Absolutely shocking from Town

Ipswich Town 0 Southampton 3THIS was truly shocking.Shocking that a Blues side could go down so comprehensibly to a team battling against the dop.

Derek Davis

Ipswich Town 0 Southampton 3

THIS was truly shocking.

Shocking that a Blues side could go down so comprehensibly to a team battling against the dop.


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Shocking that an Ipswich side could be outplayed for large parts of the game and concede three more poor goals,

Shocking that a side with aspirations of playing in the Premier League could look second best in terms of effort, belief and spirit.

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It could even have been worse as Southampton had two goals disallowed, although five would have been harsh.

Town did have ago in the second half when it was still just 1-0 and Alex Bruce hit the crossbar while David Norris had an effort cleared off the line.

But Jason Euell got his second and then Martin Paterson got his first ever goal and Town were booed off with manager Jim Magilton jeered as he traipsed towards the tunnel.

After a lucky win against Nottingham Forest for the only home win in seven league games, followed by a good win at QPR, Town came into this game in good heart even though they had lost at Preston.

An injury to groin strain victim Moritz Volz meant just one change for Town from the side that lost at Preston with Pim Balkestein starting at centre half with Alex Bruce shuffling across to right back.

Southampton were missing Adam Lallana through injury which he picked up after arriving in Suffolk and Morgan Schnederlin coming in was their only change from the side that beat Cardiff on Saturday.

Saints playing decent stuff and created good early chance with slick passing but Andrew Surman's 20-yard shot was blocked by Gareth McAuley.

McAuley, who showed his assuredness with a calm header down for Wright early on, will be missed when he misses the game at Wolves through a one match suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season at Preston, although Iv�n campo should be fit in time to come in.

Rudi Skacel, who turned down the chance to join Town was at left back and overlapped well causing problems.

Ipswich struggled to clear their lines and when they did Jon Stead hit a wild shot over the bar.

Pablo Counago did not fare much better after he battled to get into a shooting position

Twice in quick succession, Marek Saganowski, threatened but his cross was over hot the first time then skipper Gareth McAuley recovered from his own error to get back and clear.

Saganowski had a better chance when a Morgan Scheiderlin ball over the top almost caught out Town but Richard Wright had learned his lesson from the goal he conceded at Preston and so was able to take the forward's header and not be caught out again.

Saints thought they had got the goal they deserved in the 28th minute when Jan-Paul Saejis nodded in a Surman free kick but the goal was chalked off by referee Andy D'Urso for a push on Balkestein.

There was no disputing the goal a couple of minutes later though when Jason Euell showed great agility to turn in a header from another Surman free kick.

It was Euell's first goal of the season after joining from Middlesbrough last August, in fact he had not scored since April last year.

That woke Town up to some extent and goal scorer Euell was Saints saviour at the other end when he headed off the line from a Norris chip after Kelvin Davis had punched straight to the Blues midfielder.

Alex Bruce also had a great chance when an Alan Quinn free kick was nodded down to him by Southampton centre half Chris Perry but his shot appeared to take a slight deflection and bounced off the top of the bar, although the referee refused to give a corner.

The last five minutes of the half were frenetic with the play swinging from end to end with both sides going close to scoring.

Jon Stead for Town with overhead kick from a corner and the Saints when a low Skacel ball whizzed across the six-yard area but Saganowski failed to find the killer touch.

Town needed half-time to regroup and made two changes with Kevin Lisbie and Jon Walters replacing Stead and Civelli respectively.

Walters went wide right to provide width with Norris going to the left and Lisbie livened up the Town attack.

Balkestein almost got his goal for Ipswich when he headed over from a corner, although Town fans in the North Stand were still shouting for a penalty.

He forced a terrific save from former Town keeper Davis who turned a low drive behind a post.

But it was his opposite number, and former loan player at Southampton Richard Wright who was the busier keeper.

Wright got behind a Surnam effort and was well-positioned to deal with a vicious shot on the run by David McGoldrick.

He was well beaten by another McGoldrick effort after he cut in from the right but fortunately his shot curled outside the far post.

But he did magnificently well to turn another shot around a post and was out sharply to block a Saganowski effort.

But it all went wrong five minutes from time when a ball over the top from Simon Gillett caught out Town and although Wright blocked Euell's first effort he could do nothing when the big man had time to retrieve the ball and turn, unchallenged, the ball into an empty net.

It got worse for Town when substitute Matthew Paterson, with his first touch a minute after going on, scored with a low drive from 25-yards.

Town fans responded by chanting “What a load of rubbish” while the travelling Saints supporters were singing “We are staying up”.

The only crumb of comfort for Town fans is that the result hurts Norwich as much as them.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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