Tuesday, 23 April 2013

16/04/13 League Ipswich Town (a) 3-0 loss

Roving reporter for The Eagles Beak, Paul Price, picks through the debris that remains after the result at Ipswich ...

Crystal Palace were in great need of a boost in form, a bit of old lady luck and at least a point as they visited Portman Road in a bid to keep their promotion / play-off aspirations on track.

The game would see a slightly one-sided affair with Palace (again) taking most of the chances but undone in a few vital minutes in the run up to half-time where the team appeared to have hit the self-destruct button. The game kicked off and was followed by a few early free kicks to either side. It was Joniesta who took a direct free kick early on. The first real Palace chance came just before the 10 minute mark with a distance shot from Parr which unfortunately flew wide of the target.

The following action saw Palace take hold of the game with a free kick and corner taken by Moritz but Ipswich were able to get a few blocks in and the ball was cleared away without really troubling their goal. Around the 12th minute, KG took a shot which went sailing over the bar. It wasn't until the 15th minute did the home side even appear to trouble Palace, Frank Nouble took a shot that went wide and right of the target. A foul on Jonny Williams sees Palace awarded another free kick. I do wonder how many times people have typed “a foul on Jonny Williams” this year? Poor little fella, he must be black and blue at the end of every game. I hope Holloway has a big box of Mr Bump plasters!

Two further corners follow from Bolasie and then Moritz were both cleared by Ipswich. But it was Palace having all the early play and looked to be getting more and more into the game – definitely the better side at this stage! Emmanuel-Thomas had an attempt from Ipswich which went over the bar. On 27 minutes, Jazz Hands made an appearance as Parr had to leave the field injured. It looked like a pretty bad challenge. Corners from Bolasie and Moritz are again cleared harmlessly by the Tractor Boys. Joel Ward goes into the book.

I have to admit, I'm glad I am not an Ipswich fan with their nick-name. It doesn’t exactly give you images of a dynamic side and, as every travelling summer UK tourist will know, tractors on the roads are a menace, stubborn and block you getting to where you want to go. Actually, given the first 30 minutes of play, the name appears to be perfect for them.

Before I move on, I am not really sure where the “dressage” horse dribbling the ball on their badge really comes into the whole thing. Possibly a forgotten figure of the massive enhancements in farming tools and practices over recent years or an ongoing legacy figure before / during the industrial revolution? Anyway, I appear to have gone off on a tangent, back to the game …..

In the 37th minute Frank Nouble of Ipswich scores following an un-characteristic error by Speroni and slots the ball into an empty net. Given the first 30 minutes, this is surely just a goal against the run of play? A goal that (given our play so far) that we could surely overturn? Top scorer Murray’s first real attempt of note came just before the half but was blocked by the stubborn Ipswich defence. This is followed by an attempt from Joniesta which again misses the target.

Nearing half time and still one nil down there's all to play for in the second half. Some say that 1-0 is one of the most dangerous scores in football to the leading side. I hoped so. Much to the horror of the travelling fans, Aaron Creswell’s great strike buries itself in the top corner in the minutes before half time – a great goal to be honest. So, now 2-0 to the dribbling horsey dressage boys. Not a massive issue really, not great but I have seen the mighty Eagles come storming out in the second half to grab victories from the claws of defeat in the past. Following this body blow, Ipswich have the sheer audacity to score another about a minute later with Frank Nouble adding to his tally.

What was a one nil scoreline that would have made for an exciting second half, Palace were now in deep trouble at 3-0 down. Did Ipswich actually think that they were going to get their own back for the 5-0 drubbing they received on a cold winter’s night this season at Selhurst Park?? Also one of Adrian Durham’s favourite games too due to Palace only getting three penalties on the night (Murray converting two). 

The second half begins with Kevin Phillips replacing Johnny Williams as Palace seek to get back into the game, Williams picked up an injury in the first half. The initial period of the second half see Palace awarded a number of free kicks and take a few shots at the Ipswich goal. Scott Loach saves from a Moritz effort, Zaha’s strike is blocked, Bolasie’s shot gathered at the near post and a further free kick taken by Moritz. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is given a yellow card for hand ball / un-sporting behaviour. A very British phrase and one that could pretty much mean anything from attitude to a smack in the mouth. On 68 minutes, Aaron Wilbraham replaced Joel Ward while a Murray effort is saved by Loach. More chances for Palace, Zaha and Bolasie shots blocked, another from Bolasie saved, a further Zaha shot blocked again and a Bolasie cross cleared again by Ipswich.

Speroni had not had much during the game other than removing the ball from Palace net of three occasions, albeit one his own fault. Kevin Phillips saw an effort saved by Loach followed by another save from with a Moritz effort. Bolasie’s distance effort is then fired over the cross bar as the game winds down. Murray has another shot saved by Loach followed by an effort from Williams hitting the post in the 93rd minute. A Phillips attempt also hit the post. Thankfully, the referee puts the travelling Palace faithful out of their misery and blew the final whistle for full time.

Negatives from the game:

• More glaring defensive errors that gave Ipswich two goals

• Palace unable to score again

• Injuries to the two Johnnys

• My mate sending me expletive texts from the Ipswich boxes (as you are not allowed to drink beer in there during the game)

Positives from the game:

• The travelling support that did not stop encouraging and supporting the team throughout
• “We Love You” ringing out from the away end as Palace players left the pitch
• 1 less game until Jedinak returns to the fold

• Creating plenty of chances, just need some luck in front of goal

Match Stats:

Possession - Ipswich Town 55% - Crystal Palace 45
Shots on goal - Ipswich 9 – Palace 14
Shots on target - Ipswich 3 - Palace 7
Corners - Ipswich 3 – Palace 11

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway:

"In a couple of minutes everything changed. It knocked the stuffing out of us and after that it was difficult to say the least. But you've got to believe in yourselves when others don't. It's going away from us and we've got to get it back. Life's like that. You have to be brave enough to pull things out of the fire. It's going to be a huge test for us, so let's see if we can bounce back. Now's the time to stick together and work our socks off, because the harder you work the luckier you get. It's not good enough at this moment in time but I saw all sorts of effort and willingness."

View from The Eagles Beak:

"The statistics tell a different story to the result. But, it’s all about scoring more goals than you concede. The most annoying statistic other than not scoring is the opposition shots on target. Pretty much matching the number of goals they scored. I'm not going to jump get on the negative bandwagon or play any part in the disgrace that is abusing players directly on Twitter, but this clearly shows where our focus needs to be as we are giving away too many silly goals at a vital point in our season. Onto the next one Palace fans and keep believing, every game is a cup final."


01 Speroni
02 Ward - booked (Wilbraham 69')
27 Delaney - booked
28 Ramage
04 Parr (Richards28')
07 Bolasie
08 Dikgacoi
20 Williams (K Phillips 46')
30 Moritz
16 Zaha - booked
17 Murray

Unused substitutes -  34 Price, 33 Gabbidon, 12 Marrow, 11 Dobbie

Referee - Hooper
Attendence - 17,656

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