The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 2 Doncaster Rovers 3

The score most certainly doesn’t tell the tale here. Town were utterly awful in the first half and merely mediocre in the second, and were comprehensively beaten …by the bottom team in the table. Before this season, in the last 45 years, Portman Road had only seen the home side three goals down at half-time on three occasions in this division. Now we’ve had not one, but *two* more first-half trouncings to add to that total …and at least in the Southampton match Town were up against the best team in the division.

There was a mysterious air of complacency about Ipswich from the outset, with no justification from the past few performances. I don’t think it was down to the manager’s team changes: Wabara was worth a try, replacing Bowyer was forced, and although Priskin was a surprise, neither Scotland, JET nor Murphy has so far convinced as Chopra’s strike partner. None of the three given their opportunity impressed, however, and the whole side seemed almost surprised that the opposition might take the game to them.

Doncaster didn’t actually create that many chances, but when they did, finishing them off was almost embarrassingly easy. Only with Jewell’s (presumably) forthright half-time team talk ringing in their ears did Town look like they really wanted to win the match, but the new-found enthusiasm could only last for about 15 minutes, and things dwindled to a disappointing conclusion. It’s beginning to look like the run which followed the manager’s emergency post-Peterborough team rebuilding was the real blip. I don’t think we were any more clueless than this in the disastrous August run, and that’s genuinely concerning.

Overall Town performance:
3/10 – Anything would have been better than the first half, but even so, the second wasn’t great

Opposition quality:
6/10 – We’d certainly be panicking if we were in their position, but I know whose outlook currently looks brighter

Referee:
7/10 – Very little to do, nothing much for anyone to complain about

Match excitement:
5/10 – OK if you like getting out of your seat and screaming abuse at clueless, lazy footballers, as many people around me seem to

Opposition supporters:
7/10 – Only 250 or so, but they made a decent amount of noise

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

STOCKDALE 5 (3/2) is certainly getting a lot of practice, if that’s what he came here for, but was beaten a little too easily for at least one of the goals

WABARA 4 (2/2) was a disappointment, playing too many aimless passes; INGIMARSSON 5 (3/2) has to take his share of the blame for a defence which kept presenting an average opposition with clear chances; COLLINS 5 (3/2) likewise; and CRESSWELL 5 (2/3) seemed to struggle with being left isolated for long periods, although that’s at least forgivable

HEALY didn’t impress, although his early substitution was more tactical than down to anything he’d done, or not done; LEADBITTER 4 (2/2) may as well have not been there for large parts of the match; BULLARD 3 (2/1) had a bizarrely – and seriously concerning – stinker, being relieved of the ball almost at will by the opposition; ANDREWS 5 (3/2) was perhaps the only starti midfielder whose effort could be described as even “average”

PRISKIN 4 (2/2) made almost no impact, although the service to him was pathetic; and CHOPRA 6 (3/3) must be wondering if he’s ever going to be given the chance to show what he can do.

Substitutes: MARTIN 6 (4/2) was the only Town player on show who gave the impression he wanted to be in the team and to make things happen, although sadly he didn’t manage to do so; CARSON probably made more impact than anyone, although his performance was only adequate at best; and EMMANUEL-THOMAS looked pretty hopeless, to be honest.

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