The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Watford 2

Town became just the eighth team in the last decade to lose seven league games in a row in the Championship, and no team has had a run like that and avoided the drop since Stoke and Bradford in 2002-03. For those who say a season in League One might not do the club any harm, I should point out that the last four to lose seven in a row have all ended up in League Two soon after.

The match was played in front of the second-lowest Portman Road league crowd of the past ten years (and unlike the other low attendances of recent times, this one was not on Sky TV). With the club being in the unusual position of being a business unit of an events company, you wonder if it’s this off-field performance which might make the current management’s position precarious, rather than the one on the pitch. Certainly there wasn’t much to excite the crowd again today, even if a performance which might at any other time be described as “ordinary” was a step up on the past fortnight.

Watford were yet another average visiting side, who at times seemed to have as little confidence in their own abilities as Town. When their fans broke into a chorus of “We’re winning away, you must be s**t”, it was hard not to agree. The worst thing was probably that this may be as good as it gets at the moment; Jewell picked a starting lineup and formation which most fans would also have opted for, everyone put in an acceptable performance, and on another day the result might even have gone Town’s way. But yet again defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory, and it’s hard to know if “only” losing by one goal represents a change of fortune or just opponents who were poorer than most.

Overall Town performance:
4/10 – Actually seemed alright in comparison with the recent shambles, but that shows how low things have sunk.

Opposition quality:
4/10 – Ran the show for the first 20 minutes, but then ran out of ideas and had to be presented with the points eventually.

7/10 – Good to see an official not fall for a dive in the area from Sordell which was criminally premeditated.

Match excitement:
4/10 – Good support from the home crowd, all things considered, lifted a fairly tedious performance.

Opposition supporters:
5/10 – Reasonable turnout, but seemed as fatalistic as Town’s until their side eventually went ahead.

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

STOCKDALE 6 (3/3) still seems to have his heart in the right place, although he must be longing to get out of here as this can’t be doing his promising young career any good.

EDWARDS 4 (2/2) was probably involved more than any other Town player, and yet seemed clueless about what he was supposed to be doing; SONKO 6 (3/3) was certainly an asset to the defence, and read the game well; COLLINS 5 (3/2) looked more composed than of late; and CRESSWELL 6 (3/3) as ever showed more enthusiasm than almost anyone.

MURPHY 5 (3/2) added a little bit of presence and solidity coming forward; BOWYER 5 (3/2) showed flashes of commitment, even if he should surely be capable of controlling the game more; ANDREWS 5 (2/3) probably made more impact; and MARTIN 6 (3/3) does at least give the impression he cares.

CHOPRA 4 (2/2) was quiet; and SCOTLAND 5 (3/2) didn’t really achieve any more.

Substitutes: ELLINGTON added nothing.

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