Ipswich Town 3 Bristol City 0
There was a time in the recent past when Ipswich couldn’t manage a three-goal victory margin at Portman Road for love nor money, but that’s three in a row now, and this was the most comfortable of them all. Bristol City were one of the poorest sides to have visited this season (although their effort and commitment was decent enough) but there’s been no guarantee Town would take advantage of that until recently. However, if anything, three goals didn’t flatter Town’s dominance. The defence got the chance to have a nice settled ninety minutes too, and perhaps the only shadow over the afternoon was the antics of Bullard and Chopra; the legacy of Jewell’s appalling choice of personnel and man-management in his first nine months at the club are going to linger for a while yet.
Overall Town performance:
7/10 – Effective and more than adequate, if lacking some of the style and passion of the previous two home matches.
3/10 – They didn’t give up, but will be lucky if there are three worse sides in the division this season.
4/10 – Game-killingly picky, and made a few strange decisions including deferring to his linesman ten times as far away for the corner from which Smith scored.
6/10 – Satisfying is probably a fair word.
2/10 – Just a couple of hundred, and very quiet.
Player ratings, as ever 1 to 5 for each of effort/achievement…
McCARTHY 7 (3/4) did everything asked of him fairly confidently, although his distribution was average at best.
EDWARDS 6 (3/3) worked diligently and just about coped with their lively left-winger; SMITH 8 (4/4) had another terrific game at both ends of the pitch, and his Matty Hollandesque applauding of the home crowd at the end certainly endeared him to the fans; DELANEY 7 (4/3) also put in a solid display; and CRESSWELL 6 (3/3) was as reliable as ever.
MURPHY 7 (4/3) was a constant presence and threat throughout; DRURY 8 (4/4) was the hub of Town’s play again, and it’s no coincidence that his quietest period of the match was the same period that saw Bristol briefly start to look like a threat; LEADBITTER 4 (2/2) was a big disappointment, constantly passing backwards and introducing a general negativity into proceedings; and EMMANUEL-THOMAS 6 (3/3) continues to entertain, even if the results aren’t perhaps quite as memorable as the way he tries to get them.
MARTIN 6 (3/3) played his part, but picked up a knock early on and didn’t ever seem to regain his pace; and CHOPRA 8 (4/4) responded to the midweek shenanigans the right way with a very committed performance, rarely letting his concentration lapse.
Substitutes: STEVENSON looked keen to impress, but like SCOTLAND and BOWYER, didn’t have much time to do anything.