The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 2 Reading 0

Generally, a significant progression in the team’s performance, which will have settled a lot of jitters around the club, I should think. Now we take our rightful place alongside the mighty Doncaster in the table, and there may be better to come. Reading were a decent enough team, but we were well worth the win.

Both teams played the same sort of “pass-and-run it straight through the opposition” game: you’ll rarely see so few long balls in a Championship match. For Town, it was refreshing to see. There seemed to be a determination to keep it on the deck which produced dividends; in the first half we could (and perhaps should) have had three, all from sharp moves, and in the second half the luck turned our way in front of goal.

This was a solid performance, after one of the most disjointed starts to a season I can remember, and Jim surely won’t be tempted to mess around with the formula for the time being. If he does, questions will surely start being asked.

Overall Town performance:
7/10 – encouraging

Opposition quality:
7/10 – worked hard, and didn’t drop their guard often

5/10 – officious

Match excitement:
7/10 – pretty satisfying

Opposition supporters:
4/10 – mediocre numbers, quiet, and left early in numbers

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

WRIGHT 6 (3/3) didn’t have many saves to make, thanks to a solid central defence, and didn’t give us as many jitters as he has been

VOLZ 7 (4/3) looked very comfortable, and went on one of the funniest mazy runs into the opponents’ box I’ve seen since the days of comedy Titus; NAYLOR 8 (4/4) was once again thoroughly committed, and he doesn’t pop up in exactly the right place time and time again by accident or good fortune either – just the one spectactular goal-line clearance this week; McCAULEY limped off early; and WRIGHT 6 (3/3) was solid on the wrong side, where he was unable to be as effective going forward.

WALTERS 8 (4/4) is back to fitness and imposed himself on proceedings encouragingly; MILLER 6 (3/3) was quiet, and certainly reticent to come forward, but played his part; GARVAN 6 (3/3) also seemed slightly uninvolved, but the midfield as a whole was more effective than the individual performances might have suggested; QUINN 6 (4/2) certainly can’t be accused of being lazy, and respect to him for his workrate, but he still seems to be just filling in.

COUNAGO 7 (4/3) worked hard for the team, especially in the first half, although he was dropping back too much for my liking, and missed more than one decent chance; and STEAD 7 (3/4) had a promising start; he’s not the target man I expected at all (based, I guess, on his height) – his aerial ability was mediocre at best, but he showed far more deft touches than you’d expect, almost like a taller and more confident Dean Bowditch.

From the bench, BALKESTEIN 6 (3/3) slotted into central defence impressively, playing it simply and reliably, with only a couple of impetuous challenges revealing his lack of experience. LISBIE offered something different up front, which kept Reading engaged at a time when they could have made a late rally.

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