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|Newcastle United v Ipswich Town Your Report added by pegasus at 18:03:18|
It has been some years since I have been able to watch Ipswich play and during this time my only real contact with 'The Blues' has been twtd. I learnt a great deal at St James's Park, yesterday. Mullett clearly saw the same match that I did. From today, I will read his reports more carefully and value them more highly. I am even more saddened by the high proportion of negative and pessimistic comments I read on this site. Yes. Town were outplayed yesterday and were well beaten. But they were not disgraced. Newcastle scored three excellent goals. Bialkowski could've saved none of them. The Ipswich defence, which has a good record, was beaten three times by pace, excellent, accurate long passes, by footballing skill and guile, and perfect finishing. Best and Webster might have scored for Town (read the excellent report, above), but it wasn't to be.
A few particular observations. I read, regularly, about 'the long ball upfield', and the frustrations this inevitably causes. I didn't see this 'overdone' by the defenders, yesterday, but Bilakowski's strategy, with one or two exceptions, was to kick deep into opponents' half. 9 kicks out of his 10 were trapped, taken down, or headed as a pass, by Newcastle. Throwing or rolling to a defender kept possession...and when Ipswich DID start passing, they looked so much better, started playing so much better, and with more confidence. There are some fine young players, Webster for one. And when he came on as a second-half sub, Emmanuel played with confidence, not overawed by the large partisan Newcastle crowd. Will they be part of a table topping Ipswich team to come? Or, in the financial grotesquerie that now bedevils football, are they seen as monetary investments, to be sold on for big profits in the no-too-distant future? I hope not.
So often I see negative comments about Town players (Chambers in particular!), but I reckon these guys, all of them, were doing their best, but it just wasn't good enough. against a table-topping side
|Newcastle United v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Mullet at 18:21:48|
Town returned to winning ways in midweek, and their upward trajectory had taken them up to the Toon today In better mood but worse shape. The heavy price of victory saw Mick's agricultural boys line up in front of the Magpies with the now usual back five, a midfield five of Douglas where Skuse usually is, Grant and Ward either side of him and Lawrence and Sears besides them. Best returned to another a former club within a week as a lone striker.
Newcastle also played one up top in the form of Gayle, and Perez in their hole, but it was the midfield magic of Jonjo Shelvey who undid the blues inside of a minute. Unshackled in the centre, from deep he spotted the chance to double up on Chambers and as the captain received two men, the ball and no time to think the big blue barricade across the goalmouth only spat the ball as far as Perez who crashed into the box and the goal scoring charts with a decent finish.
The talk of defensive fortitude reduced to hubris as again Town crumbled in the face of such awesome force. The game became an exercise in Newcastle letting us run out our legs, with the body blow already landed it didn't take much. The difference in class, quality, experience and simple touches told.
As Sears rotated with Lawrence and then Douglas the dull point of the midfield triangle inverted it by hovering in front of either D without the threat of penetration, Town's tactical puzzle was more like a Rubik's cube and all the squares were blue. Soon enough it was clear Mick moved into a more attacking 442 as the lone striker was abandoned in more ways than one. Ward and Lawrence remained narrow wingers on a big pitch, Grant and Douglas pushed and prodded while the Magpies were happy to volley and rush until the moment a yard of space became available.
Gayle was allowed to find enough freedom to fire over when once again the Blues were unable to stop themselves from competing or committing in game where ground was rarely given up by the home side.
Best would nearly upset former employers, but not quite. He benefited from a well worked corner that saw a run to the near post drag out defenders and his heavy touch was doubled as he drilled a teasing shot off his chest then the bar. If Town never stood a chance all day, Darlow didn't then and there at least.
It was hard to see what a weakened away side would do once that move was over. You sense there was a reluctance to move away from the nil-nil mentality with the lead already lost. Bart was one of two keepers that spent a lot of time shielded into collections from through balls and moving short passes around across the back. Town's aerial bombardment reduced to ten yard lobs and lifts bar the odd decision from Webster to try and bend in an attack from behind the last man.
The young centre back who caught the imagination of the Ewood 500 a week ago with long runs forward, proceeded to make like Bramble and burst what seemed the length of the pitch nearly unchallenged. A nasty check from Shelvey was waved on rather than away, as the Blue bent one way past the post you felt a more seasoned head would have dived for clod and cover. Earning the easy set piece and clear booking that never came.
In fact Town's best work seemed to come when Newcastle were caught unawares. Colback another link between the two clubs hacked down Sears from behind as the attacker latched onto a neat knock down from Best midway into the home half before being scythed from behind.
His neat work off the ball and use of tireless running into the corners saw some of Town's brightest moments. Whether it was a neat one two with Jonas, or a tight arcing pass from Lawrence, McCarthy's starlets twinkled off in the distance rather than shining a light on any potential frailties the Geordie defence might have.
Town defenders were left rubbing their heads on more than one occasion before the half came to a close. If Newcastle were letting us punch ourselves out in the corners, they were happy to let the referee hold sway on the contest. Gayle was not only miles offside when Bart took the ball off him at his feet, but laughably dived over Polish hands. It looked certain the referee might be sold again cheaply but this time he opted to abstain and not do his duty for us or them.
Soon after Knudsen was booked as this time he was the victim of a quick overlap, but seemingly happy to shuffle out a 50-50, his man Yedlin lost his balance and a booking was forthcoming thanks to frantic flagging. Berra's sarcastic and heartfelt mime was an artful commentary on the decision.
Panic rang out before the game, and with the lineup changed again at half time, I wondered to myself. Best had broken down twice on the halfway line as the first period ended. He didn't return and neither did Knudsen, for whatever reason. Instead McGoldrick and Emmanuel both earned much called for bows, in unfamiliar settings. It only took a minute an accidentally nasty challenge on Lawrence that had the Welshman pounding the turf with his hands and not his feet. His left knee clearly hyper extended in the crash to the ground, and Mick for a second time this season looking at all three subs forced early due to injury. Thankfully the left winger carried on.
Town flirted with a newer iteration of 442 and the unfamiliarity was not mitigated by any certainty of so much youth now in the side. Douglas again could not decide which side of the young central pair he should be. As it was, Shelvey who had opted to step back and pull at Suffolk heartstrings from deep led him to be a pointed reminder of what happens when you lose your shape, his raking passes often coincided with switches in midfield thanks to mishaps and shuffling moves that left gaps.
Ward and Douglas both expected the other to collect one looping hoof that came from somewhere near Gateshead, only to let it find neither of theirs and bounce forward pushing Town back. If both keepers had been collecting crosses and little else all day, it was Bart who would be forced to get his gloves dirty near the hour as Ritchie met one of several excellent moves on the volley.
Town meanwhile moved nearly as well, not nearly enough and found the build up more fruitful than the hanging balls Darlow would easily pluck two handed and unchallenged. In the vast gantry 3000 as mixed and make-do as the side beneath stirred into life as the game seemed to settle again. Neat flourishes across the park stopped any accusations of us simply parking the bus, but Newcastle would crash home a second in similar style to the first.
Again Perez popped up a late cavalry charge enough to cut Mick's weary foot soldiers asunder. A smart move that saw a driving run complete the rout by meeting a low pass and firing past Bart with aplomb. If these are the champions elect, their campaign may well be a simple one and finish long before anyone else's.
With both sets of fans raising their voices in a rare moment to salute the King of all that unites two clubs a literal country and metaphorical world apart. One Bobby Robson, thousands of voices, millions of goosebumps.
It was no surprise as Rafa swept changes once, more having already removed Gouffran, he waited for his side to completely clean out Town with the move of the match. This time Ritchie gratefully received from Perez and made it three with a devilish finish that left our Scottish international reeling, and theirs reeling away from goal. A clever run inwards, a threat of an overlap allowed them in once again to complete the victory in grudgingly impressive style.
Town meanwhile had to make do with more excellent build ups and little end product. When McGoldrick danced into the box, having moved past several players from the right flank, he was always going to struggle on his left foot and the finish was wayward.
Emmanuel at left back never looked in danger, but when he was happy to get forward and support it merely compressed Newcastle so that they might spring into action at will, and likewise with Chambers who linked up with Ward neatly to yield a decent cross more than once, ultimately Town never came close to a consolation. When Sears ran himself out with ten minutes left, a whole half with no target man had yielded a spell that was far from aimless but never going to leave a mark on a team so much better equipped and comfortable. Williams for all his exciting, head down hijinx was never enough.
While there was a legitimate fear of a thrashing, and a sneaking suspicion Town would do well to sneak anything past Benitez's golden men, it is clear Town's place in this division is as secure as Geordie promotion hopes. The gulf so vast, that a side as fluid and yet to be forged as the one we fielded today will always fear a hammering. The best hope we might take from this is that so many young players did not disgrace themselves.
A few waited until the contest was over to hold up a now defaced bed sheet bearing the slogan "In Mick we xrust". If that's true, then it was mostly young blood today adding to any decay. Once we wipe ourselves down and see what's left, I feel we might see the making of many of them.
|Ipswich Town v Burton Albion Your Report added by Pilgrimblue at 20:21:25|
Good to get 3 points but Town were overrun at times and lucky to hold on to win. Thought Tom was great and better performance from Bru (esp his pass for first goal) and Chambo. Its worrying that MM only changes team for injuries and we saw how good midfield could play without Skuglas. Best certainly looks promising and had hard time with physical defenders.
|Ipswich Town v Burton Albion Your Report added by rickw at 00:07:31|
I thought Chambers had a good game (for him) at full back - he even found tea mates with passes several times. I was disappointed with Webster's passing though - I hope he's not having that side of his game coached out of him!
Skuse protected the back 4 pretty well, but Bru and Bishop were anonymous first half, 2nd half Bishop got a bit more involved. Lawrence showed great skills several times, he didn't stay in the game for long periods, but had several quality moments.
I was most impressed with Best, his workrate, strength and close control was really an outlet to us, getting the ball into him we he was able to keep it untill the attacking midfielders caught up.
|Ipswich Town v Burton Albion Your Report added by brendanh at 22:58:08|
Incredible tactical genius from McCarthy tonight in dropping Douglas (confirmed it was tactical in his R Suffolk post-game interview). We are truly blessed to live in the same era as such a sporting intellect.
I can't fathom where he gets his inspiration for such decisions. Perhaps its EVERY Ipswich supporter without exception. I sometimes think we'd do better e-selecting the team democratically. Gav, please can you add such functionality to this website?
|Blackburn Rovers v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Glossopippies at 09:46:11|
Ipswich were the better side, and played well, creating opportunities, but they lack a sharpshooter.Teddy Bishop made a difference when he came on, prepared to take players on and Leon Best impressed me, but the stand out player on the pitch for both sides was Adam Webster, who was decisive, brave, commanding and creative. I will be surprised if he isn't snapped up by a Premier League side within 2 seasons.
|Blackburn Rovers v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Mullet at 19:13:10|
There were probably 10,000 empty seats in Blackburn Lancashire. Maybe more. Maybe less. In front of a sparsely populated hangar that is Ewood Park Town lined up a solid 4-4-2. In front of Bart returned Webster and Berra with the captain displacing Emmanuel at right back whilst Knudsen remained on the left. Skuse and Douglas made their usual portmanteau and their usual bows in the centre. Ward and Lawrence the width to Sears and Best at the sharp end.
Town started under a surprising amount of pressure considering the commendable away following behind them sat in atmosphereless stillness. A counterpoint to the laborious volleyed clearances that flicked from Berra, to Webster and back again.
In recent weeks Town have barely had a shot on target in 90 mins. We slashed that to a tenth or so as Ward drifted in from the right and lashed one off of Steele. It didn’t open the floodgates, but prompted the start of a leak in the Blackburn rearguard who bulged under the suffocating effect of Mick’s side. In lieu of the rare moments of free flowing football.
Webster seemed the driving force in a team many might assumed were parking the proverbial bus. A looping cross-field ball, two or three mazy forays forward, the best of which set up Lawrence on the switch. Again when our wingers drifted inside and not out of the game we looked likely to do something. The Welshman saw the window of opportunity close on him as his run parted centrebacks and the dribbled poke ended up past the post.
In between this it was Webster who saw Steele bend at the waist to tip his header off the man on the line and somehow over the bar. From so far away the close range melee was defying physics and real-time analysis. Best in a marked moment of aerial presence seemed to be redirecting the ball with his head onto the young centreback’s for a moment that deserved more.
Many will be lamenting the inclusion of Chambers, and they nearly had the smell of humble pie in their nostrils as the armband swung back in the Rovers box and a neat drive was deflected behind for a corner when Steele stood stationary. The resultant corner again saw Chambo miss the target as his header was more of a quiffer and bounced wayward from close range.
When the home side did come calling we had no shortage of men putting themselves in the way to answer their questions of us. For all of Webster’s brilliance it was the senior men either side of him that stepped in and swept the ball away when the arrogance not to hoof didn’t always work.
The half ended with Town on the backfoot much like they had started it. Guthrie whistling a threatening warning shot over the Pole and the bar. It looked better than it probably was, and much could be said of Town in their better moments. The hosts’ had their build ups with the once-touted Hammer Samuelsen all 7 stone of stepovers, superfluous touches and no real solidity to his all round game. He caught the eye but not the imagination. Despite Coyle swapping him and Conway midway through the half, he got little from either full back as Emnes looked a better winger and Gallagher a giant playing a small role in heaping pressure on the blues’ defence.
Makeshift right-back Marsall rampaged forward in the moment of one-touch pinball off of the likes of Emnes in the only moment that really pulled Town’s backline apart. The one time midfielder was never a striker as he scuffed his shot under the slightest of pressure.
It was a half where Town could have led. But for decent keeping from a fragile and functional side. Bart largely a spectator despite Town’s moments of mild peril being partly down to their own tendency to stay deep when there was a clear route up and away from their opposition.
The second half started with Rovers changing their centreback. Greer made way for Lenihan who looked like one of many professional footballers out there just doing a job. It was difficult to see how despite the sub anything was going to change. Both teams worked and shunted but failed to break each other down. Town’s glacial football carved out notable chance but stalled and chilled the blood as much as the usual Lancashire climate.
Pick a man and you can pick a moment he made the right choice and a moment he made the wrong one. Chambers would find the ball just outside the box and dally until being charged down. The next attack he cut inside intuitively and let Best in to fire off a great shot. Despite deflections from the defender and the gloves to win a corner, the angle was all too narrow to expect much more.
Booed throughout the game by the home side, the former Rover and perennial journeyman seemed as likely to find his own nutsack with the matchball as the net. Unable to deal with the physical treatment from either defender, but not savvy enough to go to ground the striker struggled too often and the ball pinged off his body like he was six foot of Johnny Douglas’ 50p head.
The other ex-Blackburn player who could find a colleague if he was 5 yards away but not the killer touch if a cross was 5mm from him. Better movement, or at least some movement today but again as central midfield duo, Skuse and Douglas are a second tier and second rate Gerrard and Fat Frank. But worse.
Samuelsen finally went off after disappearing long before. Bennett replaced him to a half-hearted round of boos and berating from a dozen people or so. Town changed little.
Ward who had fallen away in the game where he’d started so brightly reignited a spark with a neat reversal. Turning the full back off the scent he hung a ball into the box that was begging for a picture perfect finish. There are no words where there should be a thousand.
Soon young Ward went off for young Bishop in a like for like swap and the same old thing. Sometimes Teddy would run at his man and do something really well. Sometimes he’d shank it out for a throw under pressure from a 50-50 scrap on the line.
You can tell Best and Sears are a new partnership. Despite good intentions and eager communication, their movements were misjudged and unintentionally selfish too often. On their own they had limited success, but in connecting all too often they had unintended consequences for those around them. Passes went astray, runs wasted and recriminations wasted energy when making up both ground and possession was needed.
If Town couldn’t fabricate a lead then Conway seemed generous enough to gift us a go. Sears who ran Webster close for MOTM had an equally hot-footed split decision as he raced onto looping backpass. He and it drifted a bit too long, a bit too wide, a bit too much. It meant nothing.
A great piece of work from Knudsen saw the Dane find Lawrence with the cut back. For a second time from close range the Blues were denied on the line when a goal looked certain. A fine save, an instantaneous decision to poke it when placing it, it might have been. But again where tempers and points seemed lost for Town, hope sprung eternal.
Johnny Johnny Johnny Johnny Johnny Williams comes and goes apparently. When finally the whites of his hairline dazzled in the sun as he emerged from his nylon cocoon for yet another Ipswich debut, he had ten minutes to make it count. I keep telling my Mrs it’s a long enough time. I’m starting to think she might be right.
One or two strokes past oncoming defenders and those little legs were away and a few hundred Town hearts were too. He couldn’t could he? No he couldn’t. But it was pleasing to think it might do eventually.
Then it was Berra’s turn to maraud forward and reverse roles as Gallagher sent him sprawling to pick up a cynical booking rather than the Scotsman he had just sent flying. The game’s final chance fell to Best and then somewhere in Darwen. The striker sent the ball into orbit on the volley when really we all expect more. It’s not just the ghost of Daryl that haunts his every move. With the Irishman long moved on, it’s hard for Town to it seems. Without him we’ve lost our spine and our backbone.
This feels like a new team, but the same old problems. This was better than Leeds, but as with anything, what damning praise is that? Town might have won today, Town probably deserved to the fact we didn’t and it doesn’t feel like there’s little justice in the world; problematic.
It’s hard to know if this is the beginning of a new era under Mick. The emergence of Webster, and the time we start to wax lyrical about Bishop, Williams as we see the wain of Berra et al.
If this is rather the beginning of the end some crave, the ending might not be little more than a horror show. From the rubble, dust and hubbub of recent collapse at McCarthy’s control those that have emerged this side of the international come limping, bloodied and blinking into the dying light of winter.
|Ipswich Town v Huddersfield Town Your Report added by rachelsdad at 08:30:24|
worst Ipswich team performance in many years, this team is only going in one direction,down. must be worst midfield in the league,slow.ponderous,cannot pass the ball. never saw Ward beat the fullback once,Bru never made a forward pass and Best is never going to score many goals in a season,even if he had good service.it is going to be a long season with few goals.depressed blues season ticket holder.
|Ipswich Town v Huddersfield Town Your Report added by cobboldkid at 20:52:17|
Town really awful today against a poor Huddersfield side who were there for the taking, god knows how they are top of the table. As has been said many times Mick too negative with his tactics, made the wrong substitutions, zero creativity in an almost non existent midfield, therefore no attacking threat. Best on his own up-front anyway. Playing Douglas means we are effectively a 10 man team as he offers so little. My only positives would be Tom Lawrence, Josh Emmanuel and Teddy Bishop who once again did not really have enough time to influence the game.
|Ipswich Town v Huddersfield Town Your Report added by chrisbobs at 19:34:35|
In my 40-odd years at PR, that was 1 of the more frustrating matches I've seen. Not quite Rotherham last season (or Tranmere in the early 90s, or an end of season MK match a few years back), but getting close. A few thoughts:
1. Why are we playing 2 holding midfielders at home?
2. When we are chasing the game, why do we keep both holding midfielders on?
3. Lawrence was our best player, Ward our leading goal scorer, yet we took them both off & kept on an ineffective Douglas & a subdued Scuse (who would be in my starting XI but as a sole defensive midfielder at home).
Ok, so it's only 1 thought really, but why? I've been a Mick fan until now, but really don't understand the negative approach to today's match.
|Ipswich Town v Brighton and Hove Albion Your Report added by sotd78 at 13:59:03|
A town side lacking in confidence and with little firepower mostly outplayed a disappointing Brighton coming off a three game winning streak. Town shaded the game overall but could not find a winner in a match neither side wanted to lose.
|Leeds United v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Mullet at 19:15:56|
The unchanged Blues bled out on to Elland Rd in confident motions, but it wouldn't take long for them to coagulate. A day that was confusingly warm and grey was the backdrop for today's encounter. Leeds matched us or we matched them, who's to say? But with 3 points at stake who else but Wood could be the focal point of their attack?
The one time Ipswich loanee, lacked presence early on as both teams probed from end to end, keeper to keeper. The Kiwi marksman could only manage a petulant shove as Berra saw him out for the first of many times. Bart cleared the free kick and won a corner from a poor defensive header.
Leeds had threatened twice early on with the first of a terrible Sacko effort ballooned from distance, but the second attempt came when again Berra was left to shadow Wood. The defender sent him left, which played him inside and he hit a fierce strike off the outside of the post and away from goal. It was a let off for a Town side whose own attacking forays had better build up but little foundation within 30 yards of Green's gloves.
The Blues spent ten minutes with contractions as waves of home pressure came without the blues breaking, just getting narrower when they need to expand. Not for the first time the movement of Ward saw him covering the Douglas shaped gap the former Lilywhite was occupying but not making his own.
It was no surprise the balance of play shifted as Pitman lost his on the far touchline. The lone striker ploughed into by Jansson who won the ball and more adulation from the hosts' fans around the ground. The channel islander floated about but Town's only really answer to a spell of Leeds resurgence was a last gasp of neat play which culminated in a Ward shot trickling agonisingly wide from a heavy deflection.
Sears, Lawrence and Knudsen had again played nice little triangles down the left before a backward move to Webster switched play wonderfully and found the recent addition counting the cost of the defender's touch for a second time. His wonderful cross looked to get a nick as Douglas hoped to steal a march on all those Whites huddled together in front of him. His volley not the most disappointing thing about him today as it trickled and piffled past him like the rest of the game.
Leeds have a massive backline and when Knudsen put in a wonderful throw across them, who else put a man named Pontus would deal with it? The Dane had two moments where his safety first approach came second. The former he controlled the ball and sent Sears away with little hope of the wideman beating his charges and getting in on goal. The latter saw him wait and weight it perfectly but the Ayling Sears battle saw the former Hammer fall when he had the overlapping left back begging for a return. A cheap free kick to give away like much of what the visiting side seemed to do with possession.
Webster too had two moments where he marauded forward and the second eclipsed the first. Head up and with yards of space he split the pack and sent them chasing a lovely loft. That was minutes after he had shown a faint heart and instead of inspiration. The defender turned on his heels to offload to his captain.
Having lost Pitman to ten more minutes of limping, it took another ten minutes or so of Best being good but not enough before someone made a difference. Ward lapsed as the ball dipped past him and it wasn't Dallas who provided the magic but the left back Taylor, the bullet came from Woods. Yards out his header executed perfectly as the lead came from behind all of our backs and their left.
It was a half marred by Town's rapid decline into standing off the Leeds players as if their shirts were flags. It was us surrendering yards, possession and the initiative far too often. Best has far better movement than I realised. His aerial ability is impressive, but even in such a frustrating run out it's hard to exorcise the ghosts of Murphy. The former Magpie looking still like the wrong intonation of the Barcodes' newest recruit, as frustration hissed all around him. At one moment, a fabulous turn just inside the centre circle as most of the midfield lay way ahead of him and the defence looked to sleep on him, saw Town lose the ball and their composure just one time too many. The attacking sandbag was overcome as white foamed all over him.
The half time whistle came and so did the sense that Town were letting a decent side maintain everything they desperate for. Shape, momentum, a winning run, a belief that went beyond their obvious limitations in a what should have been the well-matched and even contest present at the beginning.
The second half started as greyly as the sky, but no hint of deluge from above as Town continued to bypass a soft and under-equipped midfield and Leeds just walked through it. Hernandez fed Wood as once again both centre-backs assumed the other would pick him up. It was left to Bart to smother as the home fans crackled without the game really catching light.
For the second time Mick was forced into a change as Webster marched off the pitch and down the tunnel, tilting his head like a curious dog as Leeds should really have smelled blood and unleashed the hounds. Bart now looked to be standing between two lamp posts as Emmanuel trotted on and Chambers slotted inside. It wasn't the manner in which many of the loudest voices who called for Josh recently might have wanted to be answered.
The youngster looked a little lost on the big pitch at first. Scuffing a decent ball from Ward as he ran into space but out of play. He also gave away a silly foul throw by wandering too far from where should have been. But it was Sears who looked like ensuring where the points went.
It was his turn to be the striker with question marks over his head and dallying on the ball in completely the wrong area of the pitch, as just outside our area he was displaced cheaply. Leeds again failed to make an abject Town pay thanks to Chambers and Bart putting bodies on the line. The best/worst of Sacko's beach ball antics saw the attacker sky from closer in and with the goal begging. Yorkshiremen bayed and barked from both sides.
Only Lawrence had dallied worse in possession. Collecting a corner well as the first half came to an end, but forgetting he was in the middle of the box and surrounded by attackers. It was a rare moment where the boy with such a wonderful football brain, failed to show it. His body of work in the game was not befitting his intelligence.
Winning free kicks and sometimes wasting them, the Leicester player delighted and dinked both his feet and the football past players in moments that looked to be Town's best, in the worst display we've mustered for some time. One touch where he cushioned the dropping ball tightly on to the onrushing Emmanuel deserved better as the young stopgap looked to improve even if Town didn't.
Before that Bart had been forced to save as another dubious 50:50 saw Town on the wrong side of the ratio. The Pole poking the curled effort off it's trajectory inside the post to keep Town in the game in theory but not reality.
It's rare to see all of our changes come down to injury, but if Webster's is genuine it's more of a cause for concern than his tendency to miss the man and the simpler option with head or foot when under less pressure. But to see Ward fall on the ball and then writhe around left Town fans as confused and questionable as either player's overall performance today. As Bru entered the fray, sending Town shrugging in to a 4141 that had all the shape of a tracksuit and that distasteful aroma of one after no less effort, but much less quality than usual it seemed all over.
The midfielder soon booked for an early bite dangerously close the box. The restart careered off the wall as Town continued to struggle in bouncing back from recent disappointments. As the middle was only noticeable in its capitulation or crowded lack of control, beyond Skuse's last gasp covering slide it's hard to know where the support that would see Town equalise would come from.
Emmanuel received a short throw back to feet and massaged the turf enough to hit a wonderful cross. Knudsen gleefully collected and crashed an effort out for a corner. As the out-swinger was nodded away, Berra hit the turf. For once it looked like Town might win an undeserved spot kick and rob someone other than themselves of victory. The referee whilst jogging away had clear sight enough to know the Scot dived and booked him. Our veteran was crosser than a field of tartan and showed presumably stud marks to anyone in screaming distance. The officials didn't listen.
Whilst his 10 minutes as a striker ultimately came to nought, and so did the whole of Town's 90 it was baffling that Leeds had spent the last 15 or more just letting us make it so. Only looking to catch us on the break once with any real desire. We left Chambers right and centre back; the only the real vanguard to repeated lumps forward, whilst little stuck.
If this is rock bottom this campaign, Town are some way off of it in terms of league position. But whilst the wounds can be licked, those who can still stand up are getting easier to count, much less be counted upon. Too many mixed performances left a bitter taste as Mick's blend for outdoing Leeds was sh1ter shade of pale.