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Ipswich Town 0 v 2 Portsmouth
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 12th December 2020 Kick-off 15:00
runaround added 17:25 - Jan 5
Gutted as it seemed like we were going to hold on for a replay. However we only narrowly lost to a premiership side and the players can hold their heads up high after battling well. Getting a positive result at Cardiff next weekend will be much more important.

ChrisBeeston added 18:26 - Jan 5
An even match that could have gone either way - we were in no way embarassed and with so many changes. Indeed we should have been two up at half-time - Chopra, Martin and Murphy should all have done better with their chances. And Given made a great save from McClane near the end. Hewitt did really well for a full debut, Loach made some good saves and all three new loan players looked good. Real competition for places up front now, though I think Henderson, Orr, Chambers, Ndaw and Edwards will all be back in next week. Onwards and upwards!

brendanh added 20:08 - Jan 5
Not surprised we're out given the team MM selected. N'Daw has arguably been our best player during our recent good run. That MM rested him shows he had little interest in the cup. Mid-table mediocrity for the eighth consecutive season is now the height of our ambitions this season. Shame because a cup run was our only chance of some glory.
Was far from a classic, Villa were there for the taking. No wonder they're a point off relegation. A loss of concentration after half time led to their equaliser, but we were still more than holding our own. We just seemed to all fall apart when JET went off.

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 20:32 - Jan 5
Just home, thoroughly enjoyed it today. Gutted we didnt hang on. Actually thought they scored the winner just as we were looking stronger again.
Anyone (Daley) who slags off Lee Martin needed to be there today, ran his legs off.
Encouraging performances from Loach, Hewitt, Kisnorbo and the two new lads up front when they came on.
Only real disappointments were NRC (again !!) and unfortunately Hyam who didnt take his chance to shine at all.
I see JET has got poor marks too, i think thats a bit harsh as he was moved into the space in front of Hyam and NRC and it worked. They were attacking us through a hole there and he filled it. He didnt provide anything much going forward but did a job for the team.
Great support today , totally opposite to the awful home fans.
Think we could see them again next year.

WashbrookBlue added 20:51 - Jan 5
With the drive home to allow the blood to cool, I think MM is right to say there were positives. Top of the list is the performance of Kisnorbo at centre half who was probably our stand out performer. Hewitt promises much after a shaky first half hour when he got caught out of position a couple of times - his willingness to get forward is particularly encouraging. The new lads up front will add pace and competition, all of which leaves the midfield as our biggest concern now probably. JET was , well, JET like in his complete absence of work rate and energy and contribution, MM will quickly be learning that we can't start with 10 men. What he sees in NRC is a mystery (though in fairness, I thought he had a half decent 2nd half) and I am afraid that Martin flatters to receive. Running round (yes, unlike JET he is capable of a sprint) like a headless chicken but not really contributing any end product is just not what is needed. In his 4th year at the club , his contribution can be distilled down to about half a dozen decent performances psot Xmas last year. Not good enough I'm afraid. NDaw has the power, Hyam the breaking up tackling but apart from that we have nothing in midfield....which I'm sure MM recognises.
To end on a high, that first half move which ended with Chopra's effort was FANTASTIC. One end to the other in two passes. So deserved a goal.

Bluecynic added 21:39 - Jan 5
I wasnt that impressed with JET but a Villa fan on the train was saying that it was a relief when he was taken off as he was running their defenders ragged. Sorry NRC played and not D'Daw but maybe the big man needed a rest. Hewitt did very well for his debut. Shame we lost- would have liked a replay at PR but a great day out.

Mullet added 21:44 - Jan 5
Plenty of changes to a Town side for once was a welcome relief on unfamiliar ground. This was a game where both sides might have enjoyed an outing in a cup run which comes as either have bigger priorities in their respective leagues. Youngster Hewitt grabbed a starting place enthusiastically alongside loanee Kisnorbo, an armband-toting Smith and left back Cresswell completed the back four. NRC and Hyam were flanked by JET on the right and Martin on the left ahead of Murphy and Chopra. The shape was familiar albeit briefly.

The Premiership side had little to look out for other than former hero Darren Bent, the creative N'Zogbia and the American Lichaj at the back. The sightseeing was as you'd expect for a suburb of Birmingham, not all that forthcoming.

A glorified reserve fixture for the cynics and a chance to stretch the legs and bring the periphery of the squad centre stage to the more optimistic, it was in truth an affair which promised and delivered little.

Villa perhaps threatened half heartedly as the referee showed early on his philosophical approach to officiating. Freekicks were forthcoming from the day's Homer at the drop of a powderpuff claret shirt, time after time. The early effort of N'Zogbia flew over while Bent scraped one off the wall and out. Town would have to endure an onslaught of 12 men despite the silence of the Holte end.

Open play saw the early parts of the game to and fro with JET trying to play through either of the front men with little joy, bar an excellent opportunity for Chopra which was saved well. It was the probing runs of young full backs on both sides which dictated the phases of play and they were especially pleasing when they went in Town's favour. Both Cresswell and Hewitt were eye-catching at both ends, the elder of the two blocked superbly on the edge of the six yard both. A minute later he was pushing one-twos around his opponents like fellow scouser David Price.

The hosts' best chance came when a powerful effort from Bowery taken after a neat header was slammed low towards the bottom corner. Loach took his opportunity to impress with an acrobatic save, diving with excellent reflexes and sturdy hands. Another entry on the list of things Mick now has to ponder.

The goal came on half an hour following tactical dalliances from Town. JET slipped up top, Martin filled his spot on the right and Murphy went wide left. It yielded more of the ball where Town slipped back at times under the savvy scrutiny of the home side. Chopra slipped behind the back line on the right of the area. The ball worked him loose as Given advanced he looked to cut an exquisite ball across the keeper with the outside of his boot. It slipped home to rapturous celebrations from the 2900 blues. Some debate as to whether a bundling Lichaj got the final touch was incidental, the predatory movement and vision of the troubled star was evident for all to see.

Villa's better chances came when the midfield battle became tight and the touches sloppy. The ball was given away often all around but the ease with which fouls were given and territory surrendered meant Town's more direct play was often our most successful. Loanee Kisnorbo looked game in a rugged and physical manner, batting away headers like a virulent Diallo he however hardly put a foot wrong. The nitpickers may cite his eagerness as an impediment to Town holding the line as he dropped deep to close down every chance he got. However next to the youthfulness around him in the defence it meant Town often coped well when outnumbered by Villains and officials alike.

The point was illustrated perfectly where JET found himself all too often buried in the hole. From just inside the home half he lofted a ball which sent the front two away only to be scythed down, the ref ignored the indiscretion and the move broke down like it's orchestrator. The benign malice from the home side was matched from then stands by Town fans towards their dugout with a blunt and repetitive barrage of abuse for Lambert.

Chopra had Town's best chance to double the lead before the break. Another piece of possession saw Cresswell deliver sweetly from the flank. The shot eventually fired off the legs of Given, looping high before being gratefully recovered by the Irishman to the frustration of a vocal minority.

The break lead cause for optimism on and under the stands Town returned unchanged whereas Villa had already been forced to retire the injured and unimpressive Albrighton for Weimann. It took the home side less than a minute to assert their claim for superiority. Town of all clubs should know not to give Bent space behind the backline. When he buried his shot low past Loach it was all too nostalgic and predictable, if not admirable.

Undeterred, both sides settled back into a rhythm of sorts knocking the ball around to and from each other. Play changed hands frequently as the former prospect Delph took more involvement in the game, where the creative spark of N'Zogbia had been quietened early on the former Leeds man kept himself and Town busy.

Hyam who looked to struggle today all too often garned far too much attention from a ref who pulled him up every time he tried to win the ball. The first yellow was no surprise and a second wouldn't have raised eyebrows in a game where the academy product looked unpolished.

The introduction of loanees McGoldrick and then Mclean for the struggling JET and later Chopra was sandwiched between Carlos relieving Murphy. It yielded a change in fortunes for Town. The former struggled and first but the latter's introduction meant victory for Villa wasn't a given. A powerful header from Kisnorbo set the borrowed Tiger off on the hunt only to see the effort gathered. Hungry and powerful time will tell if Mclean will prey on defences in the coming weeks. Neat balls and touches came eventually from McGoldrick told little in a game without much of a story to it. It was the fresh legs of Villa which stretched Town with the pace of Agbonlahor but it was good to see the only time he was at the races against Hewitt - he was flagged offside.

Cresswell's supposed replacement this summer the highly-priced Bennett tested the nerve of Town with a thumping drive dipping over. The width of both sides on a large pitch saw Town hearts broken with less than ten minutes left. A cross was clipped speculatively off the head of Weimann and looped over an unlucky Loach. It was both sickening and not all that unexpected.

A replay would be perhaps not undeserved but an unnecessary distraction for a Town side with much to answer in the coming months. What is most pleasing is the belief there might just be depth in squad so reliant on loanees and familiar faces young and old have enough about them to ease any worries. Most pleasing were the fullbacks who will probably get another chance to shine at Villa park this time next year.

chorltonskylineblue added 22:25 - Jan 5
A good shift put in by pretty much everyone today, especially the fans. I was sat in the Villa end and they moaned for 80 mins and were very rattled. I think if Bent hadn't scored early in the 2nd half the Villa fans would've increasingly got on their team's back and we could've won. On balance though, they shaded it in the end. Two teams very much in transition, but lots of positive signs for us.

My assessment of our players:
Loach - made some important saves and couldn't be faulted for either goal.
Cresswell - a good performance. Always looking to attack. Still gets caught out occasionally, but he's learning and I'm very happy he's in our team
Hewitt - I was impressed with this guy. Ok, he did have a slightly shaky start, but he made several key tackles for clear goal scoring opps. Great to see him in the team. Bright future
Kisnorbo - an absolute rock. Lost count of how many headers he won. And he showed experience 'rugby tackling' N'Zogbia early on. Worth the yellow
Smith - had a solid game too. Perhaps caught out for the Bent goal, but it was a good move and Benty's lethal
JET - criticism on here was a bit unfair today. He linked up some moves well, but he deserved to be subbed as he was lacking impact in the 2nd half
Hyam - I thought he was outstanding. He bossed some experienced players like Ireland & Agbonlahor. Made the odd mistake, but he chased all day and looked mature well beyond his years. He's home grown, hungry and learning fast. Can't understand why he's not on a longer contract!
Reo-Coker - criticism today also a bit unfair. He does look older than 28, but he doesn't panic and he marshalled others. For everyone slagging him off you're effectively slagging off Big Mick, because he thinks he brings experience
Martin - I also thought he had a good game and doesn't deserve the criticism on here.
Murphy - what Mick has managed to get out of him is nothing short of a revelation. Today he was like Scowie in his pomp.
Chopra - his link up play is woefully under-rated by the fans. He does miss a few too many, but he helps create chances and is dangerous in the box
McGoldrick - looks a handful. Almost tried too hard as we seemed to lose our shape when he came on. But a good performance for his first game
McLean - his pace is impressive for a 29 year old. Looks like a good addition
Edwards - played ok when he came on, but like at Bolton thought he can't defend and I think we should be looking to the future and playing him sparingly
To all the moaners - I was sat with the moaning Villa fans giving Lambert a lot of grief, so be thankful. In Mick We Still Trust!

ChayITFC added 23:48 - Jan 5
With a bus journey home to think over what I had seen I was disappointed by Chopra reo Coker and jet they never brought anything to the game we created a great chance when cresswell whipped in a first time cross to a sliding Michael Chopra. Given was forced to make a great save and it fell straight down and into his has.

cornishblu added 17:26 - Jan 6
...although not too late back thought I would mull it over before a report.
Generally agree with the positivity already written but will add a bit of player by player
Loach...some good saves and an ipswich lad through and through....as good as Henderson but as Henderson he desperately needs to improve...bringing confidence to the team.
Hewitt....yes a shaky start but what a player in the making....fast and willing to get forward....great find by the club
Kisnorbo....my stand out MoM...got stuck in and played v well .....great asset and would be my stater for next week
Smith...IMO continues to improve and must have made him proud to wear the armband
Cresswell....solid performance....did enough but not so much that villa would think about coming back in for him
JET......differing opinions...simply put an easy choice to be substituted ....needs to do so much more
Hyam......good performance but was clearly a marked man by the ref.....was lucky to stay on late on but v poor first yellow card would have meant another one would have been a complete injustice
Martin.....continues to disappoint as there is no final outcome.....but if that sounds harsh will always congratulate for his work effort
Murthy.....put himself about and was a handful....really surprised to see him come off
Copra......badly needs match practise as a chorea of old would have buried the two chances he had....credit to given for the saves but shots were straight at him.....would have liked to have seen him try a diving header to attempt to get ball before given recollected in a sitting position.
Mcgoldrick.....great start but looks almost too clever for us ...constantly asking for the ball to be passed a yard in front to allow him to run onto it but amazingly Edwards on a number of occasions just didn't see opening
Edwards....read notes above...ok when he came on but didn't change the game
McLean.....again if this is the type of player mm can get in the future will be bright...some great moments for him at both ends of the field ..

....and where is NRC you ask......simply should never pull on a town shirt again...yes slightly better 2nd half but generally ineffective....but walking off at the end with his EX villa mates not even acknowledging the crowd summed it up for me.....clearly doesn't care...bye bye reo bye bye.

......town fans made a reasonable noise....be great if most would return at Cardiff next week to show the boys some support......3 losses on bounce could be considered a step backwards....at least a point would be good......see you all there ....Cornishblu

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