The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 1 Bolton 2

This is getting irritating now as well as frustrating. Nothing’s going for
us, every loose ball seems to drop to the opposition, and Portman Road is
becoming an unexpected three points for anyone. The players are there, the
skill’s there, even the commitment is there, but as a whole, they’re simply
a rabble. For those who remember 1994-1995, it’s not nearly as bad as that,
yet by this stage in that season we had two points more than we do this
year. And we all know that we went on to finish firmly (and deservedly) at
the bottom of the table then. For 40 points, assuming we don’t get anything
from the last three matches, we now need to put together a run of W8 D8 L6,
and I can’t see where that’s coming from.

With Stewart in A&E, Burley seized the chance to completely revamp the front
line, going with Counago and Bent. Even those people who’ve really been
wanting radical surgery to the team seemed pleased. But the two created
little of note for the midfield to work with. Jermaininho was left on the
bench again, and with Le Pen also named as a sub, Reuser was put
conspicuously in the new boy’s left wing position in an obvious “impress or
you’re off” ploy. He didn’t impress. But he didn’t go off either.

For 45 minutes most of the team put heart and soul into the cause, and the
two soft goals must have felt like a kick in the teeth. The same commitment
didn’t continue into the second half, but with Bolton pulling everyone back
(even Ricketts was playing left-back) it was always going to be one-way
traffic. Well, at least it should have been. Unfortunately, as with so many
games this season the play went sideways as much as it did forwards, as the
defence and the midfield in turn looked in vain for anything happening in
front of them. Where was the movement? And why are they all playing like
strangers?

Some ratings:

SERENI (6) had little to do other than to pick the ball out of the net,
twice, after being hung out to dry by the defence.

MAKIN (5) failed to impress again – slow to support whoever was going out
wide on the right (a rare occurrence) and slow to get back afterwards.
Still, as the only full-back in the first team squad, he’s hardly going to
be worrying about his place at the moment, is he? BRAMBLE (8) was
magnificent, even playing some decent long balls as well as his usual
repertoire of making unlikely tackles and dominating in the air. VENUS (5)
had a quiet game, with one bullet shot but otherwise a strangely withdrawn
role. HREIDARSSON (6) showed huge commitment and was unlucky not to have
produced the goods a few more times.

PERALTA (6) lost concentration a few times, but otherwise looked our only
real source of creativity with his constant angled runs into their defence.
Carved out a couple of good opportunities, but wasted them. Good effort
though. MAGILTON (6) had a neat 45 minutes, and was much more positive than
at his recent worst, so things may be looking up. HOLLAND (7) was so, so up
for it in the first half that he simply didn’t deserve to be on the losing
side at half-time. Faded in influence as the game wore on though. REUSER (4)
contributed sod all. Again. Jogged around and should have come off at half
time for Le Pen, no question.

COUNAGO (4) ran around a lot but just spent the game with his back to goal
(in Marcus-at-his-most-frustrating style). At least he could control the
ball, but just kept on turning into trouble. Big chance, blew it. A huge
disappointment. BENT (5) really had the crowd behind him, and it was a
pretty reasonable full debut for any 17-year-old. At the end of the day
though, he didn’t really make anything happen.

Subs: WRIGHT (6) looked good at first, taking over from Jim and doing the
Jim-thing in the middle just as effectively. Then Burley did this stupid,
stupid thing he does of putting Jermaine at right-back. Why? You take off a
full-back, put on a winger, but put one of the midfielders into the
full-back position. Net result: a weaker defence. Why not just take off the
midfielder George? Aaaagh! LE PEN came on, ran around full of
overenthusiasm, got stretchered off. NAYLOR came on, gave away a free kick
for handball, and the whistle went. Both substitutions were pointlessly
late. And in Le Pen’s case, tragic.

The REF was completely conned by Bolton several times. Very poor.
The SUPPORTERS were intermittently good.
And WARHURST is still a git.

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