It's 8.45 on Saturday morning and so far our match is still going ahead but as a number of other games have been cancelled due to Covid, we could make ground on a rival or two if we can win today. Of late we've failed to deliver when we've been in this situation but I've a feeling we'll do well this afternoon. The first fifteen minutes or so against Plymouth contained some of the very best football I've seen us play for a long time and we also defended well later in the game. Hopefully Gooch will be fit as he and Dajaku tortured the Plymouth defence. Ipswich are mid-table and have won only one in their last five. It sounds like Hume will be in the squad so it's good to have someone back instead of losing another player. I’ll be listening to the game on SAFSEE and my match prediction is a 2-1 win for us.
I got home late and didn’t get the team-news till 2.45 but Gooch was starting and it looked like the same side as last time out. Ipswich had made five changes apparently. I tuned in to SAFSEE still feeling optimistic.
Ipswich won an early corner but we dealt with it without any problem. They continued to do most of the pressing and after Norwood had shot so wide that the ball went for a throw to us they soon won another corner. After ten minutes we’d barely had a sniff and when Penney had shot just over the bar it sounded like Ipswich were going to score any minute. Things weren’t helped by several of our players slipping over. After fifteen minutes there was an injury break and all our players gathered round AJ to get some coaching in an attempt to stem the tide. There was no immediate change as Ipswich soon won another corner but we finally managed a couple of attacks so whatever LJ had said had permeated through. We were giving Burns a lot of space down our left and he’d been involved in many of their attacks so far. Anyway, by the half-hour mark it was still goalless so we’d weathered the storm and actually Hoffmann hadn’t really had too much to do despite all the pressure. Elsewhere Wigan were 2-0 ahead, the second scored by Max Power, and Rotherham were drawing 0-0. With ten minutes to the break Dajaku was down injured for four minutes or more while the home fans booed impatiently. In the end he had to be substituted by the returning Hume. He was taken of by a golf-buggy and that lightened the mood of the home fans though it was a big blow to us. Hume moved into the left hand side and Gooch switched over. Not surprisingly seven minutes of stoppage-time were announced and next thing Ipswich took the lead when Norwood headed home form six yards out. It remained 1-0 at the break. Could we turn it around in the second-half? We’d have to do something drastic as we hadn’t really started yet and Walton in the Ipswich goal had barely touched the ball.
We started the second period more brightly and it didn’t take us long to get back on level terms as in the fiftieth minute a great pass from Neil found Broadhead and he slotted it past Walton. Next thing Winchester was yellow-carded for a foul and he lost his rag with our dug-out for reasons unknown. We sounded good for another goal before long and a decent effort from Stewart bounced off Walton, who was probably still warming up after his inactive first-half. Elsewhere Oxford had pulled two goals back against Wigan. Ipswich were still full of vim and the rest of the game was clearly going to be a battle. Flanagan joined Winchester in ref Thomas Bramall’s book around the hour-mark and not wishing to be left out, Stewart took one for the team after Hume had allowed Ipswich to advance. We brought on Embleton for Pritchard not long afterwards. Norwood was subbed with just over twenty minutes left and I was glad to hear him go. Ipswich were starting to get on top again and perhaps we were going to get a repeat of last week’s closing stages. We won our first corner with just over ten minutes to go and promptly won another. The Ipswich fans had gone quiet at last. We immediately won a third corner but this time Walton caught it. We made a very late substitution replacing Broadhead with O’Brien as both sides continued to go for the winner. Ipswich won a corner in the last minute and Flanagan headed it away before four minutes of stoppage-time were announced. It ended 1-1.
Though I’m glad we battled back to win an away point, I’m disappointed it wasn’t three especially as Rotherham and Wigan both won and put more distance between us. We’ll just have to wait and see how serious Dajaku’s injury is but it wasn’t looking good.