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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

‘The table never lies’ – are Ipswich Town where they deserve to be in the Championship table?

PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 March 2018

Jordan Spence (left) celebrates his late equaliser at Hull with Freddie Sears. Photo: Pagepix

Jordan Spence (left) celebrates his late equaliser at Hull with Freddie Sears. Photo: Pagepix

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It’s often said in football that ‘the table doesn’t lie’. With Ipswich Town currently 13th after 34 games, STUART WATSON looks back on the ifs, buts and maybes of their season.

Town players celebrate Jordan Spence's late winner at Millwall. Photo: PagepixTown players celebrate Jordan Spence's late winner at Millwall. Photo: Pagepix

AUG 15: MILLWALL (A) W 4-3

Jordan Spence headed home a dramatic 88th minute winner in this topsy-turvy seven-goal thriller when a draw, arguably, would have been a fairer reflection of a frenetic encounter.

Credit to the Blues for digging deep for another comeback win on their travels though.

VERDICT: 2 points gained

Terry Connor tries to console a disappointed Bartosz Bialkowski after his costly error in the 3-2 defeat at at Leeds United. Photo: PagepixTerry Connor tries to console a disappointed Bartosz Bialkowski after his costly error in the 3-2 defeat at at Leeds United. Photo: Pagepix

SEPT 23: LEEDS (A) L 3-2

No doubt about it, Town deserved at least a point for their efforts at Elland Road. Mick McCarthy’s men produced 13 shots, forced 12 corners and dominated possession for long spells against the then table-toppers.

Sadly, Bartosz Bialkowski fumbling an inswinging corner over the line proved the difference.

James Maddison jumps for joy after scoring Norwich's winner at Portman Road. Photo: Steve WallerJames Maddison jumps for joy after scoring Norwich's winner at Portman Road. Photo: Steve Waller

VERDICT: 1 point dropped

OCT 22: NORWICH (H) L 1-0

Pre-match there was a lot of talk about how the quality gap between the sides had narrowed and how this was Town’s best chance in the East Anglian derby for years. What followed backed up those assertions.

Thrills the Town fans, Bersant Celina. Photo: PAGE PIXThrills the Town fans, Bersant Celina. Photo: PAGE PIX

Town started with real intensity. Jonas Knudsen struck the post in the fifth minute, then David McGoldrick put an unmarked close-range header over the bar not long before the break.

It was Norwich who broke the deadlock when James Maddison guided the ball home from the edge of the box (59). A comeback never looked likely from that point onwards, but the Blues can feel like defeat was a harsh scoreline.

VERDICT: 1 point dropped

Atdhe Nuhiu scores an injury time equaliser for Sheffield Wednesday at Portman Road. Photo: Steve WallerAtdhe Nuhiu scores an injury time equaliser for Sheffield Wednesday at Portman Road. Photo: Steve Waller

OCT 28: BURTON (A) W 2-1

This game will always be remembered for late super-sub Bersant Celina celebrating like mad after curling home an 89th minute free-kick winner and Mick McCarthy’s subsequent colourful comments.

It’s easy to forget that the Blues were pretty dire in this match. They rode their luck big time in the first half and had Bartosz Bialkowski to thank for a couple of smart stops. Ben Turner headed the Brewers in front (57) before Martyn Waghorn’s rifled effort (66) turned the tide.

Again, a draw may have been a fairer reflection.

Callum Connolly scores his early goal at Derby. Photo: PagepixCallum Connolly scores his early goal at Derby. Photo: Pagepix

VERDICT: 2 points gained

NOV 18: HULL CITY (A) D 2-2

A hard one to judge this. One point gained or two points dropped?

Luke Chambers jumps to celebrate after scoring a late goal at Carrow Road. Photo: PagepixLuke Chambers jumps to celebrate after scoring a late goal at Carrow Road. Photo: Pagepix

Town had Hull on the ropes in the opening exchanges and perhaps they should have pushed harder for a killer second after McGoldrick’s early opener.

A neat trick and unfortunate deflection led to Jarrod Bowen’s leveller (34), while a defensive error by Luke Chambers preceded Nouha Dicko putting the hosts in front (51).

McGoldrick had a poor penalty saved by Allan McGregor (74) before Spence toed home a deserved late equaliser (88).

VERDICT: Fair result

Luke Chambers with Bersant Celina after the recent 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff. Photo: Steve WallerLuke Chambers with Bersant Celina after the recent 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff. Photo: Steve Waller

NOV 22: SHEFF WEDS D 2-2

An undisputable case of two points dropped.

Joe Garner’s finish (49) was cancelled out by Gary Hooper’s penalty (64), but Waghorn’s superb header (70) had the Blues on track for what looked a deserved three points.

Towering striker Atdhe Nuhiu, on as a late sub, climbed highest in the box to score four minutes into added time though after Town had unsuccessfully attempted to run down the clock.

VERDICT: 2 points dropped

DEC 30: DERBY (A) W 1-0

Callum Connolly netted an expert fifth minute header and Town then produced a back-to-the-wall defensive display to secure all three points.

Derby had 14 shots on goal but, in truth, never looked like scoring. McCarthy said: “There was nothing lucky about that.”

VERDICT: Fair result

FEB 18: NORWICH (A) D 1-1

This felt like a defeat after Chambers’ late header (89) was cancelled out by Timm Klose’s finish deep into stoppage-time.

Once again there had been little between the sides. Town were the better team in the first half, while Norwich were on top in the second period.

VERDICT: Fair result

FEB 21: CARDIFF (H) L 1-0

Town can rightly feel they deserved more for their efforts. McCarthy’s new-look 3-4-3 system caught Cardiff by surprise and the Blues played some slick football without creating many clear-cut chances.

Kenneth Zohore’s winner (66) came after an apparent handball. Town were then denied a late penalty when Greg Halford tangled with Cameron Carter-Vickers.

McCarthy said: “If it had finished nil-nil I think that would have been a fair result.”

VERDICT: Point dropped

OVERALL VERDICT

Four points gained and five dropped. The table doesn’t lie!

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