The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 2 Burnley 1

A well-deserved win against one of those teams you get great satisfaction in
beating, if only because their single asset is their, er, “robust” attitude.
Naturally, we made heavy weather of it, big style. But it was more
continuation of the developing younger side, and there were some fine
performances.

Never has their been a greater indictment of the one-up-front formation,
however. As the second half showed, when Lee has to shoulder the entire
attacking responsibility, it completely wastes his abilities (as it did with
Parkin’s) by spreading them too thinly. Give him some support and his effort
can be transformed into results it deserves. In the first half, it was
almost impossible for him to hold the ball up, create an opportunity for a
midfielder to put it in the area and then get on the end of it. The only
time he managed to get in a header, he hit the post and I’ll never know how
it stayed out. With Naylor occupying McGreal in the second half, it was
amazing we only managed to get two. What’s more, with five in midfield we
were falling over each other, and looked as good (if not better) with four.
So Joe: just because Naylor’s an “emergency” striker doesn’t mean you can’t
start with him there, if it’s an emergency!

Match Ratings:
Excitement – 3/5
Town Performance – 4/5

Player Ratings (1-5 for how much they cared, 1-5 for how well they fared):

SUPPLE 6 (3/3):
Another nice confident performance from Shane, despite having little to do.
Whilst his distribution is still his weak point, he seems to be overcoming
his limitations intelligently. And my guess is that with Price not doing
badly last Sunday when given the shirt back, Shane’s selection yesterday
means he’s definitely the number one choice now.

WILNIS 6 (3/3), DE VOS 7 (4/3), NAYLOR 6 (3/3), BARRON 7 (4/3):
It’s funny, but as Fab reaches the end of his career he looks less and less
dodgy as a pure full-back. Held back by Burnley leaving two up front in the
first half, and was asleep as Ricketts came through on a late run for their
goal. A bit heart-stopping at times after the break when moved to
centre-half with his tendency to wander upfield. Jason was commanding, and
Bam-Bam did what was required in the second half up front. Scott Barron is
looking like a natural – what a find.

WESTLAKE 4 (2/2), JUAN 6 (3/3), GARVAN 8 (4/4),
CURRIE 6 (3/3), RICHARDS 7 (4/3):
It’s not happening for Westy at the moment, and he’s getting visibly
frustrated, with regular bookings coming from having lost his cool. Being
stuck on the right didn’t help, but even so, it’s sad to report we didn’t
really miss him in the second half. Jimmy was quieter than some of his
recent performances, but steady; Owen Garvan was once again terrific, always
making himself available and making an astonishing number of accurate,
progressive passes which kept the game moving. Darren often seemed to be
searching for an obvious role, as usual, but played some fabulous balls into
the box from all angles. Matt has transformed himself into a confident and
incredibly hard-working midfielder – at times yesterday he was everywhere,
and as much play came through him as anyone. He just needs to play fewer
loose passes.

LEE 8 (4/4):
What’s great about Alan Lee is that with every match it seems more likely
that what we’re seeing is the real thing, and not just a “new club” surge of
form and luck. Because this was a marvellous performance. Alan is playing
like one of the best old-fashioned centre-forwards we’ve had at the club
since, since …some old-fashioned centre-forward we must have had a long,
long time ago. He can win the ball on the ground and in the air, keep it,
hold it up for midfielders, and hey – even get shots and headers on target.
Perhaps it’s fourth-time-lucky for Joe in trying to buy in a striker this
year.

Subs – SITO 7 (4/3) looked like a guy being given an opportunity to win his
place back in the team and taking it. Great work-rate, and rarely beaten on
the back foot.

The REF made a huge mistake by booking Westlake early on, after which is was
always going to be major-league backtracking on what constituted a yellow,
or ten in the book. It was the former, but that just gave Burnley licence to
stop us playing with too many tackles the wrong side of legality. Grateful
for the slightly iffy pen though (I still wish Lee wouldn’t dive around so
much), which made up for Leeds.

The CROWD was deathly with the exception of a few decent attempts at
motivation from the North. A bit “Saturday after the Sunday before”,
methinks.

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