The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 3 Middlesbrough 3

Just as those on the fence were wondering about renewing their season tickets (but you knew you’d give in eventually, didn’t you?), comes this belter of a match, the first six-goal game at Portman Road for well over three years. True, four or five of the goals were down to defensive errors, but as we were all queueing up to tell Mr. Keane, we don’t come to a game to see ninety minutes of solid defending. You can stuff your “like the fans, promotion is our priority” garbage Mr. Evans, because as everyone watching tonight was reminded, promotion might be nice, but getting excited is what we really want.

Funnily enough, despite some defensive howlers, the quality of the football was pretty good from both sides: Town at the start and at the end, and Boro in the middle, once they realised how they could beat the home side by playing decent, expansive football. Ipswich just got very complacent either side of half-time, visibly losing the drive with which they’d started the game. It needed the crowd to come alive to revive them, which it really shouldn’t do.

Overall Town performance:
6/10 – A real mixed bag: decent in midfield for most of the game, shocking in defence for an even larger part.

Opposition quality:
7/10 – Like Palace on Saturday, better than the table would suggest, especially once they realised Town were going to let them play a bit.

7/10 – Kept his cards in his pocket sensibly.

Match excitement:
8/10 – Even when Town were playing badly, it was never dull.

Opposition supporters:
4/10 – Yeah, it’s a long way, especially for an evening game, but two or three hundred ain’t great.

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

LEE-BARRETT 7 (3/4) made a couple of magnificent saves in the second half, and generally did all that was asked of him, but still didn’t inspire complete confidence for some reason

EDWARDS 4 (2/2) was all but absent for most of the match, and was easily beaten by Boro’s superb left back; McAULEY 5 (3/2) struggled to keep up appearances with some awful defending around him; DELANEY 4 (2/2) seemed to be the culprit for far too many of Boro’s numerous chances; and KENNEDY 4 (2/2) also struggled to keep up.

LEADBITTER 7 (3/4) was much more involved than he has been lately, and although the goals were nothing to do with this, it was an encouraging performance; BULLARD 7 (3/4) again looked a class above from dead balls, but failed to have the overall influence on the game which he’s shown us he can do; NORRIS 6 (3/3) was rather quiet; and CARSON 7 (4/3) once again showed real promise to go with his undoubted enthusiasm.

WICKHAM 6 (3/3) seemed distracted in the first half, although when he went in the middle later on, you really got the feeling that he’d bang them in regularly if he got a decent run there; SCOTLAND 6 (4/2) showed much more appetite for the game than of late, although he didn’t deliver on his promise where it counted.

MARTIN was a little in and out of things during his half-hour, but when he was good, he was very dangerous; O’DEA marked his entrance with some unpleasant aggression towards one of the Boro players, and we shan’t miss that if we don’t see it again.

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