The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Doncaster Rovers 1

I know one or two people have a slightly outlandish theory that this season’s disappointing performances have been at least in part due to a lack of motivation from many of the players to do well, because they’re not happy. I’ve struggled to see any credibility in this, but there was very little evidence on show this afternoon that some of the senior players in the squad have much interest in what’s going on. True, this was the most pointless mid-table end-of-season encounter of all time; 12th vs 13th, with Doncaster mathematically unable to make the playoffs or be relegated, and Ipswich in almost the same situation (only a freakish chance of relegation still being technically possible). But you still expect more.

Anyway, I suppose we saw some history; a 19th draw of the season, a new all-time club record; an astonishing 11th at home, now by some way the most ever for the club; and Ipswich remain clear at the top of England’s top seven divisions when it comes to draws. Despite the penalty being very soft, you have to say Doncaster were worth a point. They at least had heart, and enough commitment and guile to make Ipswich look distinctly second-rate. As with so much of the season, Town had little width, little vision, and seemingly little desire. It wasn’t rubbish, it was just dull. Again.

Overall Town performance:
3/10 – Uninspired, and seemingly going nowhere

Opposition quality
5/10 – Seem to make the most of what they’ve got – good for them

7/10 – Not the hardest of afternoons

Match excitement:
3/10 – Very little to remember

Opposition supporters:
6/10 – More than you’d expect, and occasionally motivated

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

MURPHY 6 (3/3) was fine, but often was thwarted in his attempts to get something started by the lack of activity in front of him

WRIGHT 5 (2/3) seemed content to just be competent; McAULEY 6 (3/3) put in a decent shift at both ends of the pitch; SMITH 6 (3/3) wasn’t tested much, but seemed OK; and O’CONNOR 7 (4/3) was a rare highlight in terms of workrate and indeed effectiveness, against a powerful right-winger

WALTERS 4 (2/2) produced very little of note yet again, and the seeming necessity to keep including him has become a real millstone for the team; LEADBITTER 4 (2/2) was again quiet and produced nothing of note creatively; NORRIS 4 (2/2) was uncharacteristically lethargic; and COLBACK 5 (3/2) covered some ground but didn’t really contribute

MURPHY 4 (2/2) had a poor game, creating few opportunities even to be found, never mind to threaten; but WICKHAM 6 (3/3) looked as if he wanted to impress, and is making a late run to be Town’s striker of the season, despite only recent involvement

From the bench, GARVAN raised a few hopes in the stands that Town might finally start creating some opportunities, but found himself for much of his time with just a lone striker to pick out, which was a shame; PETERS too didn’t liven things up as much as we might have hoped; and CLARK made a brief cameo debut.

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