|Ipswich Town 3 v 0 Millwall|
Saturday, 8th December 2012 Kick-off 15:00
|eunos added 17:01 - Dec 8|
dommyboyblue added 17:09 - Dec 8
MonterreyBlue added 17:13 - Dec 8
Just had a cheeky look "up" the table, only 10 point gap from 6th place and plenty of games to go...... its ok to dream.
bluepeter added 23:27 - Dec 8
unstableblue added 15:00 - Dec 9
So good wintry conditions for football, thermals on, but not quite as bitter as billed. The Millwall fans were out in force, and walking with them down to the ground, they really have the air of inner city football fans - well dressed in the stone island and armani, but not to be messed with. Not sure I saw one female fan. But they had a great turn out and it seemed a greater number than the 1000+ billed. They didn't seem that loud though, a few "no one likes us" but the North Stand seemed in far better voice.
So to the game. After some initial play from Town, Millwall settled into the better play, they move the ball really well and have great tempo. Trotter looked assured - and he is a player I felt we should have given more time. Adam Smith at number 25, and I think playing at right back, was outstanding, real quality. A couple of times the chambo/smith combo creaked and they are still susceptible to balls low between them. But they are improving and Smith was a contender for MOM, with some find physicality, aerial dominance - and he came very close to scoring from a free kick at the other end.
As Millwall passed with verve for the first 30mins of the half - and carved a dissallowed offside goal (which was very close) and a header that was easier to score in the mouth of the goal - Ipswich were still able to threaten and produce good opening themselves. This was down to Martin and Edwards closing down and winning ball, with good support from Orr and the excellent Cresswell. N'Daw and Drury were not in the game yet, and I said to my mate unless Drury starts to pass then we'll struggle to win. And so it was to be. With our domination of the much of the second half due to good distribution from our ex-Luton man.
But lets go back to Ipswich's threat despite Millwall bossing the game in that first half an hour. As well as great fight and support down the wings, Murphy was a much greater threat. I would have liked us to pass out of the back more, but when Henderson did go long Murphy was good in the air. But he's almost better on the ground and has a good knack of holding the ball, and has a little burst of pace despite his size. We found the channels with DJ and Murphy something Town have failed to do for a while, and Millwall did not like it especially Shittu, who was going to found at some point and so it turned out.
We did rely on the resurgent Henderson to keep Millwall at bay - much warmer welcome from the fans - and lets face it his kicking and a superb double save clearly demonstrate why he is ahead of Loach. Which is correct from what I've seen.
But back to the point that whilst we were not on top our threat was significant, with some good chances. And this meant Millwall never got waves of attack going so we had a chance to regroup. And often Millwall would be forced to pass it around in nonthreatening areas.
So to the goal, which turned the game and seemed to throw Millwall. It was down to the superb Martin/Cresswell combo.. Martin is playing really well at the moment, and deserves a contract. His work rate is exceptional, by far the hardest worker in the team. He got it out to the in form Cressy after good work in the middle. And Cresswell played the kind of cross, low and hard into that danger area they always stress on MOTD. And DJ finished with a little cheeky touch. SUPERB.
By now N'Daw was fired up and he does get excited, which he needs to watch. With a couple of team mates trying to calm him down after he had been fouled. The thing about N'Daw is he unsettles the opposition and he does have a better longish pass than you realised. By now Drury was beginning to get his trademark neat footwork and passing going. And indeed he is more the playmaker than Luke Hyam - but I would have Luke back as he is the key to stopping those attacking passes though the middle that Chambo and Smith are struggling with.
So to the second half. The crowd really got going. And despite some huff and puff from Millwall and a few periods of dominance. Ipswich were always going to win in my view. And now Drury was releasing Martin and Edwards at will and Millwall started to suffer wave after wave of Town attack. I thought the Shittu mistake that led to DJs centre with Murphy sweeping it in from close range was preceded by great pressure and passing. Similarly there was some lovey play that led to the nailed on penalty.
Then the subs came on and Chopra looks really sharp at the moment. Martin was so unlucky not to score from a nice chip - a goal he deserved and needs.
One of the highlights for me was Hewitt - yes he was on for a short time. But he linked superbly with the now rampant Edwards. And he has got that touch of a refined and quality player. It certainly lifted the crowd.
So overall a great day and performance. But lets be clear we could have lost this game and we are not out of this relegation fight just yet. Millwall were a quality outfit and indeed seemed to be giants compared to the Blues during the pre-match handshakes. Perhaps Jackett was an opportunity missed, but for now Mick is doing a cracking job.
Martin was man of the match for me, but the whole team played well. With special mention to Murphy, DJ, Smith, Cresswell and Henderson.
Leeds away will certainly test these revived fortunes.
dalianwasexciting added 18:08 - Dec 9
Stephen Henderson - I did wonder why we needed another keeper as Loach is decent at this level, however in the first half Henderson pulled out 3 absolutely stunning saves and seems to have developed a rapport with his defender, without those saves it could have been a very different outcome.
Bradley Orr - Showed experience and brings some calm assurance to the back, a willing worker and a good reader of the game.
Aaron Cresswell - Good combination down the left with Martin and getting back to his best.
Luke Chambers - Seemed a different play, quick to the ball, confident and not afraid to get stuck in. His celebrations in front the the SBR at the end showed what it means.
Tommy Smith - Excellent! Barely missed a header, looked solid and passionate. I thought his reading of the game and positional sense was excellent and he was my man of the match.
Carlos Edwards - Always running, takes on the captaincy without it affecting his performance, really adds balance on the right of midfield doing what he does best and that is going forward.
Lee Martin - One of his better games, I just wish he would learn how to tackle!
Guirane N Daw - A colussus - tired towards the end but he reminds me of Patrick Viera, a proper Number 8!
Andy Drury - Showed the odd decent touch but needs to improve his vision to step up. I am still unsure he is more than a squad player at best.
DJ Campbell - A goalscorer.....Simple - he comes alive in the box. Also for a short man a superb leap and won more than his share of headers against a big Milwall defence. Reminds me of David Johnson, just with a better eye for goal.
Darryl Murphy - Played like a proper target man, took his goal so well, was unlucky to have his second pulled back for the penalty. He caused havoc in the Milwall box and always provided a target for the outball.
All in all - Superb lads!
La_Paz added 02:21 - Dec 10
I was surprised to see Murphy start ahead of Barnett, but MM knows what he's doing and was repayed with a great performance. On a couple of occasions he was through on goal, took the extra touch and failed to finish, but overall his work rate and hold-up play was admirable. Both centre-halves also impressed me, and they look to be forming a useful partnership that could serve us well for many years to come. Chambers is very good on the deck, Tommy is strong in the air, and despite not being the biggest pairing in the league they are starting to look like a good combination. As for DJ, what can you say. A true goalscorer who works really hard and puts himself about a bit for a little bloke, he's worth his weight in gold at the moment. Chopra may be the better footballer in terms of outright skill, but DJ has that knack that sees him in the right place at the right time which sets him apart. I have a nasty feeling that another Championship club may be benefitting from his services come January, but let's enjoy it while we can. If we can afford him then I would bite their arm off.
Merlin the Magician? Too right. COYB.
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