The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 3 Blackpool 1

A thoroughly enjoyable and thoroughly deserved win, with plenty of issues to debate, but one thing is not up for discussion; this was a definite step in the right direction. It’s always a little uncomfortable for the football purist in everyone when an opposing team tries to play a decent attractive game and then gets put to the sword precisely because of that – however, if that’s what it takes to get a decent win, I’m sure all connected with the club will shelve their sense of righteousness for an afternoon.

So, 367 days after the last one, the club finally get another two-goal home win. It’s been a long haul. Blackpool helped with a suicidally high-up-the-pitch defensive line, which was exploited ruthlessly by the Ipswich central midfield. Anyone not there might be wondering if Town have found an ability to finish at last, but oh no – you’ll rarely have seen so many great chances to score squandered so badly, especially by Jon Walters, whose second half was nothing short of shocking. The number of shots on goal, 18, was similar to the Peterborough match, but these were much better chances, and several more should have been buried.

In contrast, it was great to see the solidity of the defence in the face of an opposition which got numbers forward quickly and moved it around quite sweetly. Even better was the way the midfield pair turned their industriousness into real results. I suspect that Keane moved Garvan out wide to prepare for the eventual return of David Norris alongside Leadbitter, but he’ll do well to displace Colback on this performance.

For now, we can savour something which, in the past two years, has only been happening on average once every six months: a three-goal haul at home. That’s three goals, everyone!

Overall Town performance:
8/10 – Helped by the opposition tactics, but it was never a foregone conclusion that the advantages this offered would be exploited

Opposition quality:
6/10 – Failed to adapt in the face of a failed strategy

5/10 – Very few howlers, but he did seem to give an extraordinary number of free kicks for a game which wasn’t particularly physical

Match excitement:
8/10 – Really enjoyed this one throughout

Opposition supporters:
4/10 – You can’t criticise anyone who travels that far!

Player ratings, as ever 1 to 5 for each of effort/achievement…

LEE-BARRETT 6 (3/3) put in yet another confident display

ROSENIOR 6 (3/3) was pushed well back by Blackpool playing so far up the pitch, but rarely troubled; McAULEY 8 (4/4) made a great goal-line clearance, scored a goal, and led the defence impressively; DELANEY 7 (3/4) looked very comfortable again; and WRIGHT 6 (3/3) continued to concentrate on his defensive duties, acquitting himself well.

GARVAN 6 (3/3) was understandably not as influential out wide, but still put in the classiest through-balls of the afternoon; COLBACK 8 (4/4) ran his socks off and I suspect the way he scored his goal was exactly what the management had hoped he would do; LEADBITTER 8 (4/4) was even better, and could end up as a new Matty Holland at this rate; and PETERS 6 (3/3) was lively going forward – although less effective tracking back – and should merit serious ongoing consideration in that role.

STEAD 8 (4/4) led the line tremendously well, showing great presence, good control and decent timing (why doesn’t this Jon Stead turn up every week?); but WALTERS 4 (2/2) had a stinker, missing a sitter and two one-on-ones. I might have just put this down to a bad day at the office, were it not for two things: another one-on-one which he would have had if he hadn’t been so busy looking heavenwards after a through-ball wasn’t to his liking; and a quite pathetically immature yellow card at the end which will rule him out of the next match.

From the bench, EDWARDS and QUINN had about 20 seconds on the pitch between them.

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