Ipswich Town v AFC Bournemouth Your Report added by RomfordBlue at 19:33:18 They looked tired from the third minute. They were outpasses throughout the game by a far better Bournemouth side that were unlucky not to win the game. Every player looked below par - and playing at home with one possible two up front in such an important match - what tactics are they. Time after time it was lob ball to a Bournemouth player or head tennis. When ther ball was on the ground, Bournenouth out passed us and at times had us running round in circle=s like headless chickens. And talking about headless chickens, who ever told Frank Nouble he was a footballer? He was lost from the time he came on as a sub. He didn't seem to know what his instructions were, where he was suppose to play and what he was suppose to do! We showed today why we have no chance in the PREMIER AND NO CHANCE OF GETTING THERE!
Ipswich Town v Doncaster Rovers Your Report added by DanLyles at 14:05:10 The first half wasn't exactly the best spectacle, with myself wondering what difference Wordworth's passing range would add to the occassion. A certain other outcast came to mind with Hunt and Anderson failing to really run at their full backs, with the exception of one Paul cross which Stephen should have converted.
When McCarthy brought on Nouble and SEB in the second half to play up front with Murphy then we looked a real threat. Williams had some good options with those 3 in front of him and behind him a solid foundation in Hyam, Skuse who guarded the again excellent back five (with Gerken, who had a good game).
Nouble wasn't quite as good as previous games but still far better than the player who started the season and got himself into two excellent positions, one of which he should have scored. SEB is a threat and needs a bit of luck to get off the mark. If we did reach the play offs and McGoldrick was fit, I could see McCarthy keeping Williams behind Murphy. Dids would excel in a similar role to Nouble's floating in from the flank and I'm sure he would converted the chances that fell to Frank.
I can see why McCarthy starts with Hunt and Anderson to keep it tight in the first half as they are highly industrious and make us very difficult to break down. As teams and especially defences tire the last thing they want to face is 3 strikers like Murph, SEB and Nouble who are physically imposing and possess some pace. As I said earlier if Dids is fit he will make us even more of a threat.
Huddersfield Town v Ipswich Town Your Report added by thereuser30 at 09:20:59 A nippy Tuesday evening brought me to Huddersfield, and the night was crisp. Dragging along a City fan, the journey was spent musing the play offs, City's chances for the title, Veseli's development and young Henshall - who, incidentally, I laughed off when he asked if he would be on the bench tonight.
When the squads came out, I was a little disappointed that it wasn't a Hyam-Woody or Skuse-Woody partnership in the middle, yet glad to revert to conventional wingers in Hunt and Anderson. With Williams being a nusiance in the oft mentioned 'hole', I sensed Towun could grab something at the John Smith stadium - a ground which is sunk into the ground.
With one eye on the games around the grounds, we kicked off - the Tractor Boys' followers ever optimistic and the first 5 minutes were generally spent fetching the ball from a long ball as the Blues penned Huddersfield into their own half. Then the magic happened, as Anderson, cut in, hit one and the way it was struck you just knew it was in. An absolute peach. 1-0
Naturally, Ipswich were on top, and looked to press this advantage, Williams having a few snap shots on target, Hunt and Anderson providing the much missed width on the flanks with a solid base of Skuse and Hyam. The second goal came, and it was coming, and the ex-Mackem slotted it into the net, making it two. As the half drew to a close, 'Uddersfield began their first real flurry of attacks. A goal here, I worried, would change the complexion of the game - as the cliché goes. But our stalwarts Smith and Berra held out, with Smith showing lovely footwork to beat the Huddersfield winger to clear. Delicious.
The introduction of Sean Scannell was one which worried me - his pace and direct running threatened Ipswich, but a few sure blocks kept the two goal cushion in tact. A few changes, the bearded Wordsworth for Hunt and Mings for Cresswell looked to sure up the left side - Wordsworth with his slick passing, missing an opportunity to cross or shoot midway through the second half, but otherwise faultless. Mings looked solid, his passion shown by racing back to win the ball after giving it to Scannell. The Ipswich fans, still in full voice, cheered our newly crowned electric hero Joniesta off, singing his praises long after he'd taken his seat in the dugout - an indication of his value and how well he's been appreciated. With Richardson his replacement, Town moved to a 5-4-1 - looking to see out the game with no nervy moments. A few time wasting moments, a flash of a chance for the tireless, ever running hardworker that is Murphy, Ipswich saw the game out in a win which matched that which Chelsea achieved at Stamford Bridge. The boys were back, the belief rekindled and the iconic fist pump by our Captain, Luke Chambers rubberstamped the win.
Huddersfield Town v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Mullet at 23:32:25 Another trip North for Tractor boys and girls and another chance to chase the elusive dream of playoff placed glory for Ipswich tonight. The curves of the John Smith's arena framed a contest between two Towns looking to put their season's on the map for different reasons.
Mick kept the same shape as the weekend and the same style but shuffled his pack. For a man often criticised for being predictable he dealt returns to the starting line up for Ando and Hunt out wide. This was in place of Saturday's choices of Woody and Nouble both taking their places on an attack heavy bench. Surprise inclusion Henshall would stay hidden tonight but pointed to a manager knowing points now mean prizes.
Town kicked off and a minute or two of head tennis was replaced by both sides' love of getting the ball down. It would be Ipswich however who made the better start. To a man we worked and shepherded the Terriers onto the back foot and into their half more often than not. Anderson, Murphy and Williams caught the eye with a flurry of early chances coming from their poise and prowess pointing forward.
The boys with beards combined first when Murphy cut an angle only 2 mins in to force a smart near post save from Smithies, thanks to a neat lay off and overlap from Ando. The crowd and the red-shirted Blues wanted more, and let it be known. Williams chipped away at Huddersfield like a true artist. Sculpting a lovely ball into the danger zone which the keeper patrolled well. Meanwhile behind the eye-catching trinity of attack, the nervous energy of Hunt and the engine room of Hyam and Skuse supplied the forward momentum.
Cole was almost secretarial in his cultured football again, and despite recent questions and criticism sent through classy passes repeatedly and without remorse to fashion space and time for his colleagues. In fact it seemed Town had had plenty of chances when Anderson drifted wide right. Found in space after more great link up play, he cut in and sent the ball sailing across the goal. Smithies dived after it but it nestled sweetly in the net with little effort. A temporal distortion as Town fans rose and ruptured into slow and unbridled celebration with as many minutes as fingers on a Norfolk glove on the clock. Huzzah!
The home side were no mugs and sought their own way on the game. Capitalising on the odd poor touch from Town who by now took an early grip on the game. Gerken was rarely tested as scant opportunity yielded snapshots high and wide on merely two occasions. It is with credit the backline were so resolute. Cresswell in particular covered more ground than an agricultural sprinkler system, spraying passes back out and away from harm with ease.
Town were in the ascendency and chances kept coming. On the broad rippling back of Darryl Murphy, he stood alone up front against a central three. Tonight he was MOTM, tonight he was immense. Often dismissed as a workhorse he showed pedigree to set free everybody's new chum Joniesta with a tic-tac-toepoke just over the bar from distance much to the travelling fans delight.
Likewise the rest of the Town frontrunners sought their own chance for glory and numerous corners, shots and crosses kept up the pressure which failed to tell only days before up at Blackburn. This time it was the away side as well as the fans that were singing as one. Ipswich nearly had a second when Williams was tumbled outside of the box. Play on was the wave, and Ando did so. Scampering onto the ball he was denied by a smart Smithies save and the home side broke. Skuse and Hyam dealt with it well and returned the ball from whence it came. Victory was close at hand as once we more reached deep into our reserves and used our width to torment the hosts.
A ricochet from Williams' boot to defender's leg back off Williams somehow yielded a corner just after the half hour. It dropped invitingly in the middle of the area but no Town player joined the party. That was until a smart header dinked it back in the box. Our Gaelic Goliath dropped his shoulder and contorted his body around the path of the ball. With one fluid movement stabbing it on the bounce under the arcing ribs of the keeper and deep into the onion bag. Gloria! Euphoria! 2-0! 3 points? Surely now!
As half time came, Town were rampant. The slickness of passing more prominent and prevalent than at the weekend. The desire to harry space and time out of the game and away from the home side clear to see. Unlike a lover's chin Hyam is often lauded for his work off the ball. Tonight he showed his strong suit and even dealt out some decisive play forward with simple passing into the channels the attacking players were working so well.
In a week where the nostalgia for three stripes and old glories was as palpable as the desire for three points tonight, we'd already seen and smelt flares at the back of the away end, whilst on the pitch hung the scent of Yorkshire blood. All day I dream of such things for our beloved side.
The second half saw Huddersfield remove the former McCarthy prodigy Hammill, displaced and displeasing it was the oft-impressive Scannell who took up arms in the middle from the bench. The Terriers tightened up and Town perhaps wary of the mistakes of the weekend being less than welcome so soon again on a school night, were a little more choosy with their forays towards the travelling support behind the goal.
It's clear what Williams brings and while he maybe seen as a magical sticking plaster, it'd be unfair to do down the efforts he encourages from those around him. Forcing foul and passes backwards with his hunger and direct threat he moves just off the shoulder of target man Murphy to great effect. However despite the insistence of the enamoured town fans he was not to score tonight. It seemed everything he touched would be turned away to someone else.
On the hour Mings came on for Cresswell a straight swap of sorts. He offered a very different option and perhaps answered the question posed just before by a scampering Scannell. The sub ran off centre but lacked bang and bite as the ball trailed off behind the goal. It was a reminder against compacency as Mick looked to shuffle his pack and rest a few legs.
Shortly after the revitalised Woody popped up from the bench and onto the left wing. Hunt who had danced and dazzled on either flank with little luck had his number raised and was asked to come in. The new darling of Portman Road immediately took his place amongst a series of slick one touch passing between half a dozen Town players as we worked the ball down the left flank and into the danger zone twice in quick succession.
Murphy arced a run perfectly to the byline and nearly extended the lead as his drilled cut back skipped of defensive boot and forced a smart parry at Smithies' ankle. You sensed that well deserved third might not be too far away.
Gerken had a little more to do in this half following the one good punch and the odd necessary kick that marked out his first 45. The small scuffle he had tonight in holding onto his clean sheet took a slightly more violent turn as in this half. Huddersfield turned on the pressure but time was against them and so were their own feet more often than not.
When on loan Williams departed with 5 minutes to go the Suffolk contingent behind the goal serenaded him off with his own song once again. A passionate and rousing rendition clearly imploring him to join the culture of this club and stay beyond the summer. Who knows?
A cynic might say Mick matched his opposition yet again by including Richardson and letting Town see out the game with a fluid and functional 5-4-1 that swirled seamlessly into 3 at the back when we pushed the ball into the corners. However it showed the professionalism and discipline needed to do the job. A third was unnecessary and unavailable as the referee pursed his lips one last time and Town took home the spoils.
Chambo couldn't hold down the glee as he kept us waiting with a grin that spread and spasmed to his shoulders, he stormed towards the hoardings and pumped that celebratory fist aloft. It clearly meant a lot to him and us. For tonight is not just like any other night. That's why we dream anew again of three soft syllables Wem-ber-lee. Perhaps.
Huddersfield Town v Ipswich Town Your Report added by cbower at 22:47:49 Live in Huddersfield so a "home" game for me. Pretty much the complete away performance from Town. Dominated the first half, great goal from Anderson, well taken strike from Murph and countless other chances to boot. $-0 would not of flattered Town at the interval. God football, possession retained, threats from the flanks and solid, effective defending whilst keeping our shape.
Not quite as dominant in the second period but defensively solid. Huddersfield's first strike on goal in 80th minute forced Gerken into a stop with his feet. Saw out the game very comfortably.
Gerken - virtually untroubled Chambers - outstanding. Faultless defensively and an attacking threat throughout as well Cresswell - looked class. Taken off on the hour, hopefuly as a precaution Berra & Smith - dominant. Looking a good pair Anderson - great goal, much more positive and a good shift Hyam - terrier-like against the Terrriers. Doing the dirty work all the time Skuse - controlled the midfield all game Hunt - best I've seen him play. Warmly applauded when substituted Murphy - another goal and solid performance. Williams - gives the class we have missed. JInks, bobs and weaves. Crucially, he rarely loses possession. A season long loan - I'd love it. More chants of "sign him up" and "Jonathan Williams" to the tune of Karma Chameleon from the fans Mings - looked solid. One for the future for sure Wordsworth - retained possession when needed Richardson - did the job he was asked to do
Starting to think we might just sneak in there.
Blackburn Rovers v Ipswich Town Your Report added by thereuser30 at 11:06:50 Late in the second half, Sylan Ebanks-Blake attempted a bicycle kick after a corner in a crowded penalty area. I think that just about summed up the Ipswich performance that breezy afternoon. Making the trek across to Lancashire, I attended the third Ipswich game of the season, buoyed by recent dreams, excitement and festering hopes of a play off position. Having been patted down on arrival, my pre-match was spent watching the boys warm up whilst wondering how on earth someone smuggled a chicken into the ground. Highlights of past Town games were shown, as I found myself reminiscing at the days of Holland (scoring a delicious volley) and Mowbray (what was he doing up there?!)
If the above musings were an indication of the quality of the game, then it was spot on. After a few early passages of play which could have lead to a few openings, it was shown that the odd formation that Mick had deployed was not working - especially with the beast that is Franck Nouble on the left wing. After giving the ball away to the pacy Cairney, Town were lucky to not concede during Blackburn's first chance of the game.
The middle passage of play created chances few and far between, a few headers, a couple of crosses that Cresswell should have put in, not Nouble followed up by some wayward Cole Skuse passes, half-time came as a blessing, with Berra doing well to keep the pantomime villain Rhodes quiet. Blackburn looked threatening when they attacked, with Murphy running around a lot up top, feeding off scraps. Naturally, the ever-electric Jonathan Williams was the most exciting player, with Town fans creating a hum of excitement whenever he picked up the ball.
Post half-time, Town started slowly, and were almost immediately punished by none other than Jordan Rhodes - the stadium announcer gleefully reminding everyone that his 50th League Goal for Blackburn had just been clocked; naturally against familiar opposition. The Blackburn fans came to life, with the section to the Town fan's right suddenly reminded that they were in fact watching a game of football. My highlight? Having what seemed like 7-10 year olds cackling and flipping the bird at me. Classic Blackburn?
Town somehow still didn't come to life, as the game grew into another lull - our borrowed Joniesta making a gut busting run from our half to theirs, his own shot gasping wide. A corner which should not have been resulted in a goal from Gestede; a few Town fans left.
Murphy remained isolated, Hyam the hardest worker in the middle of the park, with Wordsworth seemingly not being able to have the freedom I'm sure he craved. Chambers reminded me that he is, in fact, still a CB by trade, with his crosses and a shot he had woeful.
The introduction of Ebanks-Blake injected some energy, with a few more shots.. but nothing doing. Hunt's urgency was much needed, raising the question as to why he wasn't introduced earlier.
The performance, as summed up by our boss in more expletive terms "We were rubbish, they were rubbish but they scored two and we didn't"
Heading to Huddersfield on Tuesday night, hoping for a better performance. But for me, the play-off dream is down to a pilot light. I'd like to see Hewitt, Veseli, Henshall all given a run out before the end of the season. Are we ready for the Premier League? No chance. Do we have a chance to compete again next year? Absolutely. Let's hold onto Mick and keep developing our youngsters.
Blackburn Rovers v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Mullet at 18:55:59 The three big stands and one shed, faded and near empty as they stood around idly at Ewood park are relics belonging to a club whose former glories depended on investment and invention. Today they housed a few home fans and a fair few Town in this afternoon's encounter. Fears Mick would set up for a draw were soon put to bed as he sketched out a plan of attack by recalling Nouble and Wordsworth to flank Williams behind Murphy. Skuse and Hyam the Ipswich Lamps and Gerrard ran the engine room as the faithful back five took their places as usual.
Town started much the stronger side although it'd be Williamson who took aim for the Rovers first. A clear sight of goal saw a tame effort met by Gerken, before the hosts sat back and allowed Town to wander where they liked. Quick and sweeping football saw one touch passing and ball retention play Town into great positions often, but lack penetration.
You can see why Joniesta is already so adored. A low centre of gravity brings a high return of footballing fun as he dribbles and darts betwixt boot and shadow of clumsy defenders. The inclusion of Nouble on the left and Woody on the right is worth a few words. It looked a tactical brush-stroke reminiscent of the Dutch master of yore that was savvy in a game often messy.
Blackburn have some very familiar names but no real stars judging by their first half display and it was left to man of the match Gestede to elicit much of the Lancastrians' whimpering fireworks deep into the first half. His fizzing drive over the bar perhaps the games most spectacular effort, but far from the most telling.
When Town went forward there was a rumble across the back row of a packed away end and real belief that the zeal of pass, move and pass again was really the only way we would win today. Nouble showed his best and worst, dancing into the box past two men on one occasion; touching the ball two yards over the line from a beautiful Skuse pass across the field on another. A superb sub, he lacks impact over 90mins of late much like the man who dropped right out of the squad today Anderson. His most frustrating moment was actually on the half way line. Johnny on the overlap and clear green between him and the goal for all of sixty yards the nomadic Nouble failed to look up and dig a simple pass out to set him free. It was definitely not “Noooobs” that was brayed in response.
Gerken was later forced into mandatory heroics. The real star of the Rovers show former Town linkee Conway sent in one of many excellent crosses, but even so close to Easter it failed to kill off Town as our glovesman pulled the ball from inside the post.
Murphy meanwhile was in bullish mood. Buffering and blasting hard yards as always he allowed the Welshman behind him to play Town well in front in terms of entertainment but sadly not goals. Time and again the midfield conspired to beat Robinson but showed themselves unable. The best break of all in the first saw Murphy supplied by Woody as Town rushed forward, Cresswell would see his shot from the Irishman's pull back cannon off a defender. A soft call for a penalty maybe as the sliding tackle was attached to a raised arm but it would have cheated the hosts this time.
Rovers swaggered, staggered and looked like ten men as faint murmurs from Berra's pocket could be heard when the vocal Tractor boys softened to a purr. Presumably Rhodes had been there since he decided to jump into the Scot elbows first early on. He did emerge again until deep into the second half but that's a tale grim enough to save.
As half time approached the reds of Ipswich passed by the hosts on numerous forays forward, opting to shoot arrows from afar but never really got a shot on target you felt would prove decisive. The beautifully crafted design of the side was flawed by us trying to match the hosts in giving the ball away cheaply. When Berra slipped having been played into trouble by Smith it allowed Blackburn to apply the first bit of pressure when up until now they had been like inept masseurs. Such was the nature of the game and the football at this level just below the playoffs.
By the time the half time whistle came the game was only really marred by a referee who only seemed to look and book one way. Woody rightly carded perhaps but Kilgallon and Williamson both should have seen yellow earlier for shirt pulls and snapping at legs alike. The tragedy was in full effect when Blackburn were given a laughable freekick for their man clashing with Joniesta and inflicting a head injury on himself and his victim. Reflection mid-piss pointed to what might lie ahead.
In the second Town who had been early pacesetters, failed to hit the ground running. Blackburn's change in tempo saw Ipswich trip themselves up. Relying too often on breaking from our own box in a period where we lined it as our own prison cell. The brightest of such moments saw Williams all on his own charge at and past 4 defenders. Rampaging like a scornful child, just off centre his flick around one pushed him too far wide. The resulting ball across the box a hair's width ahead of Murphy who was playing catch up.
It reminded us all why we love exciting football. It reminded us all why taking chances counts. Blackburn pushed as all Town changed was wingers' respective wings. A poor day of passing for Hyam didn't help, as he gifted the hosts possession when we were already under pressure. It was indicative of the kind of day at the office Mick's men were having.
Just past the hour more than the clock would strike. An unmarked Rhodes is hazard best not ignored in any sort of conditions. A simple flick over the top saw him leap from his hiding place and pull Berra's and Town's pants down. The tap-in merchant used the opportunity and yards of space as a nail with which to peg us back. Whack. 1-0.
Town were keen to respond and did so with a gallant charge forward but it cut little ice. Soon after as the game ebbed away taking our confidence with it the result was put beyond all doubt. A soft as you like “push” in the corner heralded a free kick. Swing into a packed box, Gestede sprung like a Jack to bury a simple header low and hard, knocking Town firmly onto their ass. Sh1t. 2-0.
As Nouble, Williams, Chambers all took turns to labour chances with little artistry on the right hand corner of the home side's box time and inclination ran out on Ipswich. Robinson was barely tested as Cresswell launched freekicks into touch and crosses into the box to little avail.
The removal of Woody for SEB saw us change shape in the last quarter but not fortune. The man with the most goal scoring pedigree on the field drew a blank. His best chance a rasping shot charged down. It was far removed from Town's best shot in the game where earlier in the second spell Nouble magicked up a swirling effort just shy of the top corner well saved.
All in all it was a game where Town embodied many clichés. Strong in only one of two halves we fell at the fences late on, simply because we tripped ourselves up. In a game where we showed we have the qualities of a contender we still lack the quality to go beyond being Championship material.
Ipswich Town v Nottingham Forest Your Report added by unstableblue at 22:48:16 Portman Road basked in glorious sunshine, spring had sprung, but the warm weather and optimism garnered from a revived play-off challenge failed to draw in the crowds. Forest fans had travelled in number, and were in good early voice. But the Town support grew as the Town players woke up for the second half - and it was quite raucous come the end.
It was the classic game off two halves. Forest's young, unproven side, were buoyed by a lacklustre start from Town. Williams was isolated from the off. And Forest enjoyed superior passing and running with the ball. This was yet another team coming to Portman Road and appearing far better with the ball, crisp passing and few errors. This was a Forest team in terrible form, and depleted by injury. A young starter Osbourne made his debut, and is well down the pecking order. Yet Mick decided on the more defensive Skuse over Wordsworth, but crucially continued with the failing Hunt and Anderson. Tuesday night's storming performance from Nouble (yes Frank) and the improving Wordsworth was clearly not part of a game plan keep it tight.
But in many ways attack is defense. Skuse and Hyam could not connect with the excellent Williams nor Murphy. And Hunt and Anderson continued their fashion of being unable to turn wide possession into meaningful attack or entry into the oppositions penalty area. Indeed Anderson failed in some defensive duties as well.
Forest were liberated, and scored a well worked goal, removing some of the much needed energy of the Portman Road crowd. Indeed Forest could have been 3 up by half time, with one excellent save by Gerken when the Forest striker really should have scored.
SEB was introduced I assume for an injured Anderson (who to his credit probably picked up when a knock trying to break though and being horribly blocked off by halford) and this forced Forest to sit deeper, and Williams was much more involved. He is a class player, and a joy to watch. He's worth the ticket, and we've lacked that exciting player since McGoldricks injury. The young Welsh maestro has such low centre of gravity, and is so strong on the ball, combine this with quick feet and he invariably either beats the man or draws the foul. Greening moaned about diving but Williams was just too sharp for him.
Into half time and you could see Nouble was being warmed up to come on immediately and so it proved. I have criticised Frank, earlier in the season some of his touch and decision making, plus his awareness did not strike me as being of a quality to become a true asset to the club. Again against Forest, following up a game changing sub appearance against Derby, he was dynamic and showed good control at his feet and an ability to beat a man and deliver good service. Mick and TC deserve great credit for believing and developing this player - who's strength and fitness was never in doubt.
So Micks half time talk and the removal of hunt and Anderson and a return to the more attack minded shape that finished so well against derby - Ipswich were transformed. Many at the bar at half time were bemoaning Ipswich's ability to not deliver for the big games. Well that worry was soon dismissed. Town were electric. This was entertainment, this was the kind of play people will return to see. Nouble and Williams were at the heart of everything. And hyam was bossing the midfield. Forest still retained a threat, and had one excellent chance. But smith and even more so Berra were imperious shepherding defenders wide and mopping up pressure. SEB's strength was causing problems and he had a great chance. One concern though was SEBs inability to beat halford onto through balls, there were many - this negative aspect may have had a lot to do with poor service with hyams distribution in question again.
But this is a small grip over what was a great second half performance. Numerous town crosses though were failing to trouble the tricky trees. And it was a moment of nouble class, receiving the ball short from a corner, breaking forward and delivering a measure cross for murphy. Murphy then had a golden chance he did everything right, but if only he'd seen Green completely free to his right, rather than focussing on getting the ball into his left foot for a shot.
Green did quite well when introduced, but I would have liked to have see Wordsworth as we needed some attacking passing to backfill the shattered Williams.
But in the end we didn't carve enough clear chances in the 2nd half - albeit murphy curled a lovely shot which was well saved, albeit it was pretty telegraphed.
A draw was a fair result given Forest's quality in the first half and the chances they carved.
So an entertaining and passionate match day, and we were happy in terms of spectacle. But the crowd size was disappointing. And I just wish Mick had gone for it with the attacking formation seen in the second half, from the off. Why play hunt and Anderson on their current form, over Nouble and SEB and Wordsworth.
But 7 points from Brighton, Derby and Forest is a good return. Especially as what was a very weakened Forest side actually gave a very good account of themselves.
Oh one foot note - Cresswell was looking a class apart today, real Premiership quality in terms of touch and passing. Only matched by Williams and a few Forest players.
Ipswich Town v Nottingham Forest Your Report added by DanLyles at 19:19:49 Most definitely a game of two halves! I couldn't believe it when we conceded early on again. We defended pretty well for the rest of the game though with Berra and Smith again excellent. They must be one of the best defensive combinations in the league.
In the second half we came to life with Williams getting on the ball more. Yet again though Anderson and Hunt lacked an end product out wide and at times there movement was very poor. We looked far more threatening when thy were replaced by Ebanks-Blake and Nouble, who formed a front 3 with Murphy and Williams in behind.
Nouble was unrecognisable compared to the player who began the season. His first touch was good, he shielded the ball well and ran at defenders, eventually producing the cross for Murpy's goal. These 3 looked a real threat and only an outstanding performance from Darlow prevented us from securing a 3rd straight win.
The two most frustrating facets of the game for me were the lack of movement and penetration out wide before SEB and Nouble came on. And the poor crossing and general use of the ball by Chambers. I hope Hewitt is continuing to make good progress at Gillingham as his footballing ability would add to our attacking threat.
Ipswich Town v Derby County Your Report added by HarryfromBath at 18:15:30 I think that few of us slept well last night, turning the events of the game over and over. This time of the year is as much about character as it is about football, and the character we forged in last year’s epic relegation scrap is turning into incredibly useful armour this time round.
Derby’s opening goal was like some kind of weird training ground exercise, full of clever runs and unexpected passes. This fluidity and movement tore Nottingham Forest to shreds, and was coupled with a strong pressing game in the first half, prohibiting us from getting a foothold. In contrast, our response was to focus on shape out of possession, allowing the Rams time and space to develop a tempo.
When Sam Allardyce plays loathsome negative football, the destruction forms a coherent part of an overall game plan. Derby’s negativity was their undoing. The first half became quite stop-start, and the interruptions for the many injury breaks prevented them establishing a rhythm and enabled us to get to half-time very much in the game.
It was manifestly obvious that Bryson, Hendrick and company were systematically trying to cripple Jonny Williams, and that Chris Martin was performing some form of Grant Holt tribute act in doing the same to Christoph Berra. “Martin’s certainly got the crowd going” was MrsH’s comment after he hacked into Berra on the half-hour mark.
Mick was accompanied by 16,000+ of us in his half-time conversation with the referee as they left the pitch. Derby fans on their forum thought that he had performed some weird Yorkshire-Irish alchemy on him, tuning him into a ‘homer’ for the second half, but he was completely correct to point out what was happening.
I felt that the referee had a quixotic game. He ducked two red card decisions, but was happy to dole out fussy yellow cards, like a magistrate giving the same community service orders to different people for burning a house down and putting the bins out on the wrong day. Yet he allowed play to flow, and was not kidded by the Rams proclivity to collapse in a heap every three minutes.
Derby fans were right in saying that their crossing was poor and set piece play was not their strong suit. As the game wore on, it became clear that they had one tactic, albeit an effective one, breaking with movement from midfield. We were at our obdurate best when the game opened out in the second half.
I thought that Hyam was in the vanguard in breaking up their play, but I don’t think that he is a playmaker. When he wins the ball, as he often does, we need to give him a simple option and work to his strengths, as there was a chance that the opposition could receive his hard earned possession straight back.
Wordsworth was no angel. Just as Derby were setting about our danger-men, he gave George Thorne, the Rams holding midfielder, a rare old evening, and was lucky to get away with ‘a few words’ late in the game when a yellow was an viable option for one challenge. Thorne is a decent player, but faded from the game in the manner than Jonny Williams didn’t.
It is pointless adding to the superlatives elsewhere about Jonny on the website. However, there was one facet worth highlighting, and that is to watch his positioning. He has an instinct to read where play is going to break, and was available so, so frequently to link play in the centre or pop up on the by-line.
He was being flung around like a rag-doll at times, but five minutes from the end pinched a ball just inside our half that he had no right winning, and you could see the belief radiate around his team mates.
Mick must have spotted on the Derby match videos that they switch off at free kicks. The set piece which delivered our equaliser was the third time we tried that in the game, one from an equally dangerous position in the first half. The Rams defence has been really solid, and it was a tiny detail which enabled us to breach their castle wall.
Palace fans are funny. On their forum last night, some of them were saying that he couldn’t do that in the Premiership. Well, keep believing that boys. It was telling at the end that he and Terry had a massive bear-hug. I think that our assistant manager has been instrumental in transforming his fortunes.
I know and accept that Stephen Hunt can be ragged, but he does give us spark and invention. He is also very good at getting inside the heads of full-backs, and he played an important role last night in keeping Craig Forsyth, who is a real danger at marauding forward, at bay.
I was delighted to see Noublinho using his strength, pace and trickery to cause Derby problems on both flanks when he came on. There was one moment in injury time when, with a break on, he simply stopped with the ball rather than risking a loss of possession, showing great calmness and maturity.
It was so fitting that both our goals were scored by the players who were given the most ‘treatment’ by the opposition. I had said to Mrs H that we were struggling to get anything in the air in attack, whereupon two minutes later a wonderful Cresswell looping corner saw Christoph send the place into pandemonium.
Leaving the ground, I excitedly called my Italian mate Vince, a Napoli supporter who is no stranger to exuberance at football matches. He had been following the game on the radio. “Great result, mate” he said, “but it’s time for Ipswich to stop hiding. You have been stalking the play-off places for a while. Now is the time to strike.”
Ipswich Town v Derby County Your Report added by Pilgrimblue at 12:14:02 Difficult for me to add much more to Unstable but to anyone who missed the game, this was a cracker! Yes Derby are big and strong which gave them the advantage so often and I can see why they are 3rd BUT they couldn't contain Jonny. Best performance from anyone at PR for long time, just hope we can keep him until May. As for the rest:- Gerken was fine and used to ball better, preferring to roll out rather than boot it to opposition Chambers did ok and put some good balls to Hunt who wasted them and neither winger helped him Berra/Smith both played great as they had their hands full Cresswell was up for it, put in good shift and had 2 goal-bound efforts blocked in first half Hyam did what he does best and competed well BUT his forward passing was poor (need a better player in that position) Wordsworth did well and settled in so hope that he keeps improving Hunt was very poor, lost possession too often and no delivery Anderson ditto and would prefer Taylor any day Williams its been said just need him until May so just hope Pulis has better options at Palace for now!! Murphy was class and made his presence known against big defenders, shame he didn't score. Frank was just what we wanted (despite my wee jock friend's view!) big strong and went forward. He headed, ran and passed, reminds me of the early Kuqi SEB put in good shift and could so easily have scored. More of that please MM and the crowds could return esp if £10 is available for more matches
Ipswich Town v Derby County Your Report added by gippeswyk at 09:50:45 Great game and result despite a poor ref and endless fouls by Derby, mostly on Jonny. Lets hope we can keep the lad for the rest of the season as he really makes the difference and with him we are in with a chance of making the play-offs. After a poor away performance against Boro and at home to Wigan, the wins against Brighton and Derby were desperately needed and I hope we can keep the momentum and confidence going against out of form and managerlesss Forrest. Btw, I am not Noubles biggest fan but I have to give the lad credit for a super sub performance last night!
Ipswich Town v Derby County Your Report added by DanLyles at 07:40:47 The atmosphere last night was excellent, at least it was in the north stand lower near section 6. The referee in contrast was terrible! I thought it would be us fouling Derby all evening to contain them but it was vice versa! Chris Martin should have been sent off and Williams was afforded little protection. Perhaps the Town fans sense of inustice helped fuel the atmosphere (alongisde reduced ticket prices: more of this please Mr Evans). 4 yellow cards does not accurately reflect the number of fouls Derby committed.
Smith and Berra again looked excellent at the back and provide a solid foundation for the rest of the team. There were times last night when we kept the ball really well. Jonny Williams must have an influence on this. Others see how he retains possession and try to replicate it. Hyam was much improved if not perfect in this department and Wordsworth used the ball wisely. I cannot find enough superlatives to describe Williams. Great first touch, confidence to beat a man and pick a through ball, pace, work rate and a goal to cap it all off!
Williams desire to the do the above is infectious, with Anderson and Hunt attempting to do something similar. Unfortunately, for all their endeavour they lack Jonny's quality and this is an area I feel we need to improve if we are to improve. Taylor for me should start every game cutting in from one of the flanks. Murphy would benefit from having two great options out wide when he's holding the ball up, not just the immense Williams behind him as teams will work us out and continually foul him like last night. Bring on Forest!
Ipswich Town v Derby County Your Report added by unstableblue at 23:35:31 Well well well, nights like these make supporting Ipswich Town so magic. Yes we were technically inferior for large passages of the game, yes we were totally reliant on a young loan player for much that was entertaining and effective, and yes we carried 3 players contributing far less than their colleagues or than the 3 that replaced them. But this was a great Town performance full of fight and energy and commitment.
I went with a group of season ticket holders who are all planning to cancel their season tickets next season, "because we just don't enjoy it anymore" - as they went completely mental at the winning goal, perhaps they'll reconsider. Perhaps even Town will be in the Premiership to make them change their minds. A BBC Radio Suffolk caller bemoaned the size of the crowd given Town's position in the league. Well go figure, games like tonight have been few and far between this term, the prices are high, and ticket promotions are obscure - is it any surprise. But tonight we had ENTERTAINMENT, and the Suffolk jungle drums might start to inform the 'stay aways' that excitement has returned to the temple.
Yes tonight wasn't vintage Town, but there was energy and fight, there was some passages of good passing. But really the team were just up for it, there were no lulls or dull periods. It was a hard fought game, and Derby had the ability to pass and challenge Town.
Ipswich started the game quite brightly and were in fact in the Derby penalty area early on, when with 5 or 6 Derby passes the ball was in the Town net. I'm not sure that was a bad thing as Town had to press forward for the remainder of the game.
For the first half everything of note seemed to go through Williams. I thought the Hyam, Wordsworth pairing with Williams free in front go them worked well. And again Cresswell showed his rehabilitation into form, by joining the moves forward and passing shapes. Derby continued to threaten with intricate passing and movement, and their forward line was menacing. Albeit Smith and Berra managed to remain relatively in control (Berra made a last ditch and world class interception (again?!) in the second half).
Hyam was frustrating as for all his excellent hassling and tackling against a rugged Derby team, not afraid to get stuck in as well as to pass and move, Luke's forward distribution continued to disappoint. Wordsworth was doing simple stuff well. In the second half Wordsworth grew into the game tremendously, and as space opened around him he started to look composed, like Skuse, but Wordsworth seems to offer a more positive forward pass than our injured deep sitting midfielder.
Williams was everywhere, deep, high up the pitch, central, wide. Possibly one of the best performances at PR for some time. Capped with a brilliant second half goal. Cresswell stood over it on the left attacking the North Stand goal. By now Nouble and SEB were on, and the Derby back line were completely focussed on those 2 plus Murphy, Berra and Smith. This allowed Cresswell to pass short to Williams who advanced in acres of space and place a beautiful long range effort into the top right hand corner. Goal of the season. Its a shame Pulis was there tonight, surely he will call back this talent. Which would be a major blow.
Pulis may want Williams back to protect him from the kind of heavy duty treatment he received especially in the first half. Mick indeed approach the ref on the pitch at half time to argue for more protection. In some ways Williams low centre of gravity trickery was causing many a foul in error. But he'll certainly awake bruised in the morning.
Mick and TC got so much right tonight. And certainly they took off the right 3 players in the second half. Chambers was injured and looked groggy. But I thought this was another game were his lack of right back characteristics was exposed. At one point he fluffed a number of forward balls, and also failed to advance into space before him. Richardson seemed to do well when introduced, one particular forward run and cross was compelling.
The other 2 withdrawals, Hunt and Anderson, to be replaced by SEB and Nouble were desperately needed. Hunt and Anderson were just so outclassed by their team mate Williams it was dramatic. Hunt was marginally better, but he just lost the ball in good positions too many times. Anderson was just plain frustrating, he made wrong choices, he lost the ball, he was lacklustre, and I can tell you he also did not track back - exposing the myth of his defensive capabilities. We'd be in the play-offs had we procured better wingers this season.
Now please pass me a plate with a selection of my own words on it, because I must eat my own words. I had stated that Nouble will not make it as an effective player, I have also stated we won't make the play-offs. Certainly the Nouble position was hugely embarrassing tonight - he actually controlled the ball and BEAT his man on 3 or 4 occasions. Yes he switched off massively once which could have been costly. But he put in a game changing performance. SEB also looked much sharper and match fit.
What we had was an attacking intent for much of the second half - 6 deep players; and 4 attacking. Williams in the hole causing havoc, SEB and Murphy ahead, and Nouble free to go wide. Adventurous and exciting play at Portman Road - now thats more like it Mick - hats off to you.
And whisper it - keep that shape, perhaps even keep the same team that ended the game at the expense of Skuse for the improved Wordsworth - and maybe just maybe we'll be that 6th finisher that tends to prosper in the play-off madness.
Cracking night. And we're all returning for Saturday and the now very interesting Forest clash. (Reading losing at home to Barnsley - me like a lot)
Ipswich Town v Wigan Athletic Your Report added by Robbie12345 at 23:44:29 I thought it was one of the most exciting games I've seen in a long long time. It was very pleasing to see the attendance slightly rise, with a HUGE increase of atmosphere. We played very well and more than matched Wigan in general play and being an creative, attacking threat. If we can cut out the defencive errors and shakiness at the back, at times, we look like a team ready for the playoffs. Wigan just had that little more quality in the final third (prem quality players) and chances like Hyams miss to make it 2-1 came back to bite us. In football you need luck, and Wigan definately had that today, with three out of their four chances finding the back of the net, with our 20 odd chances resulting in just one goal coming home feeling like we should have got something out of the game. They played us how they played City, defend deep, catch on the counter and take their chances. The reff today was dreadful, with fists towards Hunt, rude signs given towards the reff when he wasn't looking, and a penalty unfairly not awarded. I feel this just sums up the arrogance, physicality and cheating way Wigan played, and the kindness and respect for teams we still have. I have lost all respect for Jordi Gomez after his rolling over on the floor for minuites after no foul to trick the reff into a freekick, to then smile and run down the pitch towards the goal. Williams got my MOTM award, after being in some great tackles, running his socks off (very pacey), being bundled around and being that creative spark we needed. He put in some great long passes, quick one touch passes with great vision. We need him till the end of the season please. To conclude, a great performance from the blues, and were just simply unlucky today, lets hope saturday is our day and we can close the gap of the dream place 6 again, for this season anyway.
It was a good night out although Wednesday was a bit of a write off.
Yeovil Town v Ipswich Town Your Report added by HarryfromBath at 14:04:23 Confidence is a funny thing. For the first half hour, our energy levels were low and we were clearly playing within ourselves, whereas the Glovers clearly had their tails up. We were giving them time and space in the way they were denying us time and space on the ball.
If Ishmael Miller and James Hayter had brought their ‘A’ game with them, we could so easily have been a goal down in this period. Despite all of their early pressure, Gerkin didn’t have that much to do, as the defence was restricting the Glovers to half chances. Gerkin’s good working relationship with his centre-backs underpins the confidence of the back-four, and I think that this is why Mick goes with him.
Berra in particular had an immense game, for his defending as much as for his goal. Both centre-backs had each set of strikers in their pocket. They dominated them in the air, and matched them on the ground as they didn't really have the pace to frighten us.
The axis of confidence markedly shifted once our goal went in. Suddenly Yeovil were the team in the relegation zone not quite getting the weight right on their passes and yielding us time and space. Whereas in former days and under former managers I would have been praying for half time to consolidate a 40th minute lead, the wind was in our sails and five minutes injury time would have been welcomed.
Although our goal came from a good spell of pressure, it was hardly deserved on the balance of the game at the time. At half-time, my West Country chums and I were looking sheepishly at each other, grateful for a possibly undeserved lead and feeling as if we had found a £50 note on the pavement and should we tell someone about it.
Yeovil fans were grumbling when their strikers were both substituted at half-time, but it was a back-handed compliment from Gary Johnson to Smith and Berra for the manner in which they were contained, as Moore and Hoskins were brought on to “add more mobility.”
The goal loosened off the shackles of the game, and things opened up more in the second half. As the Glovers pressed forward harder for an equaliser, there were times when we started sitting too deeply, with no-one available for an out ball. This would have been asking for trouble against more dangerous opponents.
A word of praise for Skuse and Hyam. There will be more difficult encounters in the coming weeks, but they quickly got a handle on Reuben Palazuelos. The Spaniard showed flashes of his technical and spatial awareness during the Glovers bright opening period, but they had his measure as the game wore on, and he simply wasn’t given the time and space to operate.
By the end of the game, I felt a measure of sympathy for Luke Ayling, the Yeovil right-back. Having had Stephen Hunt run him ragged for an hour, he then had Mings, Cresswell and occasionally Williams keeping him company in the later stages of the game. He could have been helped better by Adam Morgan, the substitute right-midfielder, and I think that Mick spotted this.
Anderson will have slept well last night, having been in a right old game, and having a few bruises from his battle with McAllister who got under his skin at times. Murphy and Ebanks-Blake did well. Although the latter is still shaking off the cobwebs, one senses that it is only a matter of a short amount of time – and a goal – before he gets going.
Then we come to Jonny Williams. When McGoldrick’s knee gave way against Blackpool, I felt that much of this season’s hope went with it. McGoldrick didn’t just bring goals. His footballing brain raised the level of everyone’s creative thinking and often his team mates would raise their game to his level.
Williams brought this magic back to the team, and elevated our game within a few minutes of his arrival. You could see the whole team respond to his energy, hunger and relentless industry. Yeovil did not know how to deal with him at times. It was inspired of Mick to move him into a more central role and bring on Mings who was sprightly and eager to try ideas out.
The endgame was a story of missed chances. It was tempting to think that McGoldrick would have put some of the late chances away, but from where I was standing, it was hard to tell how clear cut they were, and how good Stech’s saves were.
Then they hit the post, or, more accurately, tried to remove the post from its moorings, given the ferocity of Moore’s shot. How many times - Bristol - Birmingham - Burnley - have our hearts sank in the second half as we have watched the net ripple from the opposite end of the field and three quarters of the ground erupt?
For once – mercifully – it was not to be, and it would have been unfair if they had equalised. It is somewhat Irish logic, I know, but we showed the quality and control after the goal that would have merited the goal we hadn’t deserved to score.
On the way home, I worried for Yeovil. They have a small squad, and their strike force was clearly weary after Saturday’s heroics. They may struggle purely because the games come so thick and fast over the next six to eight weeks.
The games will be coming equally thick and fast for us, and I feel that many of our hopes will hang on the resilience of our squad, which has much quality but lacks depth.
Nevertheless, there was so much to take heart from last night. We were bright and full of energy, if a little rough around the edges. There was good rhythm and tempo to our game, especially as it wore on, and then there was this diminutive Welsh wizard who just might give all of us something to dream about.