Weather report not good for Town

IF John Kettley were to use the weather as an analogy of Ipswich Town's season then the short summary would probably be – unpredictable.The BBC correspondent, who gave the opposition's fan's view in the EADT's pre-match preview, had warned the day would be 'benign'.

IF John Kettley were to use the weather as an analogy of Ipswich Town's season then the short summary would probably be – unpredictable.

The BBC correspondent, who gave the opposition's fan's view in the EADT's pre-match preview, had warned the day would be 'benign'.

He was spot-on. Although sunny and chilly there was no discernible wind or poor weather to put the players off.

But that did not stop the Blues from looking a right shower in the first half, as they were caught in a Claret's storm.


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Burnley breezed down the flanks like the wind battering the coastline off Dogger Bank.

Fabian Wilnis had recovered from a 'frozen' shoulder but felt like he had been left out in the cold when he was hauled off after half an hour when Town were two down.

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The Dutchman had bravely battled back to play, ignored a gash on his ankle, and the sore shoulder, to prove he could play and so Joe Royle shoved him in, pulling Drissa Diallo to left back in order to give Matt Richards a rest.

At first glance it seemed a sensible move but it didn't work.

Paul Weller soon had Ipswich in a jam as he swept past Wilnis before firing in a powerful shot towards the Town goal.

Kelvin Davis saved but Glen Little reacted first and crashed in the rebound for his second goal in two league games, after going 10 months without scoring.

Little was enjoying much success against his former team-mate as Diallo struggled to cope with the incessant waves of attack and the abuse from the Turf Moor crowd, who dampened his return.

The Ipswich defence bent like a field of wheat in a gale force wind as Robbie Blake hit an out-swinging corner which was met by an unmarked David May, who headed down past a dismayed Davis for his first goal in six months.

The home crowd chanted 'we want six' – a reference to the 6-1 stuffing they suffered in October, at Portman Road and the way Town were playing it looked a possibility.

Richards was restored to left-back, Diallo went to the right flank and Wilnis trudged gloomily down the tunnel like a man caught in a deluge with nothing on but shorts and a T-shirt.

Town got to the break without further damage and, indeed, launched a few counter attacks of their own, with Jermaine Wright having a couple of goes. Miller hit a couple straight to the keeper, while Diallo could have silenced the boo-boys but weakly headed a Magilton free kick wide of a post.

Half-time saw Pablo Counago go on in place of The Guinea international, to spearhead a three-man attack, as Town went on the offensive. A wise move as Town clearly struggle to defend.

It almost paid off instantly when Counago headed in a Magilton free kick, but he and Richard Naylor were offside.

The Spaniard also poked the ball in from close range, but Jensen was judged to have had both hands on the ball and Counago was booked. A stupid booking as he had every right to go for the ball, and it comes to something when a player is cautioned for doing his job.

There was a sense that Ipswich could open Burnley up, but they were caught out by another set piece when Kuqi's headed clearance from a Blake free kicks went straight to Richard Chaplow, who hit a wonderful volley from 20 yards straight back into the net.

The 18-year-old had made his England Under-21 debut, the first Burnley player to ever win a cap at that level, when he appeared with Darren Bent last week in the win over Holland, with the Town striker scoring the winner.

But Bent was not on that sort of form, highlighted by a wild shot which went for a corner.

Not that his strike partner Kuqi was in a much better vein, as he managed to put the ball behind for a goal kick with his left foot as he went to try and score with his right.

It was that sort of day. But Ipswich did score and set up an exciting finish. Wright strode purposefully forward before spreading the ball wide for Bent.

He pulled the ball back for Westlake who made a good run into the area before finishing from eight yards.

It was a goal similar to the one they combined to score against Bradford the week before. Only this time the Town supporters behind the opposite goal took some time to realise it had crept in under Jensen, and it was only when the players starting running back for the restart did they cheer.

The 1,000 or so Town support was the largest away following at Turf Moor so far this season. They had more to cheer a couple of minutes from time when substitute Martijn Reuser hit a superb free kick into the top right-hand corner of the net as he faced the goal.

Another fight-back looked on the cards but even though Richards hit a post with a rasping drive, Bent headed wide and Magilton fired straight at the keeper. It was not to be.

Burnley, who earlier had a penalty appeal turned down when Little went over in the area, caught Town with a classic sucker punch.

Chaplow played the ball over the top, Little beat the offside trap and then unselfishly slid the ball to an unmarked Blake to tap in for his 18th goal of the season.

No one expected Town to lose at Burnley, but that has been the unpredictability of Ipswich in this campaign.

They have had four seasons in one. Stormy periods interspersed with bright spells. And while the forecast remains cloudy, the sun often shines after the rain.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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