Town making heavy weather of it all

MAYBE they just aren't good enough.Maybe they don't want it enough.Whatever it is, Ipswich are making heavy weather of their attempt to get into the play-offs - never mind the Premier League.

Derek Davis

MAYBE they just aren't good enough.

Maybe they don't want it enough.

Whatever it is, Ipswich are making heavy weather of their attempt to get into the play-offs - never mind the Premier League.

This was a passionless, gutless and by and large a dreadfully poor performance by a team that have aspirations of going head to head with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal next season.

God help them.

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Ipswich could not score against a team that has kept one clean sheet all season, and that goes back 40 games in all competitions.

It was against a side that had not won in 10 matches and who are bottom of the table because they have had all sorts of problems at the back all season.

The Blues defence was a shambles for both goals with skipper Jason De Vos and Sito Castro particularly culpable, so it doesn't bear thinking about what would happen if they were up against the likes of Torres, Ronaldo, Adebayo and Drogba.

Mind you, unless they seriously wake up Ipswich won't get the chance to find out.

Fortunately the next two games are at home where they do tend to look more interested and can turn it on.

With Cardiff inevitably distracted by their FA Cup exploits, Ipswich have a wonderful chance to take full advantage of their game in hand and get some daylight between themselves and Charlton and Plymouth.

On Sunday it is the old enemy across the northern border and a chance to salvage some pride after being humbled by their Essex neighbours who staved off relegation for at least another week with Leicester to play this coming weekend.

With Norwich pretty much safe they will come to Portman Road looking to dent Town's play-off chances in the same way that the U's did and take home the bragging rights for a summer or more.

To ensure they do not slip up against the Bluebirds or the Canaries, Ipswich have to do better than waste the sort of chances Alan Lee was guilty of at Layer Road.

Despite Colchester's nervous start Town could not take advantage and as the game wore on the U's looked more determined to win.

Dean Gerken made a save for the cameras to pluck out a Lee header but didn't have to move when the Town striker sliced another chance hopelessly wide, with just the keeper to beat.

Lee had an appeal for a penalty turned down by Essex official Andy D'Urso who just wasn't interested in the big man's constant appealing and stumbling over.

Town also had a Danny Haynes goal disallowed for offside when he nodded in a powerful Alan Quinn cross from six yards, and it looked a tight decision.

There was nothing tight about Colchester's opener which demonstrated some terrific football by Kevin Lisbie, who was allowed to slip between De Vos and Sito to perfection to get on the end of a John White ball, and then showed great skill to put in a pass for Scott Vernon.

De Vos was totally deceived by Vernon, who took a touch inside him before sliding the ball past Stephen Bywater.

The second goal was not much better from Town's point of view as Vernon got the better of De Vos and then capitalised on Sito's attempted header clear before again beating Bywater with a shot that went in off a post.

The scoreline could have been worse if Lisbie, twisting the Town defenders inside out, had not shot wide, while Johnnie Jackson side-footed wide in front of a gaping net.

Alex Bruce baled out Bywater who made a mistake way outside his area, and the Town keeper made up for it with a fine save to deny Phil Ifill, while Danny Simpson got back to prevent a breakaway goal from Medi Elito.

The on-loan Manchester United defender shot wide, as did Quinn, and unconvincing Town had a couple of efforts saved by Gerken.

Gavin Williams looks as if he is slowly getting back to the high standard we know he is capable of and got forward to decent effect, shooting wide early on and he was a tad unfortunate to get called back for an offside when he would have scored.

Williams also did a good job in the centre of midfield once the under-par Velice Sumulikoski was substituted.

Town are clearly missing the suspended Pablo Counago and perhaps even more so the injured Jon Walters and it can only be hoped when both return it won't be too late because any more performances, and results, like this and Town can kiss goodbye to the play-offs.