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ITFC v Palace

We arrived at Portman Road filled with optimism at the memory of the first hour of Wednesday's Carling Cup game. Peter, our steward, forecast 4-0; Roy was expecting 3-1; and I predicted 2-1. We were not expecting Magilton to revert to the team that played Sheffield Wednesday last week (apart from a few changes).

The game did not start well although the early melee in the Palace goal mouth could have led to a scrappy goal as easily as to the unexciting clearance that we saw. Later Lisbie passed neatly to Miller for an accurate shot to the right of the goal that was well saved by Speroni for Palace. McAuley headed the resulting corner well wide, however.

Then Wright was called upon twice in quick succession: saving a feeble shot from Carle and trapping another from Beattie. And then, moments later in the 22nd minute, we were ahead when Stead, unmarked, found the back of the net with a ball that Walters had passed low from Lisbie's run up the left wing. I was up dancing and twirling my scarf in the aisle.

Wright looked like a hero two minutes later when he tipped a great header from Moses over the bar but he blew it again by fumbling the corner kick onto Moses head to gift Palace the equalizer. Two minutes! We were ahead for two minutes!

Naylor would have headed us in front again had Peroni not pulled off another great save. This did not settle our players and Naylor's next action was to leave a ball that Wright was also leaving. Beattie siezed the chance but slapped it over the bar.

I was tempted to join the booing when Town lft the field at half-time but I cannot see how we can expect demoralised players to raise their game. And, ultimately, I think that our problem lies with our manager more than with the players. I may be wrong, of course, and Magilton's team talk may have been the cause of the team's bright start to the second half. Within a minute we had the ball in their box but three rapid fire attempts all failed. At the other end Carle shot wide and a few minutes later Wright again punched away a corner instead of catching it; this time with no ill effects because Ifill's shot was way too high.

Our hopes were raised when Bruce made a great run down the wing forcing a corner right in front of us. Miller sent the ball to Lisbie who dropped it on top of the goal. Also in our immediate vision and that of the referee, Beattie hurled himself to the floor trying to get a penalty from Naylor and gained a yellow card instead.

All six substitutions were made during the second half but the replacement of goalscorer Stead by Couñago was so inexplicable that the crowd chanted ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ at Magilton. I have never before heard such indignation aimed at any Town manager. The crowd were much happier to see our old player Shefki Kuqi come on for Palace, despite Warnock's insistence that he wouyld never again play for Palace after gesturing obscenely to gloating fanswhen he was subbed last season.

Campo came on to the field with twenty minutes remaining and immediately improved the standard of play but had little overall effect. A few minutes later Bruce crossed the ball towards the Palace goal to earn a corner, which fell beautifully to McAuley's head. Sadly, his header went high.

There were other chances at each end but the final boos at were deserved, with neither team looking coherent or confident. Our midfield looked inadequate and Wright's continuing failure to hold on to critical balls begins to make his place look like a regretable sentimentality. It seems to me that Magilton must be only one or two results away from losing his job.

A one-all draw from a scruffy game was a disappointment to all of us and we cannot expect much better against Barnsley on Tuesday evening.

Comments

(Anonymous)

Theo, is this really you? What wrote this? No, really, is this really you?

You know, I co-lead the exercise groups at the hospital. Sometimes I think about all those hours, all those excuses I used to make when I was at school, for the sole purpose of avoiding exercise.

I stand in my shoes and I wonder.

Yours philosophically,

Cathy xxx
You may note that I watch without doing.
grin

September 2015

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