It was another dreadful display by Ipswich Town this evening at Portman Road, and the final result had an air of inevitability about it. From the first moment we gazed at the team sheet, there were mutterings from the crowd that we would need a miracle to attain a victory and so sadly, it was to prove. But perhaps the worst aspect of this sorry defeat was the Blues apparent lack of collective belief.
To give Brett McGavin a debut in a game of this significance was rather bewildering, to say the least, and so too was the absence of Luke Woolfenden in defence. Town failed to put any pressure on the Fleetwood defence in the first half and on their first-ever visit to Portman Road, the visitors took a deserved lead when substitute Ched Evans put them in front, with just five minutes of the first half remaining.
This was a hugely disjointed performance throughout from the Blues and although Jon Nolan had a shot cleared off the line in the second half and 18-year-old debutant Tyreece Simpson made their goalkeeper make a save when he came on for the last 30 minutes, it was arguably the worst home display of the season.
This was a must-win game and Ipswich Town failed the audition miserably. Manager Paul Lambert made some bizarre changes this evening but he was largely gambling because of the lack of options he had. Losing your two main strikers is bad enough and then to lose talisman Flynn Downes really put the nail in the Town coffin, and the lack of a goal threat was blatantly apparent before a ball was kicked.
The home crowd faithful are not happy with Lambert but are much more angry with owner Marcus Evans, whom they repeatedly called for him to leave.
The six changes this evening further exacerbated the situation but the strange notion that Neil Warnock, at 71 years, would in some way be the answer to our prayers is illusory at best. The ambitions of Ipswich Town football club ended this evening, and what next is quite simply anybody’s guess?
One thing is certain. All those Tractor Boys and Tractor Girls do not deserve this but like life itself, everything is in a bit of a flux at this moment, and this is quite frankly, the worst period that I have witnessed in more than 50 years of supporting the Town.
Ipswich Town: Holy, Donacien, Earl, Chambers (captain), Wilson, Nolan (Bishop 75), Judge, Dozzell, Garbutt, McGavin (Sears 46), Keane (Simpson 60). Unused subs: Norris, Edwards, Woolfenden, Dobra.
Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Coyle, Andrew, Connolly (Evans 16), Souttar, Burns, Whelan, Coutts (captain), Madden, Gibson, McKay (Sowerby 74). Unused subs: Crellin, Morris, Thervaldsson, Saunders, Holgate.
Referee this evening was Neil Hair from Cambridgeshire.
Attendance: 15,678 fo which 88 came from Fleetwood.