The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Derby Co 0

Who’d have thought a match where Town ended up clinging on to a one-nil home win against the worst away side in the division could have sparked off scenes of euphoria at Portman Road, the like of which probably haven’t been seen since getting promotion to the Premiership nearly ten years ago? But the excitement at the end of this match was exactly what this game’s all about, and totally prove that it doesn’t matter what division you’re in or where you are in the table, the real thing that makes being a football supporter so great is when your team gets the important results.

Was this a great performance? No. Has Keane found his best eleven? No. Does any of this matter? Not really. As Rob Chandler said on the PA at the end: “Here are the results from around the country …as if you care.” The whole ground was going mental, and had been building up to it for the last ten minutes.

However, Town totally deserved to win. They shaded the first half, and dominated the second. But there still doesn’t seem to be any sign of a cutting edge developing up front, and there weren’t that many great chances until the game inevitably opened up at the end. Even then, Town blew their best opportunity (Priskin’s one-on-one) and Derby were just inches away from fluking a goal with almost the last kick of the match. It was a mis-hit, but it was just millimetres from looping into the net.

Town’s tactics from the start were questionable. The midfield seemed to be holding well back; on occasions a ball went through to the front two and all four behind them were still in their own half. Worse, both the wide players seemed to be wandering infield as much as possible, so time and time again the full-backs brought the ball forward and found nothing happening ahead of them. It took about an hour before Town started to use the wings, at which point Edwards in particular suddenly came into the game, and it became apparent what had been missing until then. The strikers were ungainly throughout, and in Stead’s case, downright clumsy at times.

But there was a determination and spirit which brought the rewards, and let’s hope that three points will take an enormous weight off the team’s shoulders. I’ve really no idea where it’s going to go from here!

Overall Town performance:
5/10 – Improved as the match went on, and plenty of heart, for sure, but not very threatening.

Opposition quality:
3/10 – Pretty hopeless.

4/10 – On the upside, he booked Savage, which is always entertaining for the reaction, and he played a couple of good advantages. But he was really inconsistent in what he let go and what he stopped the game for. And where the hell did he find FOUR minutes of added-on time from?

Match excitement:
5/10 – Well, 3/10 for the first hour, 9/10 for the last few minutes.

Opposition supporters:
4/10 – Quiet.

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

BEGOVIC 8 (4/4) wasn’t kept that busy, but made some good stops when required, and more importantly, gave the impression that he wasn’t going to be beaten. I wasn’t a fan of replacing Richard Wright, but I have to say, this was a confidence-inspiring performance.

ROSENIOR 5 (3/2) was alright defensively, although misplaced too many passes, but rightly he wasn’t prepared to risk running into that space in front of him without support, and therefore was limited in his effectiveness; BRUCE 7 (3/4) quietly and confidently took the opportunity handed to him, and was impressive, as was DELANEY 7 (3/4), who had his best game in a Town shirt and looked a much better proposition as a centre half; and WRIGHT 6 (3/3) had the same problems as Rosenior, but popped up unexpectedly to score his annual crucial goal, for which he should be given the freedom of Ipswich.

EDWARDS 5 (3/2) spent most of the match lost in no-man’s land, and when he finally started to make an impact, was mysteriously substituted; LEADBITTER 5 (3/2) was again rather disappointingly anonymous; TROTTER 4 (2/2) continued to look ponderous, and even looked a bit lightweight (despite his size) at times; and QUINN 5 (3/2) scurried around but in a curiously ineffective position and without much impact.

WALTERS 5 (3/2) continues to put in the effort, but won disappointingly few headers and didn’t present any sort of a threat on goal; STEAD 4 (2/2) showed little control, little movement and almost no sign that he’d even get a shot in, never mind score.

From the bench, PRISKIN got more space than Stead had done – maybe he made it, maybe it was just the way the game went – but didn’t bury his chance like Stead had the previous week, it has to be said; COUNAGO was introduced at just the right time for him, and got involved, but again, didn’t present much of a threat; and PETERS replaced Edwards unnecessarily, and if it was hoped his fresh legs would stretch the game out, he was disappointing.

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