The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 3 Brighton 1

A fascinating match, and probably one of the best seen at Portman Road in the last few years. Two teams on form, and trying hard to play very different styles of football – Town a fast, progressive passing game, and Brighton a rather strange, unhurried, no risks approach which concentrated on not giving the ball away at any cost, even if it meant bringing the match to a complete standstill. The effectiveness of the away team at killing off any momentum created by Town frustrated the crowd as much as their opponents, and when Brighton eventually took the lead, the game had all the makings of an effective robbery by the bad guys.

For the last few weeks, the talk amongst the players has concentrated so much on Michael Chopra’s lack of goals, and what would happen when he eventually got back on the scoresheet, that it’s been clear that the whole team would be as relieved as much as the striker himself when it happened. After an utterly remarkable shot was well saved in the first half, you did wonder if it was to be another scoreless afternoon, but then came the equaliser and the reaction from the whole team was clear to see. For the next 15 minutes Town’s confidence went through the roof, and the match was put to bed quite clinically.

What was most encouraging about this performance was how well Town coped with a team which played exactly the type of football which could easily have frustrated them. Against a poorer side of any sort, or against a team playing the same sort of game as Town, the scoreline might have been even more emphatic.

Overall Town performance:
9/10 – Excellent football, played competently in every department, with confidence and persistence.

Opposition quality:
7/10 – Their approach won’t endear them to opposing fans, but it’s perfectly fair and valid, and quite effective.

6/10 – Fairly decent, although the six minutes’ added time remains a mystery.

Match excitement:
9/10 – Terrific entertainment with good guys, bad guys, some sublime skill and some fascinating tactics.

Opposition supporters:
6/10 – Great turnout, but disappointingly little to say for themselves.

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

STOCKDALE 6 (3/3) will have been upset to have been beaten by a shot he could see coming, and made a couple of poor punches when a catch seemed quite feasible, but he’s still the best keeper we’ve seen here for years.

EDWARDS 7 (4/3) worked tirelessly bombing forward, and was a constant threat, although was worryingly easily beaten on a couple of occasions in defence; SONKO 8 (4/4) may have an unconventional style, but he’s amazingly effective, and has a bullet header on him; COLLINS 8 (4/4) plays a less demonstrative game, but has awesome workrate and concentration, and is the bedrock of Town’s resurgence over the past few weeks; and CRESSWELL 6 (3/3) put in another really solid performance.

BULLARD 7 (3/4) once again kept things moving by constantly providing an outlet, but also broke up play well too; ANDREWS 6 (3/3) played a reliable role in the way Town moved the ball forward; BOWYER 7 (4/3) has upped his game a little to play at least an equal role as Andrews; and LEADBITTER 6 (3/3) continues to perform much more strongly than at the start of the season.

SCOTLAND 6 (3/3) put in an honest shift, without threatening too regularly; but CHOPRA 9 (4/5) had a terrific game, showing some sublime control, intelligent positioning and, of course, clinical finishing.

Substitutes: ELLINGTON offered a really effective alternative to Scotland, showing some real presence; EMMANUEL-THOMAS appeared slightly distracted, and didn’t seem like a player pushing for a first-team place; WABARA got a token runout.

  1. Jim Savage

    I agree with your comment about J.E.T.!

  2. Daniel Watson

    Great report Chris. You should get yourself on the ICR TWTD programme/podcast, and not just from a stats point of view.

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