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Hazz16 added 17:41 - Nov 25
Referee, my word! Didn't come out to play the second half. Iorfa back on the bench for the foreseeable future.

Mullet added 20:42 - Nov 25
Four scored saw four changes for Town as they went to Villa park on the back of Wednesday’s hit and run. Knudsen returned at one full back berth as Iorfa took the other. Chambers and Webster stood in front of Bart as expected. Connolly and Skuse sat in midfield with Sears on the left, Ward on the right and Waghorn shifting between Garner and Villa’s back line.

It was a smaller away contingent than last year, but the plus 30k crowd had little to say on a very matter of fact Championship affair. Skuse made an early interception from the kick off only to stumble and make another one at his own expense. The resultant corner sparked off an early passage of pressure from a home side who had just a little bit more about them in so many areas.

Former Canary Snodgrass drew disproportional ire from a handful of blues as well as drawing in Knudsen and Webster as he did his best impression of a Tesco finest Darren Currie. Everything went on the drop of his left shoulder in from the touchline at predictable walking pace, including some excellent set pieces.

The sheer size and ability of Villa as a team rather than a club told early on and all-day long. Physicality and poise in every department saw Hutton winning lots in the air at either end but hassled and hurried by Sears’ defensive runs on him and goal. One overlap to Knudsen produced a great cross which Ward did well to find, but really should have found the net with a better shot.

Makeshift centre back Jedinak alongside Chester had an easy time as everything Garner did, drew disdain and a free kick their way, from a ref with only eye and one arm all too often. By comparison Town lacked even more in the balls department.

On 15 another good move from Town saw another good corner from Waghorn. The pacey inswinger spun out of Johnstone’s flap and dropped for Garner to crash home on the rebound. Jubilation turned to humiliation as no one stopped, no one flagged, no one saw anything wrong except one man.

At the other end Ipswich struggled to keep up. Iorfa did well to shackle Adomah on the left who like Snodgrass cut in every time he could, but he had two feet and enough guile to get past his man now and again. The other person struggling to keep up was a linesman who missed 3 clear offsides because he was so far behind, he was presumably looking for Dwight Yorke to run clear.

When you have a defence so good at winning the first ball, then giving away the second it was only a matter of time before one of the six people watching either our back or goal line, made a mistake which told. Bart and the boys had claimed everything thrown at them from long ball, corners and miscues which had amounted to a handful of decent but not deadly chances from defence to attack in the form of Jedinak and Davis.

Town meanwhile had managed to make good runs on the bounce and bustle of Garner but neither Ward or Sears really got a clear sniff at goal thanks to hoovering up after them from Hutton and Taylor. When Jedinak finally relented having landed funnily a while, he was replaced by what looked like two men in one shirt. Christopher and/or Samba shuffled on to the pitch and cast a long shadow over either front man. All without the need to step too far.

Town’s 4-2-3-1 worked hard, but not necessarily well as the home side moved quickly with power and composure on and off the ball.
Connolly snapped at everything in the air and allowed Skuse to press much higher again. The senior member of the defensive duo often stalled play in both directions with a foot under the ball for lofted ambitious dinks that never quite set anyone away in either colour shirt.

The Evertonian on loan was even more impressive after a nasty header-cum-headbutt from Davis who missed the ball and laid out the much smaller man on the deck. What looked at first like a clean knockout saw Chambers rush in paternally and rouse the youngster. He would carry on and so would the game in familiar fashion. Glen Whelan who had spent most of his time in midfield acting as a third centre back every time Villa collected a clearance. The backline flexed into a curved five and one of the three defenders launched something forward which punched at a staggering Town.

When Chambers attempted similar, Ward and company ran forward, but the ball did not, landing behind them and spinning backwards it was Whelan who looked to pick out Adomah. The deadly wideman didn’t need his head start as the linesman wondered what all the fuss was about long after he had dropped Bart a dummy and beaten the prone Pole.

In a game of next goal wins that began at 3pm, Town had just had 1 if not 3 points snatched away twice in a week, with nearly an hour of the game left to go. 5pm could not come soon enough.

The second half saw little change, initially the ability to stand up and count on your frame or footwork only belonged to a host team who impressive in doing the basics. That was something which had deserted the Blues the moment Adomah fired home long ago.

Former Town man Hourihane rarely caught the eye like he did at Barnsley, but his purring play ticked over as he stabbed passes in and around dangerous areas. In response Skuse and Connolly ate up a lot of ground and left scraps for the centrebacks but too often Webster was either casual or Iorfa kamikaze. The right back charged forward time and again and sometimes he did it with the ball too. His first foray in the second half saw him turn inside and hit a low shot/cross which cause all kinds of problems. Mainly for us, as the settled clearance left us chasing back.

It was a warning.

One Town should have heeded and Iorfa headed as the killer ball left him slipping and eating grass as who else but Adomah ate it up. Racing clear he finished easily and infuriatingly. Villa didn’t so much have a foot on our neck, but a knee on our belly as we flopped and fitted at a level just beneath theirs all over the park.

Flicks from threatening crosses were both our best attacks and their best defence of an early attempt at a comeback. By now, there was little left in a game where Town’s major highlights were the substitutes. Not because they did a lot, but because they represent so much.

Huws and Celina replaced Sears and Ward. The Welshman who had returned with an assist in midweek sat centrally as Waghorn who had been ineffective in open play revolved around either full back where his muscular output looked slightly more effective.

The young Kosovan meanwhile showed what a polarising figure he can be. You either get a killer decision or a promising position out of him. His first contribution was to take the ball back inside and towards goal to start of a quick break, unfortunately for Villa. Minutes later he opted to chip a beautiful cross onto the head of Huws. The midfielder was alas, too deep on the edge of the box to do little more than cushion it out for a goal kick.

Once this struggling of getting to grips with the Midlanders other than to concede possession, cards in the case of Connolly and then Huws who won the ball, possibly the man and howls of disgust. All after being kicked in the aftermath by at least one handbag swinging Villain. It was a frustrating relief to see him get a caution instead of the red one home player deserved but looked destined for him.

With twenty minutes, Town’s chances and hopes plummeted with the temperature. Farce became the theme of the final act. Having made a howler, Iorfa screamed forward in another display of impressive athleticism. Unfortunately, he burst past and blew everyone away in a moment of the wrong kind of football a day too late for Thanksgiving. Collapsing behind the goal, the ball out of play and his hamstring looking out of alignment if not his leg, he lay in agony and ignominy as the home fans jeered and rejoiced in his misfortune.

On came Teddy Bishop, from the depths of the bench and not the physio room. His little legs were pumping on the touchline and so were Blue hearts as the ginger sensation sent a tingle through nearly numb limbs around the away end. Connolly had already moved to RB in the inordinate amount of time Town were reduced to ten men and awaiting the no.7 to make his bow.

With Town heads already dropped and not having a prayer, the opening double tackle that broke down a Brummie break just inside their half saw the homegrown Bishop roared on approvingly. He made a single slide a few minutes later that was enough to show the desire was still there, but perhaps not the dynamic runs or raking passes of yore just yet.

Webster was Town’s main outlet for that sort of thing and every lofted attempt to find Celina or Knudsen in behind Hutton and then the late addition of El Mohamady fell short or dropped long. It was hard to think of real save Johnstone had to make. The early protection that spared that spared his blushes were not the main cause of Town fans seeing red.

Whoever had corporate box 11 behind us, said or did something that saw a few dozen Suffolk boys lose their composure and focus on the game far more than the ones out on the pitch. Stewards radioed and remonstrated in mild urgency as beshirted stirrers of the proverbial were asked to sit down, when bravely facing fury from those they had a few inches of Perspex to hide behind. Those in more casual attire risked having their collars felt as tempers flared. It was the most drama we’d see all day.

Town fell a place and into pieces long before the final whistle came. The usually high calibre of Bart, Skuse, Garner and the spine of the side drooped worse than Celina’s embarrassing swan dive when faced with the prospect of beating his man for a second time late on.

Desperation and inadequacy ran through Ipswich far deeper than the double-scorer Adomah had all day.

Overall, there was every reason to feel aggrieved with bad decisions, but our own side made enough to bury those rather than any incisive openings. It was days like today that show why we’ll always be part of the chasing pack, and ultimately easy prey for bigger more equipped animals in the second-tier jungle this season.

With McGoldrick missing with reason, the attack worked but didn’t come off in a game where movement alone was not enough. The re-emergence of Huws and Bishop gives hope. The standout of the day was again the lad we don’t own who started where they finished in midfield. There’s a bit more depth and potential to swim towards the current contenders. But likewise, with the injured and error prone nature of either right back the softest spot of a defence still not all there, Town could still sink back into midtable and muddle through until we hit some kind of end.

PJewellisaGod added 03:09 - Nov 26
Did Villa even need to play a GK???

dalianwasexciting added 11:34 - Nov 26
So - despite being to a number of recent away games including Burton and Hull, I have not bothered to file a match report for a while. For the Villa game I feel I have get it off my chest!

Had I known what I know now I should have stayed in the Wellington where I drank with a Villa fan I know, the conversation revealed Villa have been very poor this season against expectation, have a striker crisis with only the youngster fit and that the defence is limited as clearly generous Ipswich were going to do what they do so well!

The line up was interesting, without Didz we were always going to struggle to find much attacking guile, although Martyn Waghorn ended as the stand out man of the match and did look like he could cause issues.

I can not give the most objective view on the first half as the "seats" I was in with Mrs and son, were actually taken by other people and the standing reminded me of days gone by in the pre-all seater North stand, only with seats there!!!! Quite how that many people were in a row of seats is beyond me and the stewarding was poor at best!

I fail to see what Garners early goal was disallowed, we will never know how we would have gone on had it stood, but on the evidence of Hull, we would have sat back.

Player ratings perhaps illustrate my personal view of the performance:
Bart 5 - little to do in truth but not able to stop the two poor goals conceded, possibly fouled/impeded during the early phase.
Iorfa - 3 terrible. The mistake he made typified the performance and yet another defensive gift.
Chambers - 4. Not as reliable as he has been, some poor defending and constant long balls out of defence.
Webster - 5 Easily out best defender. I would love to see a Smith/Webster partnership
Skuse - 5. Struggled to get into the game
Connolly 3. After a great game midweek he seemed to be totally anonymous, apart from getting a yellow from another very poor referee.
Ward - 4 Did not warrant his place back in the starting XI on this performance.
Sears - 3 Was he actually on the pitch - offered nothing.
Waghorn 7 Head and shoulders our best player, tried to get things going, needed support from a non-existant midfield.
Garner - Tried as he always does, disallowed goal deflated him (and others).

Subs - Bishop - 4 ran around, made two very snappy challenges. Not on long enough to influence.
Huws - 5 needs games, still likely to be our best midfielder by a distance.
Celina - 3 As anonymous as Sears.


dalianwasexciting added 11:39 - Nov 26
Forgot to add Knudsen - who possibly had his worst ever performance yesterday - only with many others he was truly anonymous.

coolcat added 17:32 - Nov 26
Why all the high ratings for Villa players? Were they on here giving their ratings? 2 defensive errors flattered. them tbh. Bart hardly stretched at all. I was there yesterday. Thought we played well the first half. Shame about the disallowed goal when similar foul was done on our keeper & not given. Nearly all the second half they tried to stop us playing. Looked like a mexican standoff in the middle of the pitch. Was so obvious. We have a tough run of games atm. 5 games in two weeks - 4 of those away fixtures. Small squad and people coming back from injury. Big plus point seeing Bishop and Huws back playing together. Nice to be reminded what a talented player Bishop is.

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