Ipswich Town drew 2-2 with West Brom in a home Championship clash at the weekend. Blues fan Karl Fuller gives his thoughts.


My old friend déjà vu keeps finding a way back into my life as, once more, we had to come from behind in a televised league game to avoid defeat. That is four games in a row now. Six in seven if we must include that defeat at Leeds.

In common with those recent games against Leicester (twice) and Sunderland, we saw some real moments of excellence from Town. We also saw our Achilles’ heel of soft goals continuing to blight us. At least it was not the usual early goal on Saturday.

Is anyone else fed up with non 3pm games at Portman Road? Not since December 2 have we had the pleasure of what was once the norm. I know, if we get to where we want to be, they will be even less of an occurrence. I just do not like them.

East Anglian Daily Times: Kieffer Moore can't find a way to goal in Ipswich's draw against West Brom.Kieffer Moore can't find a way to goal in Ipswich's draw against West Brom. (Image: Steve Waller)

The atmosphere suffers for a start. Probably due to less time in the pub for many to lubricate their lyrical chords. Missing my weekly parkrun dampens my mood too. But we never seem to be at our cohesive and functional best in lunchtime kick-offs on TV. Only twice have we been triumphant in such circumstance in the last 15 played. You have to go back to a game at Exeter in November 2022 for the last time it happened.

For the neutral, Saturday’s game made for a good watch. For us Town fans, however, it was much of what we have become used to. Fall behind, equalise – twice on this occasion – and then see a spirited finish where we all but score a winner. Then, we roundly applaud the players off the pitch.

For sure, our efforts continue to be top notch in the latter part of games, our fitness levels so often outlasting others. But gone are those fine margin victories that we were churning out in the first half of the season.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ali Al-Hamadi (right) battles for the ball.Ali Al-Hamadi (right) battles for the ball. (Image: Steve Waller)

Depending on your viewpoint, you could say that our profligacy in front of goal is costing us. Five goals scored from 29 shots on target in the last three games is testament to that. Even more galling, though, is seven goals conceded from seven shots on target in the same number of games. A mixture of both is hurting us, but when it is not going your way, it hurts you from all angles.

As much as I would have taken a point before Saturday’s kick-off against a very decent outfit that is equally misfiring away from home, I left the ground frustrated that all three points once again escaped us.

Just as frustrating was the performance from the man in the middle, David Coote. Referees are an important part of the game, we would not have one without them, but these last three games have left me in no mood to respect them at present. They are doing little to earn it!

East Anglian Daily Times: Luke Woolfenden reacts to one of the referee's decisions in Saturday's stalemate.Luke Woolfenden reacts to one of the referee's decisions in Saturday's stalemate. (Image: Steve Waller)

Once I saw the West Brom goalkeeper allowed to wear the same colour as the match officials, that set me off. Look, they are human, they make mistakes. I get that. The one that officiated the Preston game apologised afterwards for costly errors made in that game. But in retrospect, nothing more can be done. We move on.

But I am beginning to wonder if Premier League referees are suitable for Football League games nowadays. They go from a developing comfort zone of VAR being able to assist any errors, to no back up and prone to even more errors. From automatic to manual, digital to analogue, the art of refereeing requires a different skillset between the two leagues. But how do we improve this? Should VAR be all or nothing for all leagues? I have no idea. Maybe it will never be right and one of those things that always has been a source of debate, always will be.

I just want consistency. That is all. I watched a game last week where a goalkeeper received a yellow card for not taking a goal kick after 25 seconds. That did not happen on three occasions on Saturday. Just one example of many. Hey-ho.

Back to Town. Three points at Millwall on Wednesday night is a must, really, if the top two is still to remain a dream.