The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 0 Watford 3

In almost a carbon copy of the previous home game, Town failed to offer any threat up front and found themselves cruelly exposed by clever attacks from a neat, organised opposition. After twelve consecutive failures to beat Watford, a new club record streak against a single opponent is looming, but at least we’ll have to wait a year or so for that to actually happen. By then, I suspect, several of the team on display tonight will have moved on. Unfortunately I’d be prepared to bet that the only half-decent members of the squad might be amongst them.

Keane was rightly pilloried for playing 4-5-1 at home, and now that Jewell’s honeymoon period is ending, I fear the crowd might start giving him a similar reaction for playing that way. If the wide players are confident, it becomes 4-3-3 and can be exciting, as we’ve seen. But when they’re as uninvolved as they were in this match, nothing happens anywhere. Tonight was as quiet as I can remember a Portman Road crowd, almost as if everyone’s given up on the season and just wants it to end.

Overall Town performance:
3/10 – Ordinary in the first half, clueless in the second.

Opposition quality:
6/10 – Pretty decent, make the most of what they’ve got, and certainly play with a confidence Town can only dream of at the moment (how quickly things can change!).

Replacement Referee:
4/10 – Gave Town the benefit of the doubt on a few occasions, then ignored a blatant foul which led to Watford’s second and killed off the game.

Match excitement:
4/10 – First half was OK – Watford allowed Town to play, but Town didn’t take the opportunity. The second half was very dull though, as the home side’s heads dropped alarmingly.

Opposition supporters:
6/10 – Got a cracking start to get them going, and continued to make some noise throughout, although another fairly poor turnout.

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

FULOP 6 (3/3) didn’t have that busy an evening, and didn’t appear to be to blame for any of the goals

EDWARDS 4 (2/2) had another dreadfully vulnerable evening on the back foot, coupled with a reluctance to give it a go coming forward; McAULEY 6 (3/3) put in his usual decent shift, with some awful performances going on around him; DELANEY 4 (3/1) has to take some responsibility for criminal negligence regarding the first goal, and total responsibility for the other two, making it a real evening to forget; and KENNEDY 5 (3/2) didn’t really look up to the job at all.

MARTIN 4 (2/2) looked worryingly lightweight and pretty ineffective; LEADBITTER 4 (2/2) once more showed a real lack of presence; DRURY 5 (3/2) was no more than competent; BULLARD 8 (4/4) was by a huge margin the best player in the Town lineup, in terms of effort, enthusiasm, attitude, class and skill; and WICKHAM 5 (2/3) was yet again hopelessly uninvolved, a situation which just has to be remedied.

PRISKIN 4 (2/2) was as ineffective as Scotland has been, with just one decent effort all evening, but numerous occasions where he was nowhere to be seen when a decent ball finally arrived.

DYER (blimey, I never thought I’d type that again) looked like real quality for a few minutes, but just seemed to give up towards the end …although to be fair, most of his team-mates had already done so. SCOTLAND was no improvement on Priskin.

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