Ipswich Town moved level on points with Championship leaders Leicester City following Saturday's 3-2 home win against Swansea City. Fan and journalist Terry Hunt gives his thoughts.


Talk about making life difficult for ourselves. We should have won that game comfortably, but ultimately were left nervously hanging on for the three points.

At the end of the day, we can celebrate yet another win in this extraordinary season, and another thrilling goal fest at Portman Road. But my heart can do without these tight finishes!

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. Once again, we started slowly and conceded what has, worryingly, become the customary early goal. We had barely touched the ball when Swansea went ahead. Then, late in the game, two goals ahead and facing 10 men, we seemed to switch off and conceded a really soft goal. Jamal Lowe is a good player, but how on earth was he allowed to waltz through our whole defence?

East Anglian Daily Times: Jack Taylor (right) is congratulated following his super strike against Swansea.Jack Taylor (right) is congratulated following his super strike against Swansea. (Image: PA)

After the match, it was obvious that Kieran McKenna was absolutely furious about those last 15 minutes or so. I don’t suppose it was exactly Fergie’s famous hairdryer in the changing room, but I bet he made his feelings known in no uncertain way. We are undeniably conceding too many goals - two in each of the last four games. Where have all those clean sheets gone?

But having focused on the negatives, in between our two poor periods, we were absolutely brilliant, and should have blown Swansea away. Once we worked out how to beat their high press, we tore them open time and time again, and should have scored four or five goals in the first half alone.

Young Omari Hutchinson was the main culprit, twice racing clear only to wait too long before shooting, and then delivering a poor final pass to the unmarked Nathan Broadhead in the six-hard box. Hutchinson is undoubtedly a huge talent but, like so many young players, he is not the finished product. Once he sharpens up his final decision, he will be utterly sensational.

East Anglian Daily Times: Omari Hutchinson, pictured in action against Swansea.Omari Hutchinson, pictured in action against Swansea. (Image: Steve Waller)

Conor Chaplin also missed chances. I had literally turned to a mate and said 'Chaplin hasn’t brought his shooting boots today' when he expertly slotted our second goal between the keeper and the post. Chaplin’s goals tend to come in fits and starts, so let’s hope the strike against Swansea sees him in rich goalscoring form for the next few games.

What can you say about Jack Taylor’s wonder strike? That’s two goal of the season contenders now, and don’t forget his time on the pitch has been limited mostly to appearances from the bench. His overall performance was excellent as well. Massimo Luongo faces a real battle to get back into the side. Well, I guess we don’t have to worry so much about Luongo’s absence during the Asia Cup.

A big talking point from the game was that, glory be, we were finally awarded a penalty. After what looked like two stonewall spot-kicks were turned down at Rotherham, there was quite a bit of banter on social media speculating about exactly who is our penalty taker. Ted Phillips and John Wark were both mentioned by some wags.

East Anglian Daily Times: Conor Chaplin heads the ball down during Ipswich's 3-2 home win against Swansea.Conor Chaplin heads the ball down during Ipswich's 3-2 home win against Swansea. (Image: Steve Waller)

So it was very pleasing that, finally, we got a penalty against Swansea. I think the ref was relieved to be able to give it so soon after the frankly mystifying decision to disallow what looked like a perfectly good Harry Clarke header from a corner. I’ve watched it several times, and for the life of me I cannot see anything wrong with it.

Anyway, it was good to see George Hirst step up and finish the penalty confidently. Hirst is a bit of an unsung hero, battling away up top, holding the ball up, and laying it off for teammates. Look at his brilliant work for Chaplin’s goal on Saturday.

I don’t think he’s a 20 goal a season striker, so it’s good to see him given the job of penalty taker. It will help to boost his goal tally and keep his confidence high - if we’re given a few more penalties, that is!

So, time for another international break. Let’s hope our international players come back unscathed and fighting fit for the hectic build-up to the Christmas period. We’ll certainly need our strongest squad, because in the four weeks between late November and Boxing Day, we have no fewer than eight league games, including the small matters of Norwich, Leeds and Leicester.

Enjoy the break!