Sunday Snap: Town lose their lucky charm, another shower scene and Lambert’s Judge joke
Ipswich Town lost 1-0 at Lincoln City yesterday. Andy Warren looks at the events surrounding the match.
So it’s two defeats in a week for Ipswich Town.
There’s a common denominator – and I’m not talking about Toto Nsiala giving away clumsy penalties in both games.
Owner Marcus Evans attended the Blues’ first six league games of the season and witnessed five wins and a draw, before missing Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to Doncaster and then not attending this weekend’s defeat at Lincoln.
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Here’s another common theme.
The last time this column made reference to referee Kevin Johnson, following the 1-1 FA Cup draw with Lincoln a little over a year ago, this is what was written.
‘The standard of refereeing in League One has been questionable (at best) at certain times this season. But the general consensus seems to be that Kevin Johnson may have been the worst yet.
‘He managed to not give a single foul in Ipswich’s favour during the first half (although he did book Hesketh for a late tackle on Myles Kenlock after playing advantage) and was booed on and off the pitch either side of half-time. The ironic cheers when he awarded an Ipswich free-kick within seconds of the restart were as loud as Portman Road had been by that point.’
Town boss Paul Lambert was clearly less than impressed with the man in black this time around, insisting his side were ‘beaten by the referee’. While I wouldn’t go that far, he certainly made some odd decisions.
It started so well...
Clearly this was another disappointing game for Nsiala who, following a string of impressive performances to start the season, has now given away spot kicks in successive games.
But it all started so well as he fired the most beautiful of shots into the top corner from 30 yards during the warm-up, before casually walking away as if nothing had happened.
He started the game well too, showing confidence on the ball and the aerial prowess which appeared to have helped him turn a corner.
But, as it turns out, there’s every chance he could lose his place in the side when Gillingham visit on Tuesday evening.
Making a run for it
It’s happened again.
The Blues were again displaced for an away game due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus, with Ipswich unable to use the away dressing room and instead being housed in a makeshift portacabin located just a few metres away from the pitch. Last time this happened they were in a cider bar at Bristol Rovers, which led to comical post-match scenes where Town’s 18 players had to run the hundred metres from their temporary facilities to the showers, wearing nothing but their pants and a towel.
That was bad enough on a warm September day and I must admit all involved found it a little amusing as they trudged past the waiting press pack.
What’s a little less funny is watching the players do so in the same state of undress during a torrential downpour, following a defeat. This time we had plenty of sympathy.
There’s video evidence above.
Lincoln’s Jorge Grant is the leading scorer in League One this season on six goals.
Ridiculously, five of them have come from the penalty spot.
Ipswich Town and set pieces aren’t mixing particularly well this season.
Freddie Sears, Alan Judge and Gwion Edwards are among those to have tried their luck from free-kicks this season but, more often than not, their combined efforts have tamely hit the wall.
It was the same story in this one, with Edwards the latest offender.
So who’s next? Dozzell clearly fancies it, having tried to take the ball from Edwards at Sincil Bank, while Jack Lankester admitted in his post-match interview that he would love to have a crack.
Then there’s captain Luke Chambers, a man playing with supreme confidence and who has indicating he would be happy to give it a try.
I’d love to see it.
Lambert the joker
Town boss Lambert was in a good mood at his pre-match press conference this week.
For some, unexplained, reason there was a Subbuteo pitch set up in the club’s Playford Road media room, with Lambert drawn to it the moment he walked through the door ahead of his scheduled chat.
But as we waited for him to take his seat, a hand appeared in front of the camera, holding a single Subbuteo figure before Lambert uttered ‘Alan Judge is fit’, poking fun at the Irishman’s diminutive stature.
As it turned out, the midfielder wasn’t fit. Hopefully he wasn’t stepped on and snapped, as was the case with the vast majority of my Subbuteo figures from my youth.