The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 0 Portsmouth 2

At the moment, with both promotion and relegation extremely unlikely, most supporters would take exciting, promising football over a ground-out three points. And that’s lucky, because it’s exactly what they’re getting. Although Town’s second-half performance was unremarkable, the score was still daylight robbery: it should have been three – and could have been six – by half-time. But there’s a theme developing here: that’s three games running where Town have played excellently before the break without scoring, then less well afterwards and have ended up with a disappointing result. To me, it really does demonstrate how the team’s massive recent improvement has been built on attitude and confidence, and that can be a fragile thing. So no disaster, but there are still some crucial elements missing.

Overall Town performance:
7/10 – Exactly as last Saturday: super first half, but a bit lost after half-time.

Opposition quality:
5/10 – Very ordinary, were there for the taking, and got away with murder (two goals from at most half a dozen attempts, compared to Town’s zero from twenty). Provided a comedy villain in the execrable Nugent, who must be Portman Road’s most hated player who’s never played for Norwich.

Referee:
7/10 – Very little to do of note.

Match excitement:
7/10 – Another 45 minutes to lift the spirits after the last two years, followed by a realisation that we may be expecting too much, too soon.

Opposition supporters:
7/10 – Not the numbers you expect from Pompey, but made themselves heard.

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

FULOP 5 (3/2) showed some good distribution without having much to do, but messed up for the second goal.

EDWARDS 6 (3/3) wasn’t tested much, and as ever looked useful going forward; McAULEY 6 (3/3) had a quiet afternoon; DELANEY 6 (3/3) wasn’t quite as composed as his partner, but was relatively untroubled; and KENNEDY 6 (3/3) was pretty solid throughout.

MARTIN 8 (4/4) just gets better and better, and although he faded away, for 45 minutes he was the most exciting player on the pitch; NORRIS 6 (3/3) didn’t make as much of an impression as he might; BULLARD 7 (4/3) worked really hard from start to finish, but didn’t have his most effective afternoon; LEADBITTER 7 (4/3) had a fine game, really getting stuck in; and WICKHAM 6 (3/3) looked strong and enthusiastic, but didn’t take a couple of decent chances.

SCOTLAND 4 (2/2) was again the weak link of the side, and while it’s fair that Jewell gives him the chance to show he could be the long-term spearhead for the team, it’s really not working out. He breaks up and slows down moves just like Pablo used to do, but without Pablo’s control. And if he’s just in the side for his finishing, he’s not finishing anything like the proportion of chances he ought to.

CIVELLI and DRURY got fifteen minutes, but really didn’t get into the game. PRISKIN tried hard in the few moments he was given.

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