The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 3 Scunthorpe Utd 2

Some comedy defending made this one seem a lot closer than it should have been – no matter how hard players work, overcoming two gifted goals is always going to be a challenge. But hey, we did it, and not only did we get over that hurdle, but we also overcame what surely must be the final time we see this awful experiment of wasting Jonny Walters on the left. Jim learned nothing from the other night, deciding that this ridiculous arrangement should continue, and coupled with Gavin Williams not impressing again despite getting yet another chance, we were our own worst enemy.

Of course in the stands everyone’s commenting that Jim must be the last person in the ground to realise it’s not working, but that’s surely not the case. He’s just another typical manager who is the last person in the ground to admit it’s not working. For goodness’ sake, Clarke and Miller might not have been the stars of the side this season, but in the home matches where they’ve started, the results have been fantastic. So why bugger around with this sort of success? They were both on the bench, and it was clear after about twenty minutes that continuing with Tuesday night’s poor lineup wasn’t working. So in the face of such evidence, why wait until the match is three-quarters-done to restore the old order?

Anyway, eventually he did, and there was a happy ending. The home record remains phenomenal, and we should be grateful, but the last three matches have been a little shakier than most of the preceding ones. And our next five home games are all against other teams from the top nine. We need to get a lot more of the old solidity back.

Overall Town performance:
6/10 – useful at times, but generally unbalanced, and too many mistakes. However, the defence were dumped in the poo far too often by the midfield being so thin.

Opposition quality:
7/10 – pretty decent, especially given their resources. The time-wasting apart, they had a good approach to the game, and – like Colchester last year – realise they can reach their 50-point target by hard work and consistent closing down of the opposition.

5/10 – too picky by half.

Match excitement:
6/10 – you have to be fair to a game with five goals, but it wasn’t a classic.

Opposition supporters:
4/10 – unmemorable.

Player ratings as ever 1 to 5 for each of effort/achievement…

ALEXANDER 6 (2/4) pulled off an astonishing save in the second half without which the unbeaten home record could easily have gone. But a few (unusual) moments of poor communication with the defence were also in evidence.

WRIGHT 5 (3/2) has to take his share of the responsibility for the below-par defensive display; but it was WILNIS 5 (3/2) and DE VOS 6 (4/2) who provided most of the comedy moments, far too many for comfort; and so it’s SITO 6 (3/3) who probably had the steadiest performance of the four..

HAYNES 4 (2/2) was just as frustrating as against Leicester, reluctant to make the runs and lacking in anticipation; GARVAN 7 (4/3) worked hard throughout, despite the lack of movement and opportunity around him; WILLIAMS 4 (2/2) was yet again largely absent; and WALTERS 6 (3/3) once again showed the right attitude in the wrong position, while achieving little – at least he eventually got the chance to get back on the other side and show what he can do.

LEE 4 (2/2) has slowed down so much now he’s almost disappeared from view, and is a real worry; but COUNAGO 8 (4/4) was again my man of the match; he’s really stepped up to the mark in the last few games, taking on more than his fair share of responsibility in addition to offering almost all of our attacking threat. Even his attitude has improved immensely.

MILLER should have been on an hour earlier (well, actually, from the start) because we looked so much more balanced when he was there – and a great strike for the winner too. CLARKE was left even later, absurdly.

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