The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Fulham 0

The wife said before the game in front of everyone: “I had this dream last
night of a dark-haired player who nobody had ever seen before coming on for
us as substitute and scoring at the North Stand end. I can see it now, clear
in my mind, it’s bright sunshine, and he’s standing on the halfway line with
both arms raised, and all the others are rushing over to congratulate him.”
As it was raining when she said this, and the mysterious “player who nobody
had ever seen before” is the sort of player who always pops up in our dreams
of the impossible, we all just smiled. When of course we should have been
heading straight for Ladbrokes. Damn.

Anyway, this one had Blackburn written all over it. Burley reverted to
5-3-2, the ineffectual Scowie-Johnno “partnership” (ha ha) up front, Venus
retained in defence, the unexpected return of John McGreal at the back,
Croft deputising for (replacing?) Wilnis, and Jermaine Wright in to stiffen
up the midfield. So, lots of possession, probably even complete domination,
but only a few folorn real attempts on goal? Yep. Boy, were we all over
them. Yet the chances, when they came, fell to Holland, Holland again,
Holland again, and, er, Holland …again. And who’s the worst finisher in
the side?

OK, probably Tony Mowbray, but really, Matt’s conversion rate is pretty
abysmal. Even saints have flaws.

So, nil-nil, with 15 minutes to go Burley makes the normal pointless
substitutions – you know the sort of thing, move Croft over from where he
was having a glorious game to completely the other side, swap Wright (who’s
having one of his best games) for the untried Reuser, and just do a simple
Scowie-for-Psycho switch. About as positive as something which is, er, not
very positive.

But *just for once* the gods were smiling on us. In the last minute, Fulham
lost their discipline for the first time in the match and let us break away
in a 4 on 4. Jamie Clapham (who’d been lost in midfield again) tore through
the middle of the park, laid it off to Jim Magilton (who’d been having a
fairly ineffective game too), went for the one-two, but would you believe
it, Jim spotted Martijn Reuser running through in an even better position,
played a perfect first-time ball, and Reuser just got to it before the
keeper. If you thought *you* went wild, imagine how all the Dutch fans in
Churchmans must have been going. Astonishing.

Just watched the goal again on Sky, and Reuser was about 0.1mm onside. Phew.
On another day…

Some ratings:

Wright 7 – could have read War and Peace in his spare moments. Hayles,
Peschisolido, Riedle, Goldbaek …yet sod all to do really. Should be
commended for being alert when needed then.

Croft 8 McGreal 8 Mowbray 7 Venus 5 Clapham 6 – Croft looks very good at the
moment, and doesn’t really need a midfielder in front of him to be
effective. McGreal was faultless. Venus wasn’t. Playing an average game, he
got hurt and his passing (what little there is of it to commend) went to
pieces. Jamie looked out of place again when pushed into midfield in the
second half in a 4-4-2.

Wright 7 Holland 7 Magilton 6 – Jermaine really gave the midfield some
substance today, and was unlucky that Burley wanted to give Reuser a run-out
(apart from the goal, Reuser looked like he didn’t know anything about his
team and the way it played, funny that).

Scowcroft 5 Johnson 5 – Johnno started lively, and there were even a couple
of his once-trademarked blistering turns (which shocked us more than Fulham)
but as the match went on, he was getting more and more useless, and quite
frankly, just got in the way too much. Disappointing, but not as
disappointing as Scowie, who we’ve been getting so much more from recently.
I hope it’s a temporary bad patch, that’s all.

My holiday planning 10 – I’m off on holiday for a week and won’t miss a
game. Sheer class.

C’mon you blues!

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