The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Inter Milan 0

What a glorious evening. If ever there was an example of how commitment and
concentration can overcome the odds in football, this was it. Did we
suddenly discover a new formation which worked? No. Did the players all turn
in exceptional performances? No. We really didn’t do that much differently
from some of the ordinary performances of late. But we had such a huge dose
of commitment thrown into the mix that the ball was eventually willed into
the net. And how we deserved it. Inter were a little laid back, perhaps even
lazy, but you could see what a class outfit they could be. We just didn’t
let them play though, exemplified by Matty, Sixto and Bam-Bam really putting
it about and just never giving up.

We defended the way we do it best, by constantly attacking them. The crowd
were fantastic at times. Anything less than a Town victory would have been a
travesty, and if Jermaininho’s snapshot at the end had been 10cm closer,
we’d have had a two-goal lead. Still, I can’t think of a more exciting
scoreline to take to Milan – it promises to be a fantastic day, whatever
happens on the pitch.

Some ratings:

SERENI (6) made a cracking stop early on when Inter strolled through the
defence for just about the only time all match, but still needs to work on
the communication with his defence.

MAKIN (7) put in his first decent display of the season, a real solid
full-back’s role. He stuck closely to his man, took few chances when
clearing, and didn’t get caught forward out of position once. BRAMBLE (7)
was very solid, although made some heart-stoppingly unnecessary attempts to
be clever, not all of which came off. VENUS (6) was less involved, and
disappointed with his best free-kick opportunity, but again, was largely
error-free. HREIDARSSON (7) had a fine game, and really worried them down
the flanks, even if the final ball was rarely a killer.

WRIGHT (6) was in the far less effective wide position he seems to get
lumbered with so often, but soldiered on well. Could have been more positive
though – he was often hesitant to get forward. PERALTA (8) really made
things happen, and even if he kept taking it just a little too far, he
worried the Inter defence more than anyone else in blue. Faded towards the
end, but must have been knackered after that much effort. Great to have a
player who will just drive in at an opposing defence down the centre.
HOLLAND (7) was the heart and soul of the side, and exemplified the
commitment running down the centre of the team. CLAPHAM (5) had a stop-start
game, with too much hesitation, but did put in his best, second best and
third best crosses of the season. Anonymous for most of the second half, but
popped up for the most crucial ball of all.

COUNAGO (7) was much improved over Sunday, and although he spent too much of
the game with his back to the goal (before receiving the ball and making his
rather predictable turns), he was a constant worry to the Inter defence.
Wasted his best chance. NAYLOR (7) probably had his most effective match of
the season, really putting it about, and had he managed to get some efforts
in on goal might have been my MotM. He shouldn’t worry that the goal went in
as soon as he went off – he’d really played his part.

Subs: ARMSTRONG did the business, what more can I say? REUSER and GAARDSOE
had no chance to do anything.

The REF was very good, only a couple of silly mistakes, but kept the game
going brilliantly, never worrying if, say, a free kick was taken from the
wrong place so long as no territorial advantage was gained.
The CROWD was tremendous, and having some people back in the North really
made the difference. The empty end may have had more of an effect than some
of us realised.

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