Ipswich 2-1 Wolves
There were a number of factors that were of Interest going into this game.
The need to get back to winning ways after a frustrating derby game against Birmingham, the loss of form of certain players and the prospect of coming up against familiar faces in McCarthy, Connor, Hunt and Berra.
Connor and Hunt got a particularly warm round of applause at the end of the game, all the more surprising considering what had just gone on on the pitch.
There is no way of glossing over anything, it was a poor performance.
Even when you consider both goals Town scored were capitalising on Wolves mistakes, there was really only going to be one winner. Ipswich wanted it more, showed more fight and desire and played to their strengths.
All characteristics of Wolves circa. 2009 even to the extent of the pitch being watered to ridiculous levels to stop the opposition playing.
This was no more evident than after just two minutes when Doherty slipped allowing McGoldrick a clear run on goal which Carl Ikeme saved low down.
The surface water even effected the normally dependable Ikeme who uncharacteristically dropped a routine cross after 15 minutes.
Apart from where Clarke had a decent chance when he was through on goal which he tamely hit straight at the keeper it had been all Ipswich so it was no surprise at all when they took the lead.
McDonald had possession of the ball on the edge of the six yard box and there looked like there was no danger whatsoever and he would clear his lines.
Instead he tried to dribble out and got caught on the ball, leading to it falling to Murphy who curled the ball brilliantly beyond Ikeme’s reach.
It could have been more just before half time when a header from a corner was totally unmarked.
Apart from a few soft dives from Clarke and Jacobs, Wolves hadn’t done enough to warrant going in with anything at half time.
As the second half kicked off, the 800 plus traveling faithful were hoping for a repeat of the second half performance at Leeds where it looked like a completely different team. And to start with it seemed that would be the case.
Within a minute Sako blazed over from the edge of the box as Wolves piled on the pressure. When Henry’s cross missed everyone and went straight in from 35 yards out it looked like things were going to change.
Ipswich then came at Wolves and piled ball after ball into the box, with Batth and Doherty in particular throwing their bodies on the line.
Possibly the best chance of the game fell to Clarke soon after though. As Wolves broke the ball fell to Sako on the half way line who put in a deep pin point cross which Clarke hit first time and the ball trickled narrowly wide.
All this pressure then fell by the wayside with the stupidest error of the season so far. With no pressure on him and in possession of the ball on the half way line, Evans turned back and tried to chip the ball to Ebanks-Landell rather than pass forward or down the line. Somehow he didn’t see a bright blue Ipswich shirt in the way. the ball was slipped through to Murphy, who was then one on one with Ikeme. It was a cool chipped finish but maybe the keeper could have stood up for longer.
With that the heads dropped. Stupid mistakes started being made all over the pitch, passes either too short or too long, runs into offside positions and general disarray.
After all that, Wolves nearly nicked a point at the death with Sako being involved in both. First with 2 minutes of normal time remaining a free kick 30 yards out was blasted way over rather than being chipped into the box.
And finally when Van La Parra had a free kick on the edge of the box in injury time, the ball was played into Sako who completely missed the ball.
2-1 was a fair result and in truth it could have been more.
General observations are too plenty to list here but things are sticking out like saw thumbs.
Kevin McDonald is a shadow of the player he was last season, the 2nd half at Leeds aside. He looks like he needs a rest as does Evans. With Golbourne injured though, there is only Saville to come in as Rowe is needed at left back.
Now is also the time to bring back Stearman as Ebanks-Landell clearly isn’t ready or good enough for this level. If things are kept the same then I do fear a humiliation is on the cards in front of the Sky audience on Saturday.