Match Reports

Ipswich sink Hatters

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After the turmoil of midweek a sunny Saturday and, with a new striker signed from Liverpool, grounds for optimism.

Brian Stein’s first game in charge and, pre-arrival, hopes that he would be a new broom. Hopes dashed with a teamsheet including the same old names:


Keane Barnett Carlisle Emanuel

Foley Heikkinen Robinson Bell

Idrizaj Talbot

No sign of Spring (presumably still injured) or Morgan even on the bench.

A good hand for Brian Stein, wearing a smart suit and blue shirt, having presumably eschewed the coaching role. Maybe no bad thing given how ineffectual our set piece play has been at both ends.

For Ipswich not exactly a role-call of star names, though man-mountain Jason de Vos has been a thorn in our side for many seasons, and Sylvain Legwinski has some Premiership pedigree..

A bright start from the Town, but a very bobbly pitch and a busy midfield meant it was tight. Nonetheless the early pressure was ours, with the first shot a rather disappointing effort from Keith Keane. Idrizaj looked promising but again the pitch restricted his ability to dribble effectively.

On 9 minutes the Town gained their first corner after Drew performed his trademark maneuver, a flicked head on and sharp turn getting the better of his man. Swung in dangerously by Bell, but cleared, from the resulting play Clarke Carlisle hit a belter from the edge of the box which was tipped over.

Again the corner was swung in well, and a third corner a few minutes later, as the Town pressure mounted. Looking good for a change.

Sylvain Legwinski was subbed after 25 minutes following a crunching tackle by Robbo, who was certainly putting the yards in (unlike the almost completely static Heikkinen, looking like Christopher Robin lost in midfield). On 30 minutes Beresford came to the penalty spot to claim a free-kick cross and failed to get anywhere near the ball, taking an alarmingly long time to get back to his goal-line too. But fortunately Ipswich failed to hit the target.

On 36 minutes a terrible pass from Robbo in our half forced Emanuel to give the ball away, and after Idrizaj tackled back a bit too fiercely on the left touchline, the inevitable happened – a chance for a set-piece. From the freekick Alex Bruce volleyed past a rooted Beresford and onto the Town crossbar. The ball bounced back into play and Alan Lee headed home from 6 yards.

0-1, from Ipswich`s second attack.

Immediately the fans turned, chanting “Wheres the money gone?” Somehow it avoided getting ugly, with the much more pleasant “Who put the ball in the Arsenal net?”

But the goal (as usual) changed the balance of the game, with Ipswich getting a bit of momentum. It could easily have been 0-2 by half-time. But it wasn’t, and the crowd tried to lift the players as they went off, and again gave Stein loud support.

For a change the Town subs spent a few minutes in the dressing-room, presumably ‘doing tactics’. And my God the Town made some changes at half-time too!

Feeney for Idrizaj – immediately halving our attacking threat and, inexplicably, Coyne for Emanuel, who had looked very solid first half, with Barnett going to left back. Foley and Bell switched wings, Bell now playing right-side..

Predictably it made little difference, with the Town petering out as an attacking force after D’Urso ruled against us on the two occasions the ball was forced home, and booked Barnett for standing his ground as the Ipswich keeper ran into him.

And with 60 minutes gone it was all over, as from a rare Ipswich attack down the right a cross into the 6-yard box produced the usual incompetence, Beresford coming for and failing to collect an easy cross just 3 yards out, flapping in vain at a centre forward whose header across the box gave an easy tap-in to Matt Richards.


The atmosphere turned very nasty, with very vocal criticism of the Board and finger poiting accusations directly at Mitrchell and Tomlins from the Kenilworth enclosure, resulting in departure of said directors.

It was hard to concentrate on the game as the Ipswich fans joined in the chants of “Where`s the money gone?” and “Sack the Board”, and it took Stein a further 17 minutes to decide that maybe we needed to try something different. An extra striker, Runstrom. But who to take off? Well to those of us watching the answer was obvious, with Heikkinen -playing the role of UN Observer in midfield, but of course the management saw it differently. Off went the industrious Foley, and with him whatever remaining hope there was.

Game over.

At least the team and Stein were applauded off at the end, but what they made of it all is anyone`s guess. I can`t see how a young player questioning his future would want to stay in such a horrid atmosphere for next season.


Beresford 1 Even worse than usual, and continues to receive ironic cheers when he manages to catch something.
Keane 7 yet another strong and confident performance
Barnett 5 out of sorts but tried hard
Carlisle 6 solid and committed
Emanuel 7 looked very good until inexplicably withdrawn
Foley 6 better performance than Tues and combined well again with Keane
Heikkinen 1 seems to have lost the desire or ability to move
Robinson 6 ran hard but as crap as usual when he actually had the ball
Bell 8 seemed unaffected by the poor pitch, and easily the best player on the pitch again
Talbot 7 typical ceaseless effort and cheek from Drew
Idrizaj 5 no real service to judge by


Feeney 1 yet another useless sumo-wrestling display. Thank God he is refusing to sign a new contract
Coyne 5 pushed and cheated and got away with it
Runstrom 6 seemed up for it but not on for long enough to make a difference


Stein 4 left his new broom at home and stuck with the same-old failures. Took too long to bring on a third striker, and seems to have a blind spot for Beresford, Robinson, and now Heikkinen

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Hill, Stein, Walsh, Donaghy, Harford