like that. Psycho just wasn’t with it today – dunno what was wrong. Jermaine
Wright gave us a real extra dimension for 15 minutes after half-time, and
although quietened down by closer Crewe attention after that, he still
seemed to want it. And the strike for the winner was bloomin’ marvellous.

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