Ipswich show just how quickly things can change... but late heartbreak shouldn’t hide the positives
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
The last two Ipswich Town games have shown just how quickly things can change in football.
First there was the ecstasy of the snatched point at Hull on Saturday.
Then the agony of letting a lead slip at the death at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
Town have been on both sides of it over the last five days, with Atdhe Nuhiu’s stoppage-time leveller for the Owls particularly galling given what had gone before.
There seemed so many positives as the Blues looked to see out the televised clash following goals from Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn.
Garner’s was timely, snapping a run of seven games without a goal following a midweek pep-talk from manager Mick McCarthy.
Waghorn’s header was expertly placed, again signalling just how big an asset he has become following a now-bargain switch from Rangers.
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Then there was the return of Emyr Huws, who had an impact within just three minutes of his introduction as he scooped the ball back into the box superbly for Waghorn to expertly head home.
The Welshman looked bright as he made his return having missed the entirety of the season to date following an Achilles injury, playing in an advanced midfield role which allowed him to link Town’s stingy defence with their attack.
Callum Connolly’s best performance in a Town shirt was another positive which contributed to a real sense of good feeling inside Portman Road, as the Blues edged their way towards a victory which would have seen them move to within a point of the play-off places. But all those positives were quickly forgotten after Nuhiu’s header.
A triumphant cheer would have greeted the Blues after a job well done, but instead a few murmured boos slipped out from small sections of the support at the final whistle.
Instead of discussion of just how good an Ipswich side including Huws can be, much of the chatter on social media after the game focussed on Freddie Sears’ inability to keep the ball in the corner and whether Adam Webster could have done more to stop the 6ft 6inch Kosovo international striker’s thundering header.
Manager Mick McCarthy was rightly proud of his side’s display, as they limited Wednesday to only two shots on target and looked set to play stoppage time out to victory.
But the manager arrived for his post-match press conference downbeat, talking of his pride in his side’s display without the grin three points would have afforded him.
Things can change so quickly and Ipswich have found out the hard way.