The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 1 Hull City 1

Sure, everyone was disappointed that Town didn’t take three points from this one, but with promotion and relegation both highly unlikely now, it was just the performance which mattered. And despite not being able to keep it up for 90 minutes, Town’s first-half display was in some ways as exciting as anything seen at Portman Road for the past couple of years – or more. It was a great test, with the engine of the last few weeks – Norris and Bullard – missing, but the team came through with flying colours, playing with a confidence, and at times a joy, which couldn’t have been imagined six weeks ago.

Hull were useful opponents, but Town made them look very ordinary for most of the first half by pinging it around and working really hard for each other. Sadly, a deserved goal didn’t come, and Hull came out after the break much better organised to avoid a repeat. Town lost their way, and despite getting a lucky break to finally take the lead, eventually had to share the spoils.

Plenty of positives to take away from this one though: a discovery that it’s not all been down to Norris and Bullard; 45 minutes with barely a long ball to be seen; encouraging performances from previously forgotten men Martin and Healy; the confidence to have a go from distance (and not just through desperation); and the wonderful sight of midfielders coming back to take the ball off the centre-backs. Suddenly, you feel there’s a squad here which really could go on to do great things.

Overall Town performance:
6/10 – Super first half, but a bit lost after half-time.

Opposition quality:
7/10 – Pretty decent, and finished the match comfortably the stronger of the two sides.

Referee:
5/10 – Really picky.

Match excitement:
7/10 – 45 minutes which brought a smile to the face of every Town supporter in the ground.

Opposition supporters:
5/10 – Didn’t really notice them much.

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

FULOP 6 (3/3) wasn’t that busy, but was competent enough.

EDWARDS 5 (2/3) had a reasonable enough first half, but looked increasingly out of sorts, and was a genuine weak spot defensively by the end of the game; McAULEY 7 (4/3) was as usual solid and reliable; DELANEY 7 (4/3) made a few errors but really looked up for it; and KENNEDY 8 (4/4) had one of his best games for Town, looking like a really useful full-back.

MARTIN 7 (4/3) was terrific in the first half (if quieter later on) and was brimming with confidence; LEADBITTER 7 (4/3) put in a great shift, supporting the defence but popping up for two or three decent goal attempts too; HEALY 8 (4/4) continues to be a revelation, playing an integral role in almost every decent build-up; DRURY 6 (3/3) had an encouraging start, and was certainly not out of his depth at all; and WICKHAM 6 (3/3) although looking awesome on occasions, didn’t really get enough chances to get involved, and faded out of the game towards the end, possibly through taking a knock.

SCOTLAND 5 (2/3) was probably the weak link of the side, with his poor control ending far too many promising moves, but then again, up he pops with a crucial goal. Frustrating.

CIVELLI and PRISKIN got ten minutes each, but didn’t make any impact.

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