Monday verdict: Ipswich Town could end up ruing charity beginning at home
11:03 27 October 2014
Charity should not begin at home in football.
Ipswich Town have now failed to win after taking the lead in their last four outings. And Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Huddersfield at Portman Road was the most painful of the lot.
The 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest was highly-respectable, the high-flying Midlanders throwing everything and the proverbial kitchen sink at their visitors before forcing a late leveller.
The 1-1 home draw with 10-man Blackburn was deflating given the last-gasp nature of the leveller, but Town had played well and you have to accept the odd smash-and-grab will go against you.
The 3-1 loss at Cardiff last Tuesday night was no disgrace. Okay, Mick McCarthy’s men were the creators of their own downfall with the sloppy second half goals conceded, but they were playing a big budget outfit still packed with Premier League talent following recent relegation.
It’s difficult to put any sort of positive spin on Saturday’s game though.
This time a two-goal lead was squandered, centre-backs Tommy Smith and Christophe Berra both netting only for Nahki Wells to strike twice in the final 20 minutes.
Some have claimed it was the Blues being punished for trying to ‘park the bus’ and defend their lead. If only that was the case. Unfortunately, Town just weren’t that good from start to finish.
You could point to the fact that two of the side’s most influential players, Tyrone Mings and Jonny Williams, were absent through suspension and injury respectively. And that Huddersfield Town are a team on the up under Chris Powell’s management, the Terriers now unbeaten in six.
This is a recurring theme for McCarthy’s men though. To let a lead slip once is chance. Twice is coincidence, three times is a pattern, while four times is unforgiveable. Successful sides don’t just do half the job.
Seeing out the last two home matches would have given the Blues four extra points and put them right on the coat-tails of leading trio Derby, Watford and Wolves.
Instead, they are 10th and two points behind the team in sixth, bitter rivals Norwich City, with 14 games gone.
The good news is that, once again in this ultra-tight division, it looks as though more than a dozen teams will be scrapping it out for the final one or two play-off places once a leading pack starts to pull away.
You just fear that the last two home outings could come back to haunt Town.