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The Late, Late Blubfest Show
Written by horsehollerer on Sunday, 9th Aug 2015 20:32

If you’re one of the many Town fans whose reaction to the Brentford game included assertions that the Blues have a reputation for throwing away points late in games — “Typical bloody Ipswich”, “We did this for the whole of last year, too”, “When are we ever going to learn how to close out games?” — then I’m afraid you’ve been talking nonsense.

I pulled up the stats for each of Ipswich’s 46 league games last season and looked every 'late' goal (76-90 mins).

Over the entire season, Ipswich scored 17 goals in the final 15 minutes of games, while conceding just 11 times in that period. So far, so good. Of course, that only tells part of the story. So, of those late goals, I looked a little closer at the ones which had actually decided the results of the games in which they were scored.

Overall, Town gained a impressive 14 points from scoring late goals (76-90 mins) while, conversely, giving up just nine points by conceding late goals (76-90 mins).

Some of you will no doubt be thinking, “Yes, yes, but the Brentford goals weren’t just late, they came in injury time.”

Okay, well if you look only at the injury time goals from last season, Town still gained five points and lost just four points. Whichever way you slice it, the boys did better than average at the end of games.

In fact, if we hadn’t outperformed our opponents in the last 10-15 minutes of games, we would have finished five points short of the play-offs.

So, contrary to the selective memories of many, it wasn’t at all 'typical' of Town to lose points at the death, as they did at Brentford. And in the spirit of the cliche that “these things usually even out over the course of a year”, you could even argue that, if anything, we were due to be on the receiving end of some late point-shipping drama. sooner or later.

Here’s a full run-down of all those late goals from last season, and what they meant for Ipswich:

[b]Late, Game-Changing Goals, 2014/15[/b]

[b]Scored by Ipswich[/b]


Birmingham 2-2 Town (Berra 90)

One point gained


Town 1-0 Watford (Smith 83)

Two points gained


Bournemouth 2-2 Town (Murphy 76)

One point gained


Charlton 0-1 Town (N Hunt 90)

Two points gained


Town 1-0 Bolton (Tabb 79)

Two points gained


Watford 0-1 Town (Chaplow 90)

Two points gained


Town 3-2 Blackpool (Berra 83)

Two points gained


Town 2-1 Forest (Sears 83)

Two points gained

[b]Conceded by Ipswich[/b]


Forest 2-2 Town (Antonio 90)

Two points lost


Town 1-1 Blackburn (Marshall 90)

Two points lost


Town 2-2 Huddersfield (Wells 82)

Two points lost


Leeds 2-1 Ipswich (Sharp 77)

One point lost


Town 1-1 Bournemouth (Jones 82)

Two points lost

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Guthrum added 22:21 - Aug 9
Good stats, those. Demonstrates that impressions do not always give the accurate picture.

monytowbray added 22:26 - Aug 9
Every club seems to have the "typical XXX" mentality. Even heard Norwich fans, whom wouldn't have went up in 2010 without their late goals, say "That's just the typical Norwich I expect" when they have some dud luck in the ending of a game. Most fans seem to feel anything positive they achieve is down to their own greatness whereas anything going tits up is just rubbish luck or a regular failure.

I saw us take last minute points vs Charlton and Watford last season. I also saw us drop last minute points to Blackburn and Forest. That's football.

Plus it's one game this season with a very different team/structure. Nothing is "typical" yet.

Gipeswic added 22:26 - Aug 9
Point(s) taken.

It's just frustrating and not what you would hope for from a Mick McCarthy team - one in injury time maybe, but not feckin two!

rickw added 22:57 - Aug 9
I didn't think we did lose much like that last season - I thought it was something Mick had stamped out as it was very common under Jewell, which is why I was surprised it happened yesterday. Hopefully Mick can use this as an example and it won't happen again for the rest of the season!!

HarryfromBath added 22:59 - Aug 9
Thanks for that - a good argument which busts a myth. I still go back to watching Brentford fans coming away from a home game jubilant that that had salvaged a draw.

itfc1981 added 00:28 - Aug 10
The number of times T Smith was involved in ricks would be a more interesting stat.


Laxfield_Llewellyn added 03:40 - Aug 10
I never thought our lads dropped a lot of points late, but we did drop points from winning positions in 9 league matches last campaign (7 ended in draws, 2 in losses, totaling 20 points, 12 of which were away from home). By contrast, the Boys picked up points from losing positions in only 6 games (3 draws, 3 wins, 12 points, 9 at home). We have to do better away from Portman Road, especially in protecting leads. Yesterday would have been a good start.

greenkingtone added 10:26 - Aug 10
Excellent post. I was glad to hear uncle Mick Mills correcting Brenner Woolley after the game about the same thing. It simply is not true. Also somebody criticised the keeper for not commanding his area, and Mick replied that there were nine attackers in the area plus our defence. There was no clear path to the ball and it was an impossible task to take the ball in the air. Sometimes a keeper is prisoner on his goal line. They all make mistakes. Look at Cech yesterday, top keeper, he came out a fraction too late and the ball was in the net.

parhamblue added 10:43 - Aug 10
Thank you Laxfield Llewellyn. Statistics are vital, if properly deployed. Campaigns are won and lost by cutting out errors, and the tactic of protecting points was most noticeable on our travels where if we had an average team and manager, we wouldn't be expected to gain much anyway. It only goes to show that had we managed that more consistently last season in those away games, we would be worrying about going to more momentous venues than Griffin Park.

SouperJim added 11:21 - Aug 10
Football is back, hello, hello.

paulthebluealien added 13:41 - Aug 10
Excellent read. I think it's frustration more than anything. But we'll learn from it - and what better way to do it then day 1 rather than in a potentially vital game on match day 40, for example.

afrodids added 18:46 - Aug 10
The frustrating thing is dropping points from a winning position again not so much the late goals as already pointed out!

horsehollerer added 19:34 - Aug 10
I agree it's natural to dwell more on the ones that go against you. I remember being gutted for days that Blackburn scraped a point in injury time at PR last year with 10 men, yet I had totally forgotten that Berra rescued a point for us at Birmingham early in the season until I looked at the stats for this blog.

SpiritOfJohn added 07:58 - Aug 11
Top blog. Having the misfortune to hear Brenner Woolley gleefully proclaim "Same old Ipswich" while Town were experiencing an undeserved reversal of fortune, rubs salt into the wound. Greenkingtone, glad to read that Mick Mills burst his (unwashed) bubble with the facts.

ChrisFelix added 10:23 - Aug 11
The best type of defence is attack. The oposition will not score if the ball is in their penalty area.
Saturday was disappointing but at least it wasnt a defeat

BlueKush added 14:35 - Aug 11
Maybe it was Barnsley karma from 20 years ago.

Saturday reminded me of the 4-4 with Derby, but to be fair, that was ages ago.

Hegansheroes added 18:13 - Aug 11
Just comes down to poor tactics from MM

Nthsuffolkblue added 22:24 - Aug 12
I think the fair comparison is with other teams. If I recall correctly, we both gained more points from losing positions and gave up more from winning ones than most. If we can correct the latter whilst maintaining the former that would be the ideal.

StowTractorBoy added 13:19 - Aug 14
Quite frankly I am only interested in the points that we lose at the end of matches which cost us dearly last season. When MM first came here we were tight as a drum at the back but now we are not and that is a worry. Great insight to the facts though thank you.

Bugs added 17:47 - Aug 18
I believe scientist's call it confirmation bias.
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