Frustrating Town return to type

JUST when you think things are on the turn for the better and the Blues are showing great promise, they revert to type and disappoint. The game almost summed up the season with Ipswich looking good for the most part and giving their 2,000 following heart, after a three-match winning run.

By Derek Davis

JUST when you think things are on the turn for the better and the Blues are showing great promise, they revert to type and disappoint.

The game almost summed up the season with Ipswich looking good for the most part and giving their 2,000 following heart, after a three-match winning run. But it was yet another false dawn and despite having decent flurries of their own they were outpunched by Brian Laws' side.

The win extended Wednesday's unbeaten streak to nine and they still believe a play-off place is possible.


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For Ipswich it means they officially can't finish in the top six.

As promised manager Jim Magilton made changes though Dan Harding, back after a ban, could not force his way back into a rearguard that had conceded just once in three games and Ian Miller was surprisingly omitted from the 16.

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Jeffers started in place of Saturday's man of the match against Barnsley Jon Walters, and was busy throughout.

After saying he would keep Danny Haynes on a tight rein as he was effective as a late substitute, Magilton decided to start him against the Owls.

As expected Gavin Williams returned in midfield with George O'Callaghan going back on the bench, after the Welshman was left out against Barnsley as a precaution against him getting a 10th booking and a two-match suspension.

There has never been a goal-less draw between these two sides but it looked as if it was heading that way at 45 minutes.

But Hillsborough is the place for goals with 66 so far this season - no other ground in the Championship has seen more.

While much of the football from both sides, especially Ipswich's crisp passing and moving, was pleasing on the eye, there was little in the way of penetration.

Town applied the most pressure but even though they had 10 corners, all were dealt with too easily by the Owls defence and Iain Turner claimed most of them.

The on-loan Everton keeper was the busier keeper with Lee forcing Turner to make a tip-over save from a 25-yard free kick and he was down with ease on a low Jeffers shot.

Haynes got the ball into the middle and forced a Turner mistake but there was a foul on him before Owen Garvan hit the crossbar.

Fabian Wilnis showed a little bit of trickery to get past Tommy Spurr then hit a low shot not far wide but on the whole the first half was pretty tame.

Wednesday's kit from the back looked like training bibs and at times they played as if it was a training session with Chris Brunt the only player causing problems, although defender Lee Bullen had a shot pushed away by Lewis Price.

The breakthrough came a minute after half-time when Town for once failed to clear a loose ball and Steve MacLean fed Glenn Whelan who got his shot away under pressure from De Vos and wrong-footed Lewis Price.

Again Town pressed and Jeffers claimed for a penalty when he went down under a sandwich tackle from Richard Wood and Steve Watson but referee Rob Styles waved away the appeal.

De Vos was denied by team-mate Alex Bruce, who blocked his goalbound header from a corner, while Price made an excellent stop with a foot from a downward attempt by MacLean.

Moments later MacLean was successful when Kenny Lunt found him unmarked in the area and he buried his shot from 14 yards.

That prompted Magilton to send on Harding and Walters and go with wing-backs. He pushed David Wright and Harding on and Jeffers went in the hole behind Alan Lee and Walters.

Ipswich finished strongly but despite flexing their attacking muscles could not find a way past Turner. Jeffers hit a post with a 25-yard free kick but Harding blazed the follow-up over the bar.

Price again made a vital save with an outstretched foot from Brunt, as did Turner from Lee.

But ultimately The Blues were left needing to learn their lessons.

It is in games like this that the manager is finding out more and more about his players.

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