The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Watford 1

Andy Pye writes: I’m sitting in for Chris Rand, and while Saturday’s match may not stay in Chris’ mind for long, this one will stay in mine, not just for the impressive way we played, but most of all for the sheer cruelty of the outcome. I guess conceding a win via an injury-time goal may not always hurt as much as this, but when it’s the fourth instance of the same thing in five games and we still have to record a win of any type, it’s rather different, as we all know.

We scored in the fourth minute, so the question on everyone’s lips was “How long would we hang onto the lead?” Amazingly, we achieved this with ease for the full 90 minutes, but as we all know that is not enough, and Nathan Ellington returned to haunt Town yet again with the most undeserved of equalisers in the 92nd. Truthfully, we only have ourselves to blame for not converting at least one of the innumerable opportunities. At one stage in the second half, we had five corners within two minutes, such was our dominance in the game. And we acheved all this with 9 men, as Keano inexplicably decided to start with the continually ineffective Lee Martin (replaced at half-time by Peters) and Trotter, who started this game as badly as he finished Saturday’s.

It’s hard to find points of consolation when we are the only team in the four divisions not to have won a single game, but if we do continue to play like this, we will end this run soon, ideally at Plymouth, which will enable us to leap-frog them up the table, and you feel that the first win will be followed by many more. It is getting better – really.

Oh, and we could be heading for a fourth captain of the season, as Walters hobbled off towards the end, while we were still winning. Unless he reverts to McCauley of course.

Overall Town performance:
7/10 – Our best show of the season, and we managed to sustain over two halves, with precious few moments of panic and a lot of threat. The only thing which let us down was our inability to convert pressure into points, as they say in rugby.

Opposition quality:
3/10 – Offered no real threat at all. Really no better than Swansea.

5/10 – Over-fussy for my liking, as Mr Kettle often is, with decisions that seemed to go one way or another in clusters, when many refs would have let some of the minor contact go. But didn’t get anything wrong which really mattered.

Match excitement:
6/10 – Had me on the edge of my seat for long periods, mainly because I really thought we could hang on. I was watching the clock almost as much as the play though.

Opposition supporters:
3/10 – Only noticed them when they scored at the end. And on the train home, when they had lots to say.

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

BEGOVIC 6 (3/3) – we still know nothing about him, as he has hardly had a shot to save in two games. He seems to have a more organised defence around him than we are used to seeing, and his distribution has more dimensions to it than Wright’s.

ROSENIOR 7 (4/3) and D WRIGHT 6 (3/3) both gave competent displays and both got forward at times. It’s so helpful to the overall shape of the team to have two competent full-backs. McCAULEY 7 (4/3) was much improved from Saturday and produced a stunning header which should have won the match. SMITH 6 (3/3) played well throughout, but probably was at fault for the decisive Watford move at the end – it’s bad luck on the lad though, he’s doing OK.

EDWARDS 8 (4/4) is a class act at this level, something which stands out even more as a result of the ordinary players around him. MARTIN 3 (1/2) really isn’t up to this level and should join Delaney on the pool table; replaced by PETERS 6 (4/2) who put in a decent shift going forward, combined with a few telling defensive headers. TROTTER 4 (2/2) put yet another conversion attempt wide of the right-hand upright, but was slow and ponderous at the start, though he did improve marginally as the game progressed. LEADBITTER 5 (2/3) must have been there somewhere – I remember a shot just before half-time and he had a busy time taking all our corners.

Skipper WALTERS 7 (4/3) had one of his best games of late, working really hard in advanced positions, before getting injured very late on an being replaced by QUINN. Looks like he inspires the team as skipper more than a cuple of his recent predecessors. Hopefully, he won’t be missing for weeks now. COUNAGO 5 (3/23) was pretty ordinary really, and got booked early on as well, so not much was lost by his substitution by the industrious WICKHAM 7 (4/3), who gets better with more games – in half an hour, he created three or four scoring opportunities, which when our luck finally turns, might actually go in.

One Comment:
  1. As a Watford fan, couldn’t agree more with what you say! We were totally outplayed and capitalised on a slip in concentration right at the death.

    Can’t believe you’ve not won a game yet playing the way you did last night, very impressive.

    Best of luck for the rest of the season!

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