Birmingham City v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Mullet at 00:47:50 A first look at Town in the flesh for me tonight. Back to the supposed second city and it's second team, back to the scene of Mick's first match and the redemption of our club. Town came out like a badly balanced box of tictacs. Gerken all in lime and ten tangerines in familiar 442 ahead of him. The abundance of luminous boots made Town look like a team that were health and safety mad. But with Ando starting on the right and Sammon handed his début up front, there was little caution thrown to the wind with such an obvious line-up and alarmingly little care towards protection shown from the Tractor Boys.
Nearly relegated Birmingham might have gone through many changes over the summer but one constant remains of Clark's side – they're still sh1t. Town hammered them with wayward swings and sweeps of play but the home side's attritional attitude to winning hard yards got the better of a surprisingly weak back line.
Town's recent Kiwi retiree was as tempestuous as the Tasman, in a performance that with Mings beside him left Town far from all right when Brum got going down theirs. Early play saw Sammon take charge of a front line that worked as hard as any in the land, but had all the support of old hosiery.
Time and again the two big men won flicks and half-chances to break and little came of it. Anderson took advantage of an early knockdown to race free in what was one of two displays of great running from the only winger on the pitch but failed to really test Randolph. He and Tabb switched wings frequently, sometimes they didn't bother to do it at the same time as we poured down the flanks into empty space and dead ends.
Tabb and Anderson combined nicely to test from a cross which found Sammon, ricocheted back to an offside Murphy who stabbed at the air around the rebounding ball. Such was the attack of a toothless Town, clearly in the middle of an unfinished refurb and all but roofless it seemed.
At the other end Brum threatened by chugging through the porous defence into dangerous areas and then failing to stop Town repelling them too often. One shot sailed wide with particular venom from Novak and uttered intent but didn't seem to threaten a rusty but functional Town side.
It was on half an hour of a quiet and duly dull half that calamity came. Gerken had once came for a loose ball early doors and fisted, Tommy's back/side was clattered and both fell in a heap. Town fans left mouths agape and Brum's lot frustrated. This time a corner would be met with equally unprofessional abandon and Edgar would steer it into the net. Unmarked, unchallenged, unbelievable. Three centre backs and not one of them in sight of the scorer.
Town looked lost as Sammon and Murph laboured, but with Anderson the only real outlet the pressure mounted. Mings may have been rescued from football's bargain bin but he goes forward very much like he too might be from Iceland. There's something there indeed but his cavalier attitude often ends up with him losing his head and all around him scrambling for cover. Emphatically he charged 5 yards to power a head commandingly on the half way line. The ball fell to the opposing midfield who simply looped it into the space where he was previously and they ran it right down onto goal.
As the half drew to a close it was hard to say if Chambers early shot stabbed too short was our best chance to keep pace with a trundling host side. It was that or the double mishit from a nice piece of play by Tabb which saw Hyam and Murphy, fail to connect in any meaningful way too close to be excused. Frustration grew and billowed across a noisy and supportive away end choking out much early optimism.
In a half where a once intimidating ground was largely silent, presumably the Zulus drifted back upon the wrong Blues taking the lead. The second period started with a bang. No changes to personnel but playing style. Kicking Birmingham back into the right hand corner Mings once again launched forward and the first of many waves came from Mick's Orange-clad horde. Another burst down our left saw Tabb skidding across the turf. Tossed aside with all the finesse and tenderness of a used condom wrapper, the previously limp ref stiffened, freekick. Ando bent it in, Berra hammered it home. Town had a grip on Birmingham and the comeback was on. No more pedestrianisation for Town please!
Unfortunately the 5 minutes of blood and thrusting took it's toll. Murph headed just off from a corner which was won from a stinging Anderson drive. The winger making a play for MOTM by being at the crux of so much of our play in the final third. It was not to be in any case.
Sammon may have made claim for being the man of the hour with a fine if understated début finishing around the 60 minute mark. The loanee is quicker than a Norfolk trophy count and put himself about like he was on Ber Street but it may well go largely unnoticed on tonight of all nights. McGoldrick entered the fray and the little wizard rolled up his sleeves and with them went travelling expectations.
His first notable effort was to come after a bit of time had passed, a flick off of a neat Tabb chip into Randolph's hands with back to goal. Skill. The keeper who sports a beard rarely seen on faces won't have many easier takes all season though. Town pressed harder and harder and for some belief and will palpably drained from them, as concerns across the terraces in the previous half soon turned to complaints. It seemed like a game Town were destined to give away.
An already beleaguered middle saw Skuse left as island in the midst of a gentle blue trickle. A hospital ball back into Cole, charged down and Donaldson was clear. An easy and cool finish and again Town it was Town who were all too generous towards the hosts. Bugger.
Back down in the goals department Town looked to back down briefly and perhaps those who left soon after had mistakenly felt this was one step beyond. It was telling that in the dismal first half this Town side looked surprisingly fragile in the head for a McCarthy side. Any soft spots were eventually exploited by a fumbling Birmingham but we remained composed.
Mings again made his mark. Charging forward like a mega-Maradonna he beat men, himself, and more men to launch a run that seemed to be nigh on the length of the pitch. It was a thing to behold, scary, ugly and impressive in equal measure. He buried the cross the into the first man and head down, all around him scurried back as the young defender sought not to do his duty.
With 10 left it was the turn of two new faces to give Town a different look. The battered Murphy took a bow and Balint Bajner proved to be as tricky a challenge for announcers as defenders alongside the pint-sized Henshall for Tabb.
The Hungarian might be fluent in football but his runs were poetic in motion but lost on his colleagues, only one deft touch found Henshall for one of many eye-catching and tear inducing crosses. It was in the little man's boots that Town's best chance of equalising seemed to come. If Sammon seemed quick, he is a mere Ullathorne backpass compared to young Henshall.
Sent free for his best run after Birmingham nearly scored, only for Mings to find the winger out on his own. Alex the kid, skipped and blasted to the byline and sent balls across and over several times tonight – noteworthy at least. It was a display to haunt the already tired Spector and saw the home defender make mistakes which kept his team under pressure.
I can't tell you much about the equaliser. It was a slide-show rather than a movie. By the time injury time came and was announced as five whole minutes, the Town fans were too racked and raucous to count or care. Each run, each pass, saw hundreds of feet shift and shuffle in support. What I do know is, the ball came over from Anderson (again) having Bajner turned into flick-on-finder. Berra was now a striker as he seems to be when we are losing and boy did he strike! Snaking away from his man he connected with some appendage between brow and bootlaces and before we knew it was arms aloft screaming over the hoardings at the berserk Blues in rapturous delight. A WoodstockJFKDiana moment of sorts.
A draw was perhaps the fair result, given the manner in which Town gave away two sloppy goals. The mix of emotions only highlighted the mix in quality throughout the side and it's a recipe Mick is yet to perfect. Balance and symmetry are needed.
Couple of points: For the first time in living memory we started to defend set-pieces with 10 men in and around the box and one up field; lesson hopefully learned. Although we celebrated like we won, nothing should disguise the fact that for large amounts of this game we were dismal, another appalling first half, the defence unusually shaky, and we badly need that quality central midfielder. Bajner was a tad better this evening but we still lack quality upfront. I heard Solskjaer on the radio saying if you have quality strikers they will get goals. It's early in the season, Didsy and Murphy will come good, but our top scorer is now Berra, the other strikers need to score, and the midfield needs shaking up.
Birmingham City v Ipswich Town Your Report added by dalianwasexciting at 23:19:58 Well in the end it felt like a victory after some dire play. The performance can be best described as fitful and in the first half we looked clueless and out of sorts. The defence and goalkeeper look very nervous and jittery, compare the commanding nature of Darren Randolph with the hesitancy and perceived lack of urgency of Gerken, many times there appeared to not be much calling Midfield was non existent with ask use badly out of sorts, however Andeson had the best game I have seen him play, with an apparent free role. At half time I said to Mr Slegg that I could only see Berra as a scorer, but even in my wildest dreams I did not see him getting two! Samson and Murphy are both similar and the change for McGoldrick could have been either of them. The best feature was the glimpse of Alex Henshall, purpose, skill, speed and actually beating a man, more please. And as a footnote I have never been to a ground where the home singing consists of five geezers in matalan track suits and one blonde!
Birmingham City v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Stourbridgeblue at 23:04:16 A first half full of incident rather than quality. We called the spare man at the far post from the stand before the corner was taken for the 1st goal. MM certainly earned his corn at half time and we started the 2nd half on fire. Deservedly equalised and looked like going on to win it. A bad mistake from Skuse for their 2nd goal and from then on we huffed and puffed but didn't look like getting back into it. Over the 90 mins prob a fair result but over the last 30 def a point gained. Henshall looked terrific when he came on and Sammon had a good run out but Gherkin and the defence looked nervous. We'll need to play better on Saturday
Reading v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Marcovic at 10:17:13 There was no pace in the side apart from Hewitt in the first half. Mings was not winning any headers which was disappointing. I think mings is more of an athlete than a footballer. Anderson, when brought on, was our brightest spark - he would run with the ball beat the man and cross pretty well. Sammon looks like a better bet than Frank. Saying that we did create a lot of chances, just our finishing was poor. Still a lot of optimism for me - lets bring on Tuesday.
Reading v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Letchworth_Blue at 09:42:24 Gerken didn't have much to do all game. Our defence looked solid enough throughout, although Pogrebnyak was a handful for them. Mings was fairly comfortable in his defending role and made some good runs, but without an end product. The biggest factor why we got nothing from the game was our midfield. Played too deep again, hardly any passes forward, few crosses, gave the ball away, out-muscled, out-thought. I had hoped we had turned a corner against Fulham with Hyam and Skuse, but alas no. Hewitt looked knackered, let's put it that way. Tabb did ok again, at least he did manage to cross the ball a few times. McG and Murph we feeding off scraps most of the game, although to be fair to Reading they had done their homework on both. Didz looked very unfit though and was out-paced when played in late in the second half. Overall disappointed, but it's only the second game and we have 3 points. Onward to Brum and scum, but it felt like an opportunity missed today as Reading hardly had a shot and were missing key players.
Reading v Ipswich Town Your Report added by oscarwhiting at 19:26:38 An ok all round performance, and we probably deserved something out of it. Considering they beat us with there only real chance of the game we were unlucky. Mings had an ok game but was guilty of giving the ball away every now and again. Skuse looked poor , Hewitt looked lost at times and mcgoldrick did alright but is clearly not match fit as he was outstrengthed and out paced at times. Referee had a shocker but as always the blues fans were on top form. Back down to earth with a bit of a bump.
Reading v Ipswich Town Your Report added by tractorkent at 18:35:13 We still need a playmaker, to create and open up defences. MM was good at helping us to stay but i'm afraid in my opinion he is an school English manager.e.g Hard work comes before first. We need culture in the middle of midfield, a touch of style,but hey what do i know .
Reading v Ipswich Town Your Report added by LegendofthePhoenix at 18:06:31 Thought we really missed the attacking wingback play of Cresswell. Mings may make a decent fullback, but he can't make attacking runs like Aaron. McGoldrick some lovely touches but very clearly not match fit yet. Tabb ran his little legs off, overall our best player today, but for all the huff and puff nobody could stick it in the net. Few decent chances for either side, Gerken didn't have a save to make, Reading scored with tehir only strike on goal after a bad error from Didsy. Was Hewitt even playing? Didn't notice him.
Crawley Town v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Qatarblue at 07:03:16 Very poor, very disappointing. None of the fringe players staked a claim for a place in the starting line up. Chambers and Berra strong in central defence as expected, centre midfield didn't gel and created very little, Henshall has speed but too often ran down a blind alley and took the wrong option, Taylor easily best player on the pitch, Nouble easily the worst player on the pitch (he had an absolute shocker and how he stayed on is beyond me - and everyone around me), Marriot huffed and puffed but without a strike partner was feeding off scraps.
Ipswich Town v Fulham Your Report added by tractorkent at 09:35:30 A good team performance to start the season with.Both Skuse and Hyam both done their jobs well. I was impressed with Hyam but I would still like to see a creatve central midfield player. A good start however agaisnt a good team
Ipswich Town v Fulham Your Report added by Pessimistic at 19:44:59 This was a tenacious display by Town and in the end it was their tenacity that got them the points with a wholehearted team performance of the very highest order. Murphy was superb as was the bulk of the team.
Ipswich Town v Fulham Your Report added by joshITFCporter at 16:25:38 Luke Hyam has finally added attacking play to his game and he showed it. dominated the Midfield and had the game of his life,with Skuse aiding him in totally counteracting the diamond midfield that Fulham played. murphy was Very unselfish, with the stats showing he made Three Key Passes, the most of any player on the pitch (Opta Data) as well as an excellent run and finish past an inexperienced goalkeeper in Jossen, which showed by his poor commanding of his box and his constantly inaccurate goal kicks. In the other net Dean Gerken had a relatively Quiet game, making the one mistake but brilliantly redeeming himself by having his outstretched foot stop Moussa Dembele from pouncing. Bajner was the most disappointing town performance for me, due largely to his lack of time with the ball, with it taking 28 minutes for his first completed pass, however one attack of his late in the first half had a hint of Alan lee in his prime with excellent positioning and a good footballing vision. Mings has stated he is playing his own way and not trying to fill cressy's Boots, which he did alright at, but feel he was slightly lacking defensively, possibly due to inexperience but he was largely solid, with the only problem being his clearances mostly going to fulham a midfield. Young Cameron Burgess was fulham's brightest spark of life with his clearances preventing us getting a cricket score as his fellow centre backs were very inconsistent.
Overalls against a recently relegated and established premier league team it was a performance to remember, and although Fulham did not gel that well due to lack of playtime together, it was great to see our players have good link ups, especially the chambers/Hewitt overlaps and the return of Murphys powerful presence, perfectly linking with Mcgoldricks ability on the ball