Town let chance slip

COULD have won it, should have won it, but didn't because too many people were not doing their jobs properly.Which was a real shame because there were Town players who were performing well and they, like the travelling 2,500 Blues fans in the new Ricoh Arena, were let down.

By Derek Davis

COULD have won it, should have won it, but didn't because too many people were not doing their jobs properly.

Which was a real shame because there were Town players who were performing well and they, like the travelling 2,500 Blues fans in the new Ricoh Arena, were let down.

Gavin Williams looked hungry to impress and succeeded.


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He ran himself virtually into the ground making covering tackles, trying to get Town's passing game going and seeking an opening.

He netted because another player who is getting a second chance was determined to go that extra yard. Sito Castro pushed up the right flank and got the ball inside for Jim Magilton to pump a high ball into the area.

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It was not the best of balls but Andrew Whing is not the best of defenders and headed his supposed clearance straight to Matt Richards.

Here is another player determined to show he deserves to be starting in midfield and he played the ball perfectly for Williams, who volleyed in off the Hungarian keeper Marton Fulop. But as is Town's wont they threw away the advantage in shoddy fashion.

Jay McEvely intercepted well and his ball was picked up by Jimmy Juan, who knocked it to Magilton. But the skipper hesitated, was caught in possession and Gary McSheffrey made the whole side suffer.

The City goal seemed to shake the Blues and their concentration dipped dangerously and Dele Adebola was unmarked at a well-worked free kick and headed wide.

Unbelievably, he was alone again a few moments later but this time scorned the chance by missing from six yards.

Town survived that shaky period and when Darren Currie went on for Magilton, it was one-way traffic.

Currie and Richards combined superbly on the right side of midfield, supported admirably by McEveley, and with Juan settled in the middle, along with the ubiquitous Williams, they caused City all sorts of problems.

Sadly it did not look as if Sam Parkin and Nicky Forster were on the same page.

The better chances started falling for the midfield as Richards capped a good move involving Currie and Williams, with a shot that Hungarian international keeper Fulop smothered. Juan went close with a header, Parkin clattered keeper and defender as he challenged while Bowditch found some space but nodded over.

There was no denying the enthusiasm of 30-year-old Currie, who also tried a shot from range.

The silky winger seems to be suffering from the bizarre fixture list that crams three games into 10 days after a fortnight break, with the manager looking to save him for home games, to the detriment of not starting away.

Richards went on at half-time for Ian Westlake, who was clearly not anywhere near back to his best, and the freshness that he gave shows he is pushing to be a regular starter on merit and not as a stand-in.

Town also have Fabian Wilnis chomping at the bit on the bench, but he needs games to stay sharp and is another whose desire and ability is undiminished even in his advancing years.

In essence, Town were the better side. They had more quality on show but if one or two don't perform to their capability the team are not yet good enough to make up for any deficiencies.

The away draw makes it four games for Town without loss and there were enough good things in the game to give them confidence when it comes to taking on high-flying Reading tomorrow.

In the first half both teams were equally poor in what was a pretty turgid 45 minutes. City clipped a post from skipper Stephen Hughes, while Town old boy James Scowcroft headed over the bar.

Spaniard Sito Castro tied an outrageous 40-yard dipping shot when he saw Fulop off his line but the effort was off target, while fellow full back McEveley had a shot-cum-cross tipped over the bar.

Overall the good football came in patches, mainly from Ipswich, who had two-thirds of the possession but did not show enough guile to really penetrate and lacked a genuine threatening presence up front.

When a City fan trespassed on to the new pitch it created a somewhat interesting diversion while he danced and taunted the stewards who were left flat-footed and slipping over before sheer numbers managed to overwhelm the idiot.

It was not just some of the players who were not doing their job properly.

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