Derby County v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Mullet at 17:38:04 And with first like the last, the last like the first Town went away from home and packed out an allocation at the iPro. Under bright sunshine but without the shadow of expectation looming like a bird of doom. Just under 30 thousand packed into the East Midlands bowl like human car keys, the air thick with desperation and small waft of resignation as both sets of fans grew into the baiting and trading of lyrical braggadocio over the course of 90 odd minutes.
An unfamiliar back four saw young Kenlock again deputise for the missing Knudsen ahead of POTY Bart. In front of him was fellow youngster McDonnell, Bishop joining him with Skuse in a midfield three that sometimes became a four thanks to Sears as a left-sided outlet, Feeney sparked down the right whilst McGoldrick buzzed in the middle.
Despite all that spending from deep pots of gold Derby failed to glitter in the sun. After two minutes Kenlock was caught inside from a move sweeping towards him. Hendricks' inward pass was turned at goal forcing Bart to save low. It was a brief period where the hosts playoff hopes secure before kick-off had slim chance of changing between 4th and 5th.
Whilst that become moot as the Tigers mauled Rotherham in the meantime, Town set about stalking the Rams. Whilst the speed and desire was evident in Derby, Town were relaxed and set about the game with nothing to prove.
Good link up between the young midfield allowed the game to move and flow. Sears forcing a fine save from Carson on the left earned Town one of several corners and glimpses of a lead. Whilst both penalty areas often ended up crowded thanks to countering football, McGoldrick made a good go of testing his opponents first as the move was reversed eventually Ince would blast over in one of several wasteful humps from distance from the home side.
There was a sense as Town worked we saw what we might have won in squinting bursts of sun-kissed play. Bishop looked every bit the senior player he should have been this campaign, hustling and marshalling whilst Skuse was familiar in his contempt for the runs and reckoning of other teams' players so often dispossessed and left disappointed. But the real boon was our number 10.
Back for some time, but today back more to his best. McGoldrick can bend a ball, a run and somehow even time to pick his moment to pounce. Setting off Feeney in a sleek move that saw the loanee dance and jink down the line before drilling low across goal and Bishop was denied in a goalmouth scramble. The circle of strife that was our injury-plagued season encapsulated a lost past in that brush with glory.
It was a half of football where both sides had their moments, but around the 20 minute mark Town were in full flow. McDonnell drifted in and out of the game but not too far from Kenlock and his highlight came when he raked a beautiful long pass across the pitch and it dropped just a yard too far for Feeney to make use of down the line.
When Derby applied some pressure though, it was unfortunate that again the ref cracked have looked excellent for the opening 15. Once when awarding handball against the midfielder for simply being too close to a blasted effort, and then booking him towards the end of the half for winning a 50:50 a little too athletically.
In the former incident Chambers was booked for pointing out the wall was placed roughly 15 yards back, only to see the effort smashed over by Martin. The latter one saw McDonnell himself carded rather breathtakingly once Town had already gotten ahead too.
When one considers that Town's lead came from another good spell of football and didn't result in a booking let alone the clear red for Keogh it is a wonder to think how often Derby finish with more men against Town in recent seasons, than seems correct.
The Irish international was the last to catch Teddy Bishop not long after Chambers had been cautioned. Town had gone on the offensive and as Teddy skipped into the box and was through to face Carson, his legs were ripped from under him. The ref took an eternity to point to the spot.
Blue smoke billowed from the back of the stand. Amidst the chaos and confusion and a cartoon red bucket being passed from hi-viz to hi-viz the bumfluffed offender was bumrushed and escorted out just before Carson also went the wrong way. Oh David McGoldrick, how we've missed singing your name as you raise an arm aloft in celebration. 1-0 Town and all was well.
With McDonnell soon booked and Bart tipping the free-kick away it was finally Keogh's turn to see his ass and then some lenient form of justice. Town had attacked far better today than in recent weeks, but again McGoldrick was given the ball with a lot of running and a lot of men to beat. Taking on three of them with fleet foot and flowing intent, it was left to Keogh to recklessly chop him down as he looked to threaten the goal.
Another peacekeeping intermission ensued as the Rams circled the ref and their own shadows in outrage and again red was not administered when the rules call for it. Half time soon came, the best moments belonged to a mix of both sides. Skuse aggressively cutting out one move, was countered by Chambers being cheekily backheeled against by Hughes for corner. Such was the even nature of an end of season dead rubber.
When the second half came out neither did Skuse who was replaced by Hyam. Presumably a knock the reason. Keogh too made like his luck and failed to run out. A reshuffle saw Buxton take his place at the back.
Tactically both sides twitched rather than switched too much. Realising perhaps that Kenlock was a rookie, the wingers swapped again and he was charged with keeping out Ince and beyond him Christie. There's no doubt in my mind he showed himself an able player. One move midway into the second half saw Myles step up and stand-out. Winning back the ball and interplaying with his senior colleagues to beat his man twice before letting McGoldrick take the move forward. In the mean time he did well to shadow and see out much of what was put in front of him.
Town's lack of stability in the middle must have told after maybe ten minutes, when Mick pulled McDonnell in for Douglas. The young Irishman looked as green as you might expect but didn't disgrace himself with the odd good pass and tough tackle. A summer may yet see him bloom.
Derby had maybe three efforts off target from Bryson and the gravity-sensitive Martin who for once hit the deck trying to win something other than the ref's attention. The bag of pipes, gristle and moans headed way wide from a corner. His last contribution would be to get a silly booking for trying to bully Hyam before being replaced for Darren Bent.
It is a topsy-turvy world when such sheer bestial power is favoured over the likes of the former Town favourite. At the same juncture Teddy took his bow as Town fans took to their feet and roared him off and Pitman on. Mick moved his men to a stricter 4-2-3-1 that we saw so often this season.
Kenlock had his moment of glory in a half that saw Town push forward but fail to land much on target. Derby meanwhile bombed forward and bombarded the defence with balls that span in the glare of the sun all too often. Bart was often charged with clearing up rather than punching clear as Bent in particular found it hard to spring an offside trap so well oiled between Smith and Berra.
Whilst McGoldrick danced and Sears and Pitman produced able back up and support to his efforts. It was really a nasty incident that saw the game roll into a long and lazy 8 minutes of added time. Douglas who had sat deep and dug the ball out of the middle for much of his appearance, was challenged by Thorne in the Town box following a scrappy bit of play. When the Blue walked away unscathed but all around called for the stretcher, not for the first time did it look like someone's season was over due to injury after coming off worst against a McCarthy midfielder.
Derby finally down to ten men yet again, but in all the wrong fashion. Maybe the Gods of football have a sense of humour? Whatever their mistakes, Town made their advantage count for little more than comfort. Stroking the ball forward and working nice runs that allowed Chambers to join the forays forward for the first time all afternoon and supply the again impressive and industrious Feeney to feed the strikers.
Overall when the game ended, and the season with it, the massive applause and songs of praise rang out loud and long. Just like that day on the terrace of Griffin Park all those months ago. The spreading warmth of Spirit in the Sky and Super Mick McCarthy between Ipswich Til I die and so many more felt like the lifeblood of a fan base getting its feeling back after months of regret and recriminations trickled down the trouserlegs of what might have been.
Despite all the needling and pinning of hopes and blame on circumstance and individuals. A win might have been taken and deserved this time, but as Town sit 7th, 5 points clear, that game back in August was the start of so much good and bad that coloured another Championship campaign. Chambers fisted, McGoldrick waved, Tommy smiled and we all walked away. So long, but so soon until we go again. Here's to 2016/17 and another year of wondering.
Ipswich Town v MK Dons Your Report added by footyblue at 23:47:19 better game and a good bit of football played just a shame it has come too little too late, it was good to see to full backs getting forward and almost scoring a good goal in the first half.
Ipswich Town v MK Dons Your Report added by blue75 at 17:08:15 Glad Mick wanted to end on a positive!!! Yet another lacklustre performance!! But on a positive Emmanuel looked good shame it's taken so long to play someone at RB that is comfortable there even has a step over in his locker!!!!
Sheffield Wednesday v Ipswich Town Your Report added by grinch at 21:59:05 Young andre touched the ball about 5 times bart made numerous saves these points are not from those at match also berra made lots of good tackles best game for some time he was on this occasion better than smith in my opinion
Sheffield Wednesday v Ipswich Town Your Report added by Mullet at 21:10:10 "Super Mick McCarthy" rang out filling the cavernous Hillsborough's historic, cavernous stand as below his orange huddle readied themselves. Sleet, sun, rain and wind gave a sense of four seasons in one day and so did his selection. Back to the back five so familiar. A midfield of Bru and Dougie with Foley right and Feeney left. McGoldrick and Sears a rare strike partnership in the most orthodox of 4-4-2's.
Two teams that had playoff ambitions long before they met today, two teams that so often started slowly. How different that would be as Bru scooped a ball down the left flank with the outside of his boot exquisitely. Sears closed, cut and cautioned the hosts with a fine but firmly slowed shot.
Despite the solidity of a much changed side, whether through injury or not, Ipswich had the better opening minutes and the better openings. Feeney was afforded room and range, between him and the strikers with support of Knudsen Town raced at Wednesday, but gained little but ground.
The home side are evidently a good side, but overshadowed as the ball went from Westwood to Joao all too often as they grappled with Town's energy and Berra easily dealt with the big 18. The senior heads looked far more screwed on today as he and Bru particularly looked much improved. Alongside him Smith fetched and carried the ball from punt to glove and the blues had to find new solutions to the problem of missing Murphy and Skuse.
The flanks would prove fruitful, with McGoldrick whirring in the middle but struggling to run things. Town players pushed and pulled but unlike the hosts their best play in the final third remained too close to the corners as the ball never looked much like returning to the centre circle.
That was until a rare lump from Westwood was allowed to bounce, the strikers pounced and big man Joao ambled and scurried just too wide with the ball and his shot across Bart and the post. Pressure grew and the quality of home side's front four told as every long ball forward was met with movement and intent. Previously only a corner which was contained and then excellently cut out on the 6 yard line from Douglas looked likelier. It was perhaps the one moment of unquestionable quality from him one might point to. He was a master of one touch football this afternoon, and this was one of the righter ones.
Sheffield grew in front of Town's goal as we struggled to get close enough to find theirs. The early quarter of an hour of Suffolk domination came to us often containing and trying to counter. When Bart came to collect a cross he punched air and diverted the ball off Bru. The midfielder adjusting quick enough to see the danger away in what would have been a cruel opening.
That would come soon after, the Mauritian failed to intercept this time as the ref got in his way, play continued out on the left and from their right wing Wednesday attacked. Pressure mounted and Town were forced to hoof for the first time. Retention of the ball spread across the back four all half with Skuse absent, his colleagues showed they could shoulder the load of short passes in his absence.
Wednesday however opted to go long again. Despite us two having two right backs down that side they worked their way in behind the defence. A scrappy passage of play eventually cannoned off of Berra and then Joao. It cruelly dropped to Forestieri without a marker near him. A simple smash-in and Town were behind just as the half time whistle was due. 1-0, as Blues felt the urge to kneel.
Town had risen to the quality of a much better opposition, but ultimately what was a more static 30mins were most obviously signified with McGoldrick being the most disappointing of the eleven. Chasing players that had long passed him by was his greatest expenditure overall.
Sheffield were nowhere to be seen during the break whilst our subs all had a kick about. Only the observant would have seen one missing. With the home side still not present a lone figure stood under the electronic board waiting to come on. Mick had gone Maverick as his team's plan A had failed and Foley was harshly hooked - in his place Andre Dozzell. 4-4-2 became 4-2-3-1 as the youngster sat between Feeney and Sears now on the right, Didzy again cut a lone figure.
Ten men and a boy went at Wednesday from the off, but the opening attack was for Forestieri to have an early but saved shot. With all eyes on the debutant youngster, the atmosphere was again electric. The first half had seen only blues singing, recounting songs of old, that had given away to poisonous hissing clouds after the opening goal. A sight of the future had us all looking forward again now.
With Sears on the overlap Town still relied heavily on the left side but moved the ball better down and across the field. However neither he, nor Chambers really found a cross that counted when countering. Wednesday continued to attack and throughout the game Bart was called upon to make saves, the shadowing and hustle of familiar defenders was enough often enough to frustrate and ferry danger away. However when their front two combined to let Bannan skip through the little winger failed to drive home an easy second.
Despite a good game the Pole would match his first half recklessness and nearly score a bizarre own goal when he came and clattered the ball against his captain in heart wrenching haste. Somewhere on the bench Gerken may have smiled wryly, as later this was atoned with a smart save at the near post once Joao had been tasked to test Smith with better success.
If Town were second best in terms of attack, they still had enough to counter. When Feeney was bizarrely adjudged to have fouled his marker by outstripping him and stepping over his feeble tumbling frame the loaned ranger was rightly incensed. When he got free on another occasion he made no mistake. Held up and with Knudsen on his shadow the Trotter skipped and danced his way back on his stronger foot and whipped in a superb cross. With expert timing and movement an unmarked midfielder jumped at the chance and guided his header over Westwood with expertise.
When the teenage Dozzell rose at the near post to equalise he must have kicked up a fair amount dust. By the time some of us regained our composure and finished celebrating, the teenager had McGoldrick's hand on his head as the striker made sure we all acknowledged the moment. Some Town fans were now old enough to have seen both father and son play and score for the club, some besides them old enough to see both generations of the family achieve the feat on their debut.
From father to son to the Holy Spirit of football, deflation gave way to the gust of elation on a day of meteorological tumult. Back in fine voice behind the goal, those attacking it passed and moved that little bit better. If the Wednesday back line had had their heels snapped at by a boy, it was now a man sitting in central midfield as McCarthy removed Bru. Having a minute before the goal been attacked by what looked like a mascot initially, but turned out to be the smaller than Jay Tabb Wallace. The ensuing handbags after a small passage of forgettable play saw both booked for their actions and reactions.
Pitman replaced the midfielder Minutes later once the game was level, whilst Mick again took his picks and shuffled them around. A new 4-4-2 with McGoldrick alternating between midfield and attack. Douglas happy to be the lynchpin so defensive he found himself sweeping the ball forward to the central defenders more than once. Town now looked faster and played looser.
There was an ebb and some commendable flow to a game that both sides were up for, and both wanted to win for similar reasons. Wednesday again threw on attackers and pitched up on the edge of the Town box. If the McCarthy bandwagon had slowed and got a little lighter of late, he wasn't about to circle it and ride out the fixture.
With the game reaching it's conclusion the home side threw on attacking sub after sub. Even once he made the pitch Hooper wasn't the most obvious example of scum to grace it. The diving and devious Forestieri lumped defenders and shots high and wide, finding the stand and being unable to do so on several occasions.
When recent critic of McCarthy Nuhiu emerged to more boos, the delicate 20 stones he threw about like his own lack of self-awareness did little but bounce of Berra like so many crosses and headers had all game. In fact towards the end it allowed one of several breaks for Town. With the second half finely balanced and legs getting tired it was McGoldrick who moved back into his own. Throughout the second half he showed greed and guile to curl balls just beyond or just to close to Westwood, his best effort on goal incidentally his last. But it was a performance that got better but showed all the selfishness and empty promise of Tory campaign slogan. However the game would end in more controversial style for his team mates.
Again the Owls aerial bombardment was repelled as Town rushed forward. Not Sears, not Feeney, but the much improved Knudsen. If the left back had been largely in control of his faculties all game, he picked the wrong moment to lose them. Flying down the line he screamed a low ball across the face of goal. There waiting alone to tap in a winner was the well placed Pitman. No sooner had it gone out then the islander set about trying to do what Knudsen hadn't and find his team mate.
First McGoldrick held him back, then TC and then Mick who had already spoken to the understandably evasive Dane. Smash and grab perhaps the win would have been, but come Monday the fences hopefully mended between the two. Not since Burnley has a draw with a team this good away from home, seemed so good. Since Burnley a lot has happened. Whether Marcus feels it's not time to make change, his charges may not yet relax and take it easy. However as the game started so it ended with a rousing chorus of "Super Mick" whilst the Yorkshireman and his men walked to, and not from the tunnel reflecting on today's score draw.
Ipswich Town v Brentford Your Report added by chrisbobs at 19:31:43 Didn't see the tackle for Hyam's booking, but those around me in Sir Bobby Lower said he was lucky it wasn't a straight red. So why the xxxx does he then square up to, & push, an opponent. I know Brentford were intentionally trying to wind him up, but his response was unprofessional & idiotic; he let his team mates & the fans down, & cost us the match.
Ipswich Town v Brentford Your Report added by NormEmerges at 17:45:57 It is extremely disappointing and worrying to be obviously second best to an ordinary mid-table side, and the current relegation form does not bode well. If we are to have any success - or on recent evidence, comfortable survival - next season then wholesale changes to the squad are required. There are several squad members who are clearly not good enough, and I fear we should add Hyam to the list today as not to be trusted to keep (and use) his head.
Squad members should now realise that for the rest of this season, they are playing for their futures - and indeed MM needs to show there are grounds for optimism if he is not to be part of the same clear-out.
Ipswich Town v Charlton Athletic Your Report added by rickw at 08:35:23 Earlier in the season I was a Douglas supporter but I hadn't seen Douglas play in a while and know he's been getting abuse here, so was interested to see for myself how he did - he was awful!!! At times he looked like he was in a daydream - he had no idea what was going on! He was slow, error prone, often anonymous - the only thing he seemed to want to do is to drop between the centre backs, pick the ball up from one of them and then play it square to another defender!!
To even things up a little Skuse was every bit as good as Douglas was bad! Skuse made several crucial interceptions/tackles and he used the ball well. Smith and Berra were also good and Knudsen was solid. Chambers is a good defender but too many moves break down when he gets into advanced areas...
Now the attack - Feeney seems clueless! He seemed to get the ball, run towards the corner flag, if he went past his man he'd stop, do a step-over and then try to go past him again! At one point a cross came over from the left everyone was at the front post, nobody at all at the back post - Feeney was waiting on his right hand touchline, got the ball, waited patiently for a defender to come over then hit the cross into him!
Pitman looked a threat playing in attack, then was moved to right midfield when McGoldrick came on and he looked lost! Sears was trying to make things happen he had success several times cutting in onto his right foot from the left, but then he kept trying it and by then they knew what he was going to do. Varney's energy was good and he won just about every header against defenders much bigger than him, he just wasn't a goal threat.....