The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 3 QPR 0

Well, they couldn’t have left it any later, but in the very last match of the year, Town recorded their first and only three-goal home win of 2009. Mind you, there was only one in 2008 too, which should underline the significance of this result. And if Jon Stead had taken either of his late chances and scored his first-ever hat-trick, everyone concerned would have been in dreamland.
Town were pretty good for all but the third quarter of the match, which was impressive considering Stern John was contributing so little and David Norris was understandably subdued on his return. There were three or four very good chances wasted in the first half, and along with the couple at the end, this could have ended up as a far bigger victory. That would have been unfair on QPR though, who wasted some clear chances themselves, and ran the game for the 20 minutes after half-time. So the aberration of Selhurst Park aside, Town have finished the year probably as strongly as at any time, not that there’s much to compare with. There’s a huge hole alongside Jon Stead which needs to be filled; Priskin doesn’t look to be up to the job, Wickham is too young for the responsibility and Counago has spent nine years simply not being consistently good enough. If Keane can get that sorted – and it’s a big ask – then there’s a good chance that the club can put the last two or three years behind it.

Overall Town performance:
7/10 – Decent enough first-half display which started to come undone after the break, but was rescued by the right subsitutions
Opposition quality:
5/10 – A few reasonable individual performances, but whatever Jim had put together earlier in the season has clearly unravelled completely
8/10 – A match which probably didn’t warrant any cards (the first minute apart) actually didn’t get any, so all credit to the guy for that.
Match excitement:
7/10 – Good holiday fun; an enjoyable afternoon with some good-natured support
Opposition supporters:
3/10 – Really expected to see more of them, and they were very subdued

Player ratings, as ever 1 to 5 for each of effort/achievement…
LEE-BARRETT 7 (4/3) had very little of great difficulty to do, but plenty of run-of-the-mill stuff which he carried off almost faultlessly
ROSENIOR 7 (3/4) is becoming one of the most effective right-backs the club has had for a long time, with his turns of speed and his throw-ins adding to a pretty solid defensive ability, all of which were on display this afternoon; McAULEY 6 (3/3) is so much happier now he can concentrate on his own defensive performance and not have to worry about uncomfortable defensive partnerships or (possibly unwanted) captaincy responsibilities; DELANEY 7 (3/4) put in another performance which just begged the question why he wasn’t playing in this slot from the start of his time here; and PETERS 7 (4/3), although not looking a natural left-back, was an inspired choice to counteract Routledge’s speed on the wing.
EDWARDS 5 (3/2) was disappointing, failing to produce anything really creative; NORRIS 5 (3/2) didn’t have a massive impact on the side’s performance, but put in a decent shift and it was great to see him back; LEADBITTER 7 (3/4) was the biggest thorn in QPR’s backside, consistently breaking up play and starting off new Town moves; and WALTERS 6 (3/3) had a much better game than last time out.
STEAD 7 (3/4) took a while to get into the match, but by the end it was all his show; but JOHN 4 (2/2) was really forgettable, seemingly only able to do one thing (prod the ball on to Edwards).
From the bench, COLBACK and GARVAN were both terrific, with Colback surprisingly taking the wide duties, and later WICKHAM made much more impression than Stern John, all of which made you wonder if Town might have run up a much more impressive score if all three had been on from the start.

One Comment:
  1. Jim

    I agree with almost everything you say.
    I felt we were becoming sterile just before half-time. It seemed to me that the midfield had become too frantic and dit put me in mind of a schoolboy approach. Yes, the period after half-time was a problem and the substituions were spot on and changed the game.
    All very encouraging so let us hope we do not muck it up by dabbling stupidly in the transfer market in January (bad memories of Royle buying Currie and Magilton buying Norris). In both cases fitting these two in required changes in the pattern of play when we were playing quite successfully. That kind of change can only be made in the summer.

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