Town hit the buffers

IPSWICH Town suffered an early season set-back at Crewe on Saturday as The Railwaymen inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Joe Royle's misfiring side.

FLASH MOBBING is a new phenomenon hitting this country. It is a craze where a group of people turn up somewhere having been told where to go by e-mail or text, and arrive at the destination and do nothing, writes Derek Davis.

Last week a sofa shop was besieged and the hapless manager opened up specially to allow them in. The large peaceful crowd wandered around, poked and prodded a bit, then left with no damage done.

The small Cheshire town of Crewe had its first taste of a variation of flash mobbing on Saturday when a group of footballers arrived in a Gresty Road goalmouth, poked and prodded but did no damage.

Except to themselves of course – oh, and a couple of thousand travelling supporters, and, if they are not careful, their promotion prospects.

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Instead of a furniture manager they met a Trinidad goalkeeper, who was not prepared to let them in and gave the sort of performance rarer than a day without trainspotters at the famous nearby railway station.

The Blues did have two efforts cleared off the line, another hit the woodwork, but it is not enough to blame Lady Luck or cry foul when you are forced to lose your Rock of Gibraltar because he does his job so aggressively, but fairly.

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Top teams create their own luck and their chances and when they do they take them. Richard Naylor, who also did well at the back, headed a Jim Magilton corner against the crossbar, Tommy Miller had a header cleared off the line by David Wright and a Pablo Counago shot was belted away by Chris McCready before it went in.

Marcus and Darren Bent were still shaking their heads afterwards at how they could have squandered so many chances, but no one can deny they are working and trying their best. In Darren's case he is getting in the right positions, in Marcus's he could be working harder than ever but is always getting into the right areas.

Ince made a reaction save to deny each of the forwards, and made a blistering one-handed stop to thwart Fabian Wilnis. But talking bad luck, or ruing misfortune, wears thin after a short while and Town fans want to see the deadly trio who hit 49 goals between them last season and were so prolific in pre-season, not the threesome who have failed to find the net in three outings so far.

Of course, there is no need to panic. We are just halfway through August, two league games into the campaign, and two wins this month would put a new complexion on things, but at the moment that is simply not good enough.

It is not good enough that their only league goal came from a last- minute penalty at home, agreed against a decent team, but it was not good enough to go to Crewe and lose. Accepted, Crewe played well, especially first half, and looked a decent side, but it will be a surprise if they finish above mid-table and if Town have serious promotion ambitions they need to win at places like Crewe.

The Alex shaded the first half. Dean Ashton, a team-mate of Darren Bent's for the England Under-21s game against Croatia at Upton Park, was particularly menacing and forced Kelvin Davis into making good saves His strike partner Steve Jones, plucked from non-league Leigh RMI for a knockdown £150,000 did too, and the pair enjoyed good service from their midfield.

Town deployed a 4-4-2 in the first half, with Martijn Reuser and Tommy Miller virtually redundant. In the second half the Dutchman was sacrificed for Counago and Miller got into the game more as he played tighter to Jermaine Wright, who adopted the holding role in place of Georges Santos.

The big Frenchman was taken off to prevent him being sent off after a harsh early booking for a robust challenge on Dave Brammer, who went down clutching an ankle while Santos demonstrated he had won the ball cleanly and fairly – and he had a strong case.

The second 'offence' earned him a warning after he went into the back of so-called hardman Justin Cochrane, who went down very easily. After that it was clear the official was going to produce a red card at the merest excuse.

The 4-3-3 produced more in terms of chances but the change also paved the way for Alex to score. Wright had been caught straight after the break and the ball went out wide for Jones, whose low cross was just behind Rix who tried to drag it back but Davis pounced.

Rix went past Wright into the space in front of the back line and Diallo tripped the tricky former trainee. Lunt curled his free kick over the wall from 25 yards, with the help of a slight deflection into Davis' top right-hand corner.

But it is not really the systems that are wrong, it is the ability to bang the ball into the net.

The game is about goals – not flash mobbers turning up and not producing an end product.

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