The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 3 Leicester City 0

One of the strangest matches I can recall at Portman Road ended up with a scoreline which history may show to be the turning point in Town’s season, or just a blip caused by freak circumstances. Certainly playing on snow when the rest of the country had its feet up in the warm wasn’t a test which was representative of either team. But you can only play the conditions presented to you, and they were the same for both sides. The difference was that Town worked out how to play them from the outset, while Leicester were clueless until told what they needed to be doing at half-time. It wasn’t hard: simple passes, shoot low and on sight, and …that’s about it, really.

In the hours leading up to the start, and right through the 90 (or indeed 110) minutes, the smart money must have been on the ref calling the whole thing off. But he didn’t. As Sky were keen to demonstrate, the ball was running reasonably, and it was closer to playing on a wet surface than the blizzard conditions suggested. For a couple of blissful (if freezing) hours, the older supporters amongst us were transported back to the seventies, when men were men, and a snood was just something which turned up on the Scrabble board. Behind the approving nods from some of the older gents around me, when an orange ball appeared, was probably some genuine delight.

I don’t think it’s fair to give ratings to the players, because this match wasn’t comparable to normal football, but credit to the whole team for rising to the challenge with relish in the first half and doing what was needed in the second. Fallon did the simple things well, as did Scotland; Norris looked like he was born to play in these conditions; and O’Connor really looked like he had a point to prove.

Let’s hope this game turns out to be a spot of really good fortune which give the team the confidence to turn things around.

Overall Town performance:
7/10 – Well up for it.

Opposition quality:
4/10 – Really looked like they’d rather have been elsewhere.

10/10 – As long as the second half break had been planned as a temporary stoppage from the outset. If he’d planned to end the game there but somehow found himself persuaded otherwise by Roy Keane or Rupert Murdoch, then 0/10.

Match excitement:
7/10 – Not exactly exciting, but great spirits and humour around the ground, and good to say “I was there.”

Opposition supporters:
6/10 – Decent enough turnout in the circumstances, and made themselves heard, albeit (understandably) just to grumble. A lot.

Man of the Match:
Unquestionably the member of the ground staff who found a moment at half-time to write “3-0” in ten-foot high letters right in front of the Leicester supporters. Beautiful.

3-0 written in the snow in front of Leicester City supporters

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