There were more than 24,000 people at Portman Road yesterday to witness the renaissance of Ipswich Town. The result might not have been what we had all hoped for but the atmosphere generated by the supporters indeed was. This was a throwback to the good old days when the place was rocking. Even before a ball had been kicked in earnest, the decibel level was exceedingly high and Town’s performance – especially in the first half certainly warranted it.
Everton loanee Luke Garbett was once again the star of the show, and his individual piece of brilliance which gave us an early lead brought everyone to their feet! He is just what Ipswich Town football club needed, and we can only hope that his ankle problem that meant he had to leave the field prematurely, is not as serious as first feared.
Garbett was the catalyst for everything that was good about the Blues in the first half. In fact, even after he had some treatment for his ankle problem, he came ever so close to increasing Town’s lead, with a thunderous strike from the edge of the box. When he left the field to be replaced by an out of sorts Alan Judge, we were a different team.
Luke Chambers was back in the starting line-up at the expense of James Wilson, and we know when it comes to Chambo there is always a mistake waiting to happen and so it was to prove. Sunderland captain Marc McNulty dispossessed him near the byline when all our captain had to do was to clear the ball out for a corner, but instead tried to dribble his way out of trouble only to fall flat on his face. It was a schoolboy error and it cost us all three points because that was the only time that Sunderland seriously threatened the Town goal.
Make no mistake, this was a game Ipswich Town should have won easily and probably would have done if Garbett had not gone off injured. Alan Judge was appalling and even though he is short of match fitness, he really should do much better than this.
I don’t want to dwell on the negatives though because there were many outstanding performances from the players in blue. Luke Woolfenden looked assured once again at the back and on the wing, Danny Rowe was impressive; as was Flynn Downes in midfield. Cole Skuse read the game brilliantly and is now playing some of the best football of his career and upfront both Kayden Jackson and James Norwood were a real threat, and this was especially apparent when Luke Garbett remained on the field.
F.W. – Editor of Vital Ipswich