The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 3 Bradford 1

Opposition as mediocre as this was probably our best hope of getting back on
track after being so demoralisingly outplayed last week, and although we
normally make a hash of beating poor teams, the only predictably distressing
thing about the afternoon was the by-now compulsory goal gifted to the
opponents right on half-time. Otherwise, it was a lot more encouraging all

When the teams came out and we saw three centre-backs in blue, I’m sure many
fans thought Joe was going to start with five at the back for only the
second time. But no: despite Drissa’s disastrous comeback cameo at
right-back the other week, Joe obviously thought he’d be OK there from the
start, and it proved to be a good call. So four at the back it was, and
Jermaininho was freed up to return to midfield. With CBW absent, those who
prefer to see either him or Jim (but not both) in the team also got their

The movement was a little better all round, and we carved out plenty of
chances. In fact, had the finishing in the second half not been farcical,
we’d have had several more. The defence was put under very little pressure
though, and it would have been very disappointing if we hadn’t built a
decent performance given that amount of freedom.

This wasn’t a display of automatic promotion standard by any means, but
it was a big improvement over recent weeks and perhaps more importantly, a
major confidence boost for players and fans alike. Let’s hope we can build
on this.

Some ratings:
(1-5 for effort, 1-5 for achievement)

DAVIS 7 (4/3): Couple of dodgy handling moments, but not exactly stretched,
and looked well in command for most of the game. Came up with some really
creative distribution.

DIALLO 6 (3/3), NAYLOR 6 (3/3), McGREAL 6 (3/3), RICHARDS 6 (4/2): Nice
steady display across the back. You’ve got to hand it to Matt, he’s been
played about 300% more than someone of his experience should have been,
sections of the crowd aren’t showing any tolerance towards him, yet he
soldiers on like the real talent he’s going to be. Drissa overcommitted
himself once or twice but was much more solid than most us feared, and I
have to say, tackles as confidently and gets forward as well as Fab. In
fact, he linked up so well with Dazza that Tommy Miller was bypassed
completely for the first part of the match.

MILLER 4 (2/2), WRIGHT 7 (4/3) , MAGILTON 6 (3/3) , WESTLAKE 7 (3/4): Far
more cohesive than of late, largely due to a non-stop performance from
Jermaininho, who really covered the pitch from one side to the other. Whilst
unspectacular, it was a real bedrock midfield performance which allowed Jim
and Westy to get forward and provide the openings which were so lacking
against Wigan. In contrast, Tommy Miller had a really disappointing game,
first out wide on the right and subsequently in a more central position.

KUQI 6 (4/2), BENT 8 (4/4): As ever, where to start when describing Shefki’s
performance? Whilst he and Darren were a real handful for Bradford with
their direct running throughout the game, I lost count of the number of
times I found myself with my head in my hands after he’d messed something up
comically. Then again, his goal was brilliantly taken. And yet… and yet…
that miss in the second half, after rounding the keeper, will delight Soccer
AM viewers probably forever. My auntie (no, really) said it all during the
second half: “He gets stuck in, doesn’t he, but there really isn’t anything
between the ears, is there?” Darren had a terrific game, and his finish was
even better than Shefki’s. Maybe, just maybe, he could be back on track
towards being the player we’ve always hoped.

The REFEREE seemed nervous, and when he finally started brandishing the
yellow cards he had to go right over the top. Some dodgy decisions from the
linos too: Bradford’s disallowed “second” looked very close.

The CROWD were very quiet, but the North Stand’s baiting of Dean “You Fat
B*****d” Windass in the second half made up for everything. “Are you Jordan
in disguise?” – brilliant.

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