The View From Churchmans

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

MATCH REPORT

Nottingham Forest 1 Ipswich Town 1

Whilst a point wasn’t the daylight robbery some of Forest’s supporters are
claiming, we were certainly lucky to get it, in a game dominated by the
opposition from the 20th minute to the 80th. We came out 4-4-2 with new
loanee Tony Dinning in midfield, but never really did much more going
forward than playing hopeful longish balls forward to Dazza and Shirley.
Although we could have nicked it right at the end, we can be grateful for a
point we’d probably have settled for at the beginning of the evening anyway.

The start was bright enough, and we more than held our own for the first
quarter of an hour, but then Diallo went walkabout over to the left wing,
Forest got in an unimpeded cross, and Davis pulled off a blinder of a save
from the resulting header, all of which woke up the home side and their
support. From then on it was a different game, and a few minutes later,
Diallo sloppily gave the ball away, Davis made a decent save from Johnno,
but the rebound was a tap-in.

In the second half Forest changed their tactic from through-balls to Johnno
(which had been working well) to slinging it over to the right wing again
and again, and punting in very early crosses from there. Consequently there
were no end of goalmouth scrambles, and the woodwork (and Davis again) saved
us several times. But wouldn’t you know it, we went up the other end, got a
corner, and Dazza stuck it in. Delirium. However, we failed to make the most
of the impetus the goal provided (a substitution would have been great at
this moment) and our play slowly went back to being scrappy. By the end we
were all counting down the seconds, although one of their forwards showed
why he’s normally kept up the other end of the park by nearly gifting us an
open goal.

Overall, not too encouraging, but we’ve looked worse at this stage of the
season, and the luck’s clearly with us. And there’s plenty to build on. But
why is Joe messing around with unfit journeyman loanees when there are
academy lads straining at the leash to show what they can do? This time last
year Matt and Westy were nobodies: look what a decent run can do to bring on
the youngsters. Stick ’em in, Joe!

Player ratings

(1-5 for effort, 1-5 for achievement…)

DAVIS 8 (4/4): Could even have been 4/5, but I’m guessing he might have done
better with at least one or two of Forest’s scrambled efforts in the second
half; however, it was difficult to see from 10m below sea-level at the other
end. Otherwise, Kelvin was immaculate, and a couple of saves were as good as
any we’ll see all season.

DIALLO 5 (3/2), DE VOS 6 (3/3), NAYLOR 6 (3/3), RICHARDS 6 (3/3): Diallo
looked like an ungainly centre-back playing as a full-back, which isn’t
surprising. The guy really is all arms and legs, quite alarming to watch.
Generally he was OK, rescuing himself on more occasions than one, but it
only takes a couple of gifts to turn a game, and he made ’em. The others
were reasonable, given the onslaught of the second half.

HORLOCK 5 (3/2), MILLER 5 (3/2), DINNING 4 (2/2), WESTLAKE 5 (3/2): The
midfield were just about all there, I guess, but that’s about it. Movement
was poor, passing worse, and players like Reid made all of them look
second-best. Dinning in particular failed to grab his chance. It’s OK saying
he’s new to the team and all that, but in that case you need to make the
running. He didn’t in any way.

KUQI 5 (3/2), BENT 7 (4/3): What’s it they say about players like Shefki?
They cover every inch of the pitch, but with control like that they need to.
Really not the player you want when your only tactics consist of lobbing
hopeful balls in the direction of the opposition’s penalty area. Dazza was
tireless though, and was our only outfield performance of note. But even he
barely had a shot.

Subs: BOWDITCH came on to everyone’s relief at the end, but about
half-an-hour (or some would say 80 minutes) too late.

The REFEREE made some strange decisions, but both sets of supporters could
feel equally out out, so I guess he was consistent.

The CROWD was disappointing, noise-wise, and that applies to both home and
away fans. What is it with that far end at Forest? Big stand, quite full,
yet it makes the Cobbold seem animated, I’m not joking. I wondered at one
point if it was empty and had 5,000 supporters painted onto the seats.

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