The View From Churchmans

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


Ipswich Town 1 Nottingham Forest 2

A big crowd, and almost every home supporter will have left the ground
thinking the same thing: “How predictable was that?”

And indeed it was. Decent run, things start to get important, home match
against team from the other end of the table …of course, what happens
next? A large pair of pants descends on Portman Road. To be fair, we weren’t
that bad, and few Forest supporters would have felt cheated if we’d won the
game. They only had three or four decent chances (although as we all know
this season, that’s all the opposition need) compared to a dozen or more
from Town in the first half alone. But it was one of those days when things
weren’t going to go in for us. Sadly, days when we don’t gift our opponents
a goal or two are somewhat rarer.

Miller’s absence meant we were really light in midfield numbers, and Joe
decided to put in an extra defender and go 5-3-2 instead. It looked
reasonably good on paper, and indeed we put the ball about well and created
a lot of chances to begin with. But cracks began to show as the first half
went on, as we found it harder and harder to find a way through a solid,
withdrawn Forest midfield. Second-half tinkering, including a change to
4-4-2 once it was deemed late enough for Reuser to be given a run-out,
didn’t help at all, and by the end we were a complete shambles. Looks like
it’s going to be a final afternoon with radios clamped to our ears again.
And it should all have been so unnecessary.

Some ratings:
(1-5 for effort, 1-5 for achievement)

DAVIS 6 (3/3): Not sure whether he could have done better on both goals, but
if we give Kelvin the benefit of the doubt, reasonable enough.

WILNIS 6 (3/3), DIALLO 4 (2/2), ELLIOTT 7 (3/4), McGREAL 6 (3/3), RICHARDS 6
(3/3): At times it seemed as if we’d cut the defence down to two, not
increased it to five, the goals in particular being the most glaring
examples. For the first, King found himself in an open space large enough to
have been declared a small country. For the second …well, a player of
David Johnson’s height shouldn’t be allowed to win headers in front of goal,
full stop.

WRIGHT 7 (4/3), MAGILTON 4 (2/2), WESTLAKE 6 (3/3): I know I sound like a
stuck record when it comes to Jim, and I know he seems to be a different
player in away matches, but week after week at home, he’s off the pace,
slows things down when he does get the ball, and extravagantly wastes
possession time after time. No change again today. At least with the
three-man midfield, Jermaininho got to play a lot closer, and showed how
much more effective a central midfield player he can be: hopefully even more
so once Jim’s finally moaned and shouted his way into retirement.
Unfortunately Wrighty (as usual) was sent to a less effective position to
accommodate substitutions, and faded from then on.

BENT 7 (4/3), BOWDITCH 6 (3/3): Darren ran his heart out, but couldn’t
finish anything today. Deano was a little more casual, but occasionally
looked real class.

Subs: REUSER came on for the last half hour, with the hopeless Diallo taken
off, and although he worked hard and got involved in everything, the shape
of the side was beginning to fall apart by this time. NAYLOR was brought on
up front for Bowditch, and showed more commitment (if a little less flair),
and KUQI’s introduction for an injured Magilton at the end signalled another
change, to 4-2-4, but by this time nobody knew where anyone was.

The CROWD wasn’t as noisy as of late, perhaps surprisingly given that it was
one of the largest of the season, but the reception for Johnno was good.

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