Monday verdict: Charity can’t keep continuing at home for Ipswich Town
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
It’s said that charity begins at home. Well Ipswich Town have been showing a little too much of that this season.
The Blues finished the 2014/15 campaign with the joint-best home record in the Championship, claiming sixth spot thanks largely to their Portman Road record of 15 wins, five draws and just three defeats.
This season their Suffolk home has been nowhere near that intimidating fortress that opposition hated travelling long distances to.
Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Wolves saw the continuation of a worrying theme that is beginning to develop. That’s four draws from the last five on home turf for Town, each one every bit as frustrating as the last.
It started with the 1-1 draw with Birmingham back on a Friday night in September when Ipswich were guilty of some serious second half profligacy in front of goal. Then came the 2-2 stalemate with Bristol City, a game which Mick McCarthy’s men looked mightly comfortable in at 1-0 up only to concede two, soft quickfire goals.
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The goalless draws with Huddersfield and Cardiff raised hope that Town had got back to their defensive best and that it was just a case of the attack needing to click. Well the latter has happened – only for the soft goals to start going in at the other end again.
At the weekend, Jonathan Douglas and Daryl Murphy put the finishing touches to well-worked goals in either half and the Blues, for the third successive game, impressed going forwards.
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They were not able to show the same ruthlessness in their own box though as twice Wolves found levellers.
Yes, Kenny Jackett’s men deserve plaudits for their never-say-die spirit, but it must be said they look a shadow of the attacking dynamic outfit they were with Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko in the side.
Equaliser number one came from a poorly defended corner, while equaliser number two arrived after no pressure was put on the crosser before the defence stood static as Benik Afobe headed home.
Only five teams conceded fewer goals than Town in 2014/15, but that’s 25 goals leaked in the opening 17 games of this campaign now – eight more than at this stage of last season.
Convert two of those home draws into wins and Town would be sitting in sixth spot. Convert three of them into victories and they would be hot-on-the-heels of leaders Hull.
As it is, they are 10th and three points adrift of the play-off places ahead of a trio of televised games – Charlton (a), Middlesbrough (h) and MK Dons (a).