The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 2 QPR 0

Well apparently I was wrong about Tuesday night’s match, plenty of people have told me we were alright actually (but others seemed to agree with my disappointment, so I’m not going completely mad). Whatever the case, this afternoon suggests that those who thought the Charlton game showed us to be coming along nicely had a point. Because this was much better. When it was goal-less after an hour, I was making a mental note to myself to draw attention to our improvement, whatever the eventual result, but in the end a great afternoon for Jon Stead from the bench allowed the score to speak for itself.

Again the weak link was the strikers, especially the hapless Lisbie, who I suspect is only being picked because Pablo’s awful form makes him an even worse choice. I’m not sure about a Walters/Stead partnership up front, but it may be worth a go on individual form. The midfield is coming along, although Norris seemed well out of the action wide on the right, and I preferred it when he came into the centre and Garvan moved out wide left. Sure, it’s not Garvan’s best position, but on current form he could play well just about anywhere. So funnily enough, a good performance all round hasn’t necessarily got Jim that much closer to finding his best lineup and formation.

But I’ve saved the best until last – it was the effort which was the real difference between this afternoon and last Tuesday night. There was much more of a buzz about the team, and indeed the supporters. Let’s hope it continues.

Overall Town performance:
7/10 – Much, much better.

Opposition quality:
5/10 – You always felt they were holding something back and could be a decent side if they fancied it. But maybe they really are just average.

Referee:
5/10 – Yet more unnecessary pedantry (it seems to be epidemic this season), but otherwise he was OK.

Match excitement:
7/10 – Thoroughly enjoyable

Opposition supporters:
7/10 – I know it’s not that far, but even so it was a good turnout

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

WRIGHT 7 (3/4) made a couple of good saves in the first half, one of which looked quite astonishing and I’d love to see again

VOLZ 6 (3/3) was generally reliable and bombed forward a few times quite effectively; NAYLOR 6 (3/3) and McCAULEY 6 (3/3) were comfortable, with McCauley getting a couple of goal attempts in; and WRIGHT 6 (3/3) did his usual solid job.

NORRIS 5 (2/3) was disappointingly bypassed for most of the time he was playing wide right, and surely can offer more; SHUMULIKOSKI 7 (4/3) worked hard and is starting to make that position look his own; GARVAN 8 (4/4) was again man of the match, looking classy from first to last, even when put wide on the left; and QUINN 6 (3/3) put in some decent effort, as usual, without setting the world on fire, as usual.

LISBIE 4 (2/2) was really poor again, just seeming to be on a different wavelength to his team-mates, and even when presented with a good opportunity, wasted it; and although WALTERS 6 (3/3) still doesn’t look as effective as he was for most of last season, he got involved a bit more in both the positions he was asked to play this week.

From the bench, COUNAGO showed exactly why he’s not being picked to start at the moment, wasting chance after chance. On the other hand, STEAD came on and took the first two chances which presented themselves to him, then was denied a marvellous hat-trick by one coat of paint too many on the woodwork. I can’t defend his performance on Tuesday, but if he’s got this in him, he must be given the chance to start next week.

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