Ipswich Town 2 - West Bromwich Albion 2

Date: Saturday 10th February 2024 Live on Sky Sports
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(4-2-3-1) Palmer 7.4, Furlong 5.8, Bartley 6.3 (Chalobah, 45 5.6), Kipré 6.8, Townsend 6.5, Yokuslu 7.8, Mowatt 6.1, Wallace 6.7, Weimann 5.4 (Ávila Gordón, 83), Fellows 7.8 (Johnston, 56 6.1), Thomas-Asante 6.3 (Dike, 55 4.2 (Swift, 65 6.8))
Unused subs: Griffiths, Pieters, Hall
Manager: Carlos Corberán  6.2
Scorers: Fellows (18), Swift (76)
Referee: David Coote 5.0
Attendance: 29,016   Home Fans 6.1   Away Fans 7.9
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 12

Brendan Clegg:

What a great game. In the end, my overriding feeling after that was positive despite their late equaliser. To come away with a point having lost two players to injury and given the fortune in their goals is impressive.

We were strong and I genuinely think had Bartley not had to be withdrawn… or had Semi been available… we’d have won that game.

The starting lineup has one eyebrow raiser with Weimann coming in for Swift in the number 10 role.

And we were brilliant from the off, our front four causing havoc and we probably should’ve scored in our first attack. In those first 15 minutes our pace and directness meant we looked like scoring every time we attacked and Fellows took us ahead with a super individual goal.

Having got ahead Ipswich piled the pressure on and created chances but we were pretty good and defended well, until on HT when Bartley looked injured.

Chalobah replaced him at ht and, somewhat criminally, we conceded within a minute from one of our major weaknesses… a second phase of a set play. It was a great finish but there was a handball in the buildup and also it happened before our new back 4 with Okay dropping in had time to settle. Pisser.

As we came into the half CC made changes early with Fellows and Asante leaving for Johnson and Dike. A bit early for me as both had been pretty good, but with home games coming up and also us needing height to defend set plays it kind of made sense.

We still remained a threat when attacking and Weimann got the ball in the net inexplicably using his hand when a courages header would’ve done it after a good Dike flick on. It was bizarre and he rightly went into the book for it.

Shortly after Dike went down having landed from a jump. Initially I thought he was appealing to the ref but after a while he became distraught, and having been helped off he broke down in tears as he was stretchered around the pitch. Some of the social media comments I saw after were totally appalling for a young guy who has never given anything other than his all on the pitch or off it, possibly looking at a career ending injury.

Swift replaced him which I thought was odd but Wallace went up front and despite Ipswich controlling possession we still looked lively via Wallace and Johnson mostly.

From very little, Swift found the bottom corner after space was created for him.

And as our subs came on I thought we’d hold on.

I thought Pipa lacked strength to finish a great chance when played in by Johnson. Their defender slid for to cut it out but missed the ball, and had Pippa stayed strong instead of jumping out of the way he’d have been on goal.

8 minutes injury time for one half seemed excessive and I’m still not sure how their equaliser squeezed through so many people… I think 9/10 times it gets blocked.

Overall I’m very encouraged. The bench looked really strong and with Ajayi and Grady back soon, even with a Dike injury I fancy us to finish strongly.

  • Palmer - 7 One bad pass. Some great saves and catches.
  • Furlong- 7 Mature. Lost his man for equaliser
  • Bartley - 8 Missed him massively, was handling Moore really well
  • Kipre - 7 Did so well for so long. Looked gutted by the equaliser
  • Townsend - 7 I thought he was pretty solid against good opponents all game.
  • Okay - 9 Against a team as good as this he really was exceptional, showing incredible footwork and passing at times. Playing like the division’s stand-out midfielder
  • Mowatt - 6 Loads of effort but he struggled to get in the ball as much and their speed was challenging for him
  • Wallace - 7 Gave it absolutely everything and caused them problems all game
  • Weimann - 6 Did quite well but you’ve got to head that. Missed opportunity to be the hero again
  • Fellows - 7 Brilliant goal and terrified them. Just gets better.
  • BTA - 7 So much running, creating space and good link play. Was a big part in our defensive strength first half.
  • Chalobah - 5 He just doesn’t kill himself for every ball like pretty much every other player. Can see why CC wants another option
  • Dike - Just heartbroken for him
  • Johnson - 6 Looks like a player, made things happen
  • Swift - 6 Started poorly but brilliant goal lifted him and his energy
  • Pipa - 5 did okay but it’s probably a sub we didn’t need to make

Kev Buckley:

Going to have to add mere comment to Brendan's report, though it highlighted everything that I can now recall (hic! as Jim Curry would have said) as I watched this one down the pub; then stayed there to watch Scotland vs France in the Six Nations, and then went home and watched England vs Wales into the wee small hours, so it's all a little hazy now.

Thought Yokuslu was looking imperious in the first fifteen: sublimely confident in his ability to create enough space for a telling pass from the tightest of areas as he looked to start the transitions.

Fellows' direct approach from the start really troubled the Tractor Boys, though I think he should have squared it to an unmarked player rather than trying a Brunt-esque curler that ended up as high-and-wide as any of "The Wand's" off-target efforts, prior to not trying to curl one for his goal: great strength in creating that goal too.

Not sure why Pieters is on the bench if he's not going to be used for situations such as Bartley going off. Appreciate that the use of Yokuslu as a makeshift centre-back has been flagged by CC for a good time now, and even put into practice recently, but with the way he was playing in this particular game, why would you take that away from the team for a whole half. More so when you read that, despite having Chalobah on the books, we're looking at another free agent for defensive-mid.

Similar "why do that" thoughts for taking Fellows off: you have a guy playing out of his skin on the day, being replaced by someone who's only just being integrated into the side and it allowed the home side to slowly ease back into the game.

Have to hope that Swift's brilliant strike, along with Weimann's complete lack of, as Brendan notes, courage, when not getting on the end of Dike's flick sees Swift back in the number 10 role for Cardiff and playing like he can, with Weimann consigned to cover on, or impact from, the bench: never a starter for me.

Given the fact that Pieters isn't going to be considered for a centre-back spot in a back four, the return of Ajayi can't come soon enough, although how is Diangana going to get a game when Fellows, even playing on his "wrong' side, causes as much trouble for the opposition as he did here?

Note sure why we became so desperate towards the end. For me, there were players going to ground to make blocks from shots that never came because the Ipswich players feigned to shoot and we brought the feign - hook, line and sinker. Just keep getting close enough to the player to not allow the shot, rather than standing off and hoping to block one.

In the end, that point keeps us ahead of the chasing pack for at least another couple of games, and whilst the extra two would have been even better, they were never going to really help us threaten Ipswich and the other three sides above us, barring a major drop off in form.

Having since seen Coventry jump to the top of the chasing pack, it's starting to feel as though every game in the near future is going to be a "must win" one, though especially the game in hand we have on most of the five immediately below us.