The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 2 Leicester City 1

A tough game, both in terms of football and conditions. The wind was
probably the winner, as it had a big hand in most of the clear
chances, but it was tight throughout, and fortune could have awarded
the game to either side: fortunately it swung our way. In such
conditions, it’s hard to criticise anyone too strongly, and a keeper
who put in even a half-decent display should be given a lot of credit.
Davies did even better than that.

We lined up fairly conventionally, with Unsworth making his home debut
in place of Richards or Karbasiyoon, and Jim getting the wide-right
midfield berth this week. Despite suggestions to the contrary in the
pre-match news, both Scowcroft and Makin started for Leicester,
producing reactions at the opposite end of the spectrum (guess which
was which).

Despite the half-time score, it was a fairly even half, the difference
being Leicester’s inability to cope with a couple of corners and some
outstanding work from Davies. The second goal was a bizarre affair,
with Currie’s corner almost swinging into the net, and somehow it just
about went over the goal-line off a Leicester defender caught by
surprise.

Of course, we’re old hands at being unable to defend a decent lead.
We’re most successful when we just carry on with whatever tactics had
got us the lead in the first place, but that option went out of the
window just before half-time when Shefki was stretchered off. The
obvious change, replacing him with Bowditch, didn’t appeal to Joe, I
suspect because we’d have had less presence up front, whilst having
no change in midfield, where we were struggling to cope. Instead Joe
chose to shore up the midfield with Horlock, and move Currie up front
rather than introduce Bowditch. In theory it should have been OK, but
Horlock didn’t really add the necessary steel to the midfield, and
Currie simply didn’t have the pace or positional sense to be a central
striker.

Predictably, the second half found us up against it, but the defence
played well and we survived several changes of approach from a
determined Leicester. Yet another of those games when you came away
feeling the footballing gods are with us this season.

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

DAVIES 8 (3/5): Whilst it was far from a backs-against-the-wall
defensive performance, I can’t see how Kelvin could have done any
better. Two or three cracking saves, and there was nothing he could
have done about the perfect free kick which beat him.

WILNIS 6 (3/3), DE VOS 6 (3/3), NAYLOR 7 (4/3), UNSWORTH 6 (3/3): Some
heart-stopping stuff in the second half from Fab and Jason, trying to
play their way out of trouble, but the whole back four held together
well under some pressure. Bam-Bam read the game well throughout. And
David Unsworth? The best news is that he certainly didn’t look like
this was just his second appearance in the shirt; he seemed to know
exactly what was happening all around him. He’s a big bloke, and
sailed a bit close to the wind with taking the man and the ball on
more than one occasion.

MAGILTON 5 (3/2), MILLER 5 (3/2), WESTLAKE 5 (3/2), CURRIE 5 (3/2): It
was tight and frantic across the park, and neither side really got a
grip on proceedings. Jim was influential but just couldn’t find a
decent pass forward all afternoon. Darren was good in the first half,
but didn’t take well to a more forward role in the second.

KUQI, BENT 6 (3/3): Shefki was having a good game when he went in for
one cruching tackle too many and came off second best, for once.
According to the website, he could be out for a month, and the second
half showed how much we’ll miss him, because our game really is tuned
to having the contrasting presence of the big guy and the quick guy up
front. Dazza made some decent runs, but didn’t threaten too strongly.

Sub: HORLOCK 5 (3/2) was brought on with the aim of getting the
midfield under control but it didn’t really happen. That said, He made
some good defensive challenges which could have proved crucial.
KARBASSIYOON was thrown on to waste a few seconds at the end.

The REFEREE was one of the better ones we’ve seen this season, making
enough allowances for the conditions and not going mad in response to
some pretty physical stuff. Unsworth and Dublin could easily have got
red cards if he’d been as petty as some we’ve seen recently. The CROWD
was a sizeable one, and on form with some good barracking of Makin.

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