The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 3 Coventry City 0

Town’s biggest win at Portman Road since last February was seen by the smallest league crowd for nearly 12 years, thanks to a perfect storm of a Monday night game on Sky, some erratic recent performances, tiny travelling support and the increasingly ridiculous-looking ticket prices. Still, at least 15,000 of us can say “I was there” to also see the first clean sheet at home since last March.

Any praise for Town’s performance (and plenty is due) should be tempered by the fact that Coventry were surely as poor as any side we’ll see here this season, and to fail to finish them off much earlier does leave some cause for concern. I don’t remember Town ever fielding as many ‘old men’ as they are at the moment (only one outfield player under 25, and only three under 30, I think), so it would be understandable if this side were unable to step up a gear at the end, should it be necessary. Fortunately tonight it wasn’t.

The ‘diamond midfield’ worked a treat tonight, and played its part in getting a lot more than we’ve seen recently from Grant Leadbitter, who had a fine game (as did – equally unexpectedly – Jason Scotland). Coventry were allowed to build far too many chances though, and there was some heroic last-ditch defending by Town, which might not have been enough against better opposition. So a fine result, but still a long way from what we’re all hoping for.

Overall Town performance:
7/10 – Clever, quick movement created a lot of chances

Opposition quality:
2/10 – Didn’t look Championship standard in any department

7/10 – Very much under the radar – good for him

Match excitement:
6/10 – Plenty of chances, but failed to improve the deathly quiet atmosphere

Opposition supporters:
2/10 – Less than 200, thanks to most of the reasons which also kept the home fans away

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

STOCKDALE 7 (4/3) looked commanding and confident, but had to be saved by his defenders on the line on at least three occasions

EDWARDS 5 (3/2) wasn’t tested much in defence but was no more than adequate going forward; SONKO limped off early; COLLINS 6 (3/3) looked like a very useful acquisition; and CRESWELL 8 (4/4) had another fine game, especially in an attacking role.

BULLARD 6 (3/3) is not playing at last season’s standard, and was (oddly) crowded off the ball by his own players at times, rather than finding himself in his usual acres of space, but was sporadically classy nevertheless; ANDREWS 8 (4/4) was very much involved, and is looking as prolific a midfield goalscorer as we’ve had here for many years; BOWYER 5 (2/3) was quiet and a little disappointing; but LEADBITTER 8 (4/4) really came back from the dead today, with a bustling, committed and effective display.

SCOTLAND 7 (3/4) also surprised many with a return to form, even displaying some excellent close control; and CHOPRA 6 (3/3), although missing some sitters, was also involved in much of the good stuff.

Substitues: DELANEY 6 (3/3) provided the first hoof of the night as soon as he came on, but fitted into Town’s most welcome new short-ball game from then on; both MURPHY and EMMANUEL-THOMAS didn’t get enough time to do anything.

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