The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Sheffield Wed 1

OK, let’s start with the up side. Town played some bright, attractive football, and against a poorer side would surely have ended up comfortable winners. It was a lively match throughout, and well worth braving the cold for. Was this a 4-2-4 formation, rather than a 4-4-2? If Thatcher and Bruce spent as much time forward as Haynes and Walters did back in defence, in my eyes that makes Haynes and Walters forwards, especially as they were also often in more advanced positions than Lisbie and Counago. So it’s hardly surprising the game was quite open. And I’d take this over the 4-5-1 we’ve had to suffer recently any day, thank you Jim (or John?).

But the sad fact is that it was another two points dropped at Portman Road, where Town have only won one of the last five league matches, and every point lost at home means another one to be gained away – now a minimum of 10 points from 10 away games will be required to make the playoffs, and with almost every one of those games being against top half teams, that looks almost impossible. Eight points doesn’t look a big gap, but in reality, it’s huge.

To be fair, Wednesday were better than might have been expected. They’ll probably be happy with their performance and claim they could have won it if they’d had a decent, on-form striker. And that’ll be exactly the same conclusion from Town’s internal post-mortem, I expect. A step in the right direction, possibly? We’ll have to see.

Overall Town performance:
7/10 – not bad, and signs of more confidence, but not sharp enough in front of goal

Opposition quality:
7/10 – more watchable than one or two of the higher placed teams who’ve visited this season

7/10 – generally OK, although Campo’s booking was silly

Match excitement:
7/10 – one of the better games of late

Opposition supporters:
7/10 – noisy, and yes, Tango Man was there with no top on for at least the first half. Mental. I should also commend our own “Section 6”, who made more noise than the rest of the North Stand have done for most of this season.

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

WRIGHT 6 (3/3) had nothing remarkable to do, but looks settled and confident now

BRUCE 6 (3/3) had a quiet but competent game, although I’d still rather see him rebuilding the promising-looking partnership in the middle; McAULEY 7 (4/3) looked a little more like a captain leading by example than he often has; CAMPO 6 (3/3) didn’t give us any scares; and THATCHER 5 (3/2) was solid, but has to take the blame for losing their goalscorer.

HAYNES 8 (4/4) was the afternoon’s revelation, brimming with confidence and putting in crosses from all over the place; he might have had a goal on more than one occasion too – more of this please; NORRIS 6 (3/3) once again started off making a major impression, but wasn’t as involved in the second half; MILLER 6 (3/3) was his usual unspectacular, reliable self, and deserves more credit for that than he gets from the crowd; but WALTERS 4 (3/1) sadly had a stinker; he worked reasonably hard, it’s true, but he wasted almost everything which came his way all afternoon.

COUNAGO 4 (2/2) would have had a hat-trick if he’d not had one of his off-the-pace afternoons, with so many good balls coming in from the likes of Haynes and Miller – sadly he was never in the right place when needed; and LISBIE 5 (3/2) was unlucky after working hard without results to then see the equaliser go in about a minute after he’d gone off.

From the bench, VOLZ was a bit hit-and-miss, STEAD got into some good positions but wasted the chances he made himself, and GARVAN was OK, but today it wasn’t really his creativity the team was missing.

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