The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 2 Crystal Palace 1

A glorious April afternoon, a ticket promotion and an impressive away support of over 1,600 combined to produce what I think is Portman Road’s first league crowd of over 24,000 since 2009, but the atmosphere was already a little end-of-term, and the team’s performance was slightly flat. Indeed, Palace can think themselves unlucky not to have got a point or more; they had as many shots on goal, and the opportunities were more clear-cut too. Only two or three fine saves from Aaron Lee-Barrett made the difference. For the first half at least, Bullard – supported by Norris – absolutely ran the midfield, but rarely saw much movement or opportunity ahead of him. The impressive Josh Carson made plenty of space, but too often had to receive 40m passes which were never going to be easy to control. When Bullard was taken off towards the end, Town looked clueless, and that must be a big worry. Town’s record since Paul Jewell’s arrival is – remarkably – only bettered by QPR and Reading, but you have to wonder how much is down to the loanee. Even when he has one of his less effective days, like today, he’s a class above the rest of this team.

Overall Town performance:
6/10 – Hard-working for the most part, with a confident midfield, but uninspired up front.

Opposition quality:
6/10 – Better than the table would suggest, so presumably they’re playing above themselves at the moment. Ought to survive.

Referee:
6/10 – Not tested too much, and got most things right.

Match excitement:
6/10 – Decent number of chances at both ends, but it wasn’t a good day for the strikers on either team.

Opposition supporters:
6/10 – Fine turnout, and made a reasonable amount of noise without being particularly entertaining.

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

LEE-BARRETT 7 (3/4) pulled off two or three fine stops, although he didn’t command the area that well and needs to boss the defenders more.

EDWARDS 5 (3/2) made a few nice runs, but misplaced far too many passes; McAULEY 6 (3/3) was a solid and commanding as we’ve come to expect; DELANEY 5 (3/2) struggled at times with both positioning and facing direct running; and KENNEDY 5 (3/2) was pretty unremarkable.

LEADBITTER 5 (3/2) was quiet and didn’t make much impact; BULLARD 8 (4/4) yet again seemed to be involved in everything; NORRIS 6 (3/3) supported Bullard well, but isn’t currently looking like the indispensible player we’d like him to be; and CARSON 8 (3/5) had an afternoon to remember, constantly wanting to make things happen and getting a deserved reward.

WICKHAM 5 (3/2) made himself available but didn’t have much impact on the game – he really isn’t being used to his greatest effect at the moment, running on to through balls and taking on defenders; and SCOTLAND 4 (2/2) just hung around like an immobile lump waiting for his opportunity to stick one away, without it actually happening.

DYER barely had any impact on the game, and if he goes back to where he came from, it may prove to be one of the least memorable returns to the club of any Town player ever; HEALY didn’t have time to do anything.

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