The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Derby Co 0

So… was that amazing 40 minutes at Oakwell a flash in the pan or yet another turning point in Town’s season? That’s what the home support came to find out, and the answer was, well, uncertain. This was quite simply two poor, unadventurous sides playing out a poor, unadventurous match, and either could have scraped a victory, although a goalless draw might have been an appropriate result. For the game to be settled by some confused refereeing and subsequent half-hearted celebrations was another outcome which didn’t seem out of place. Still, three points – however achieved – is a welcome Christmas present, although you can’t help but feel that the club’s main ambition at the moment is just to get back to the kind of boring stability which Roy Keane left us with. Losing two influential loanees this week won’t make that any easier.

Overall Town performance:
4/10 – Like the last home game, a relief that some sort of a football team turned up, but you know things are bad when this sort of display sends supporters home with even a degree of optimism.

Opposition quality:
3/10 – Every bit as mediocre as Ipswich, they were even unable to up their game to get back into the match, like so many recent opponents have found it so easy to do.

5/10 – Not unhelpful to the home cause, to be honest, but made some odd decisions.

Match excitement:
4/10 – There were a handful of decent chances, but nothing to lift the crowd in general.

Opposition supporters:
4/10 – Average turnout, and pretty quiet.

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

LEE-BARRETT 7 (3/4) pulled off a couple of blinding saves, looked pretty comfortable, and even his unremarkable distribution didn’t look that bad after half a season of the equally inconsistent Stockdale’s.

EDWARDS 5 (3/2) didn’t get found out this week, but after all this time, still doesn’t inspire confidence; SONKO 6 (3/3) has the ability (if he sticks around) to become a defensive comedy cult hero, with the astonishing power with which he can propel the ball combined with his ungainly nature and yet superb ability to be in the right place; COLLINS 6 (3/3) went out with another committed display which I think we might miss; and CRESSWELL 6 (3/3) put in his usual decent shift, reminding us just how much more attractive this side could be if we had more young, enthusiastic players who the crowd could warm to.

MURPHY 5 (3/2) adds another (or sometimes the only) outlet for a midfield devoid of any real vision, but didn’t achieve that much; BOWYER 4 (2/2) continues to be there or thereabouts, but too frequently just off the pace, and his distribution wasn’t great either; ANDREWS 7 (3/4) covered a decent amount of ground, and showed that he’s probably too good for a side he’s kept out of the bottom three on his own, with his third match-winning goal of the season; and MARTIN 7 (4/3) proved willing and enthusiastic, despite being asked to play all over the place.

CHOPRA 4 (2/2) was yet again quiet, and it was doubly disappointing to see the attack liven up so much with first Martin and then JET in the central role; and although SCOTLAND 5 (3/2) put in a good shift, there really wasn’t anything achieved from it.

Substitutes: EMMANUEL-THOMAS looked like he enjoyed his central role, and just needed (perhaps surprisingly) to show a little more self-belief and something might have happened; BULLARD was sent on in an advanced role with instructions to help see the game out, and he achieved this by getting Derby to kick him all over the park, which was really taking one for the team; CARSON had only a couple of minutes.

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