The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 6 Crewe 4

Our enormous goals-for plus goals-against total would suggest that on any
given day this season, the game involving Ipswich would be one of the
highest scoring in the First Division. On a day when half the division
seemed to be scoring fours and sixes, we’d have to go some to keep up that
record. We did.

Where to begin? The football veered from the sublime to the ridiculous, the
conditions veered from the awkward to the atrocious, and the supporters’
emotions veered from the exasperated to the ecstatic. It didn’t occur to me
until after the game that if we thought our defence was appalling, imagine
what the Crewe fans must have thought. If we saw just about the worst
defensive display of the season at one end, we saw the second-worst at the
other, in the same match. Incredible.

For much of the first half, we pinged the ball around as well as we’ve done
at any time this season, and almost everyone played their part. We scored
two, but if players other than Tommy Miller had been prepared to have a go,
we might have scored a lot more: Crewe were all over the place. But
inevitably, we failed to capitalise on all this good work, gave away a soft
goal and found ourselves with only an odd-goal lead at half-time.

In the second half the football wasn’t nearly as good, but Crewe certainly
didn’t give up and the match turned into something remarkable as our defence
turned into a black comedy and theirs continued to evaporate. It wasn’t as
if everything went in: there were plenty of attacks at both ends which came
to nothing too. We were fairly together throughout, until BFJ made the most
extraordinary substitution, taking off Bart-Williams, moving Jermaininho
from fullback into midfield and sticking on a centre-half (Diallo) who
hadn’t played for ages into the right-back slot. And it showed. It was a
nightmare, not least because we’d then run out of midfield players and when
Jim ran out of steam there was no alternative but to bring on Georges Santos
into the midfield role we all hoped we’d never see him in again.

It was such a bizarre match by then that when we went 5-3 up with 15 minutes
to go, I doubt there was a person in the ground who thought it was all
wrapped up. And indeed we still almost managed to throw it away, as Crewe
took advantage of a statuesque John McGreal to get one back, then had two
more decent efforts stopped well by Kelvin Davis.

Afterwards folks seemed divided between those who thought that this was
exactly the entertainment we hope for when we speculatively fork out

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