since 1878

Ipswich Town (1) 1 - 1 (0) West Ham United

FA Carling Premiership 2000-01

Saturday, October 14, 2000

Referee: N Barry

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road

Attendance: 22,243

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2866























Match Report

Town surrender another home lead

Ipswich threw away another two points as they yet again surrendered a lead at home. This time it was West Ham who left Portman Road with more than they deserved. A 1-1 draw is by no means a bad result against a team packed with talent, and actually sees Town leapfrog up to seventh place in the table. But Town fans left a sodden Portman Road disappointed to have only gained a point against West Ham, after watching the blues outplay the East Londoners as numerous chances to seal a victory went begging. Ipswich started with the same 4-4-2 formation which hammered Everton 3-0, with the only change being Mark Venus replacing a cold-ridden Titus Bramble in defence. Richard Naylor kept his place up front with Marcus Stewart, while Jermaine Wright shook off a groin strain, picked up earlier in the week in training, to keep his place in midfield. The game started at a brisk pace with both teams showing their attacking passing intentions early on. It did not take long Town to take the lead. A quick throw in was taken by Jermaine Wright to Fabian Wilnis. The Dutch wing wizard found the time and space to whip in a testing cross from the right. It met Marcus Stewart who found space between the West Ham defenders to glance to the ball past an outstretched Shaka Hislop. It was Stewart's 5th goal the season, and the player West Ham tried to sign while he was at Bristol Rovers it now thriving in the premier league. It was another quality ‘strikers' goal which gave the keeper little chance. After the goal Ipswich continued to dominate the game, and should have gone 2 nil up when Magilton's 20-yard shot cannoned against the post. The ball fell kindly to Hislop, who gratefully picked up the rebound. As the game wore on West ham battled away and began to look more threatening. While looking pretty on the ball, they never really looked liked creating a shot on target. After about 35 minutes, Di Canio showed the sort of magic which has been wooing the Upton Park faithful in recent months. A quality pass from Kanoute found the Italian in space down the left channel. He turned several Ipswich defenders inside out before despatching a slightly disappointing cross which was cleared by Mcgreal. The so far silent East London fans could sense a fight back, and finally decided to let their players know they had turned up, by making themselves heard. Half time: Ipswich 1, West Ham 0. As the second half started, West Ham showed a more physical side to their game, by weighing in with several fouls. Stewart had a penalty shout turned down by the referee after Rio Ferdinand tripped him while he was running towards the corner flag. John Moncur replaced Nigel Winterburn after 56 minutes, and the move immediately gave West Ham more attacking options. They continued to play their good passing football, and for the first time Ipswich came under the cosh. After 60 minutes there was petulance from Kanoute. He felt harshly done by, after he failed to win a free kick after being dispossessed by Venus. Kanoute picked the ball up and booted it high into the upper tier of the Britannia stand. It was actually the closest Kanoute had come to scoring, and referee Neale Barry had no choice but to book the player. West Ham's equaliser came after 72 minutes, when once again the Ipswich defence were caught napping. Trevor Sinclair's raid down the right was unchallenged, and he crossed an accurate ball to an unmarked Di Canio, who volleyed home superbly from a tight angle. Town will have to learn that if you allow players of the calibre of Di Cano space in the box, they will do this to you. The goal had a feeling of inevitability about it, as it was the third time this season a 1-0 lead has been lost at home. To be honest it was no more than the Hammers had deserved at the time, as their classy passing was begin to dominate. With twenty minutes to go the game was evenly balanced, and West Ham could sense a winner. They continued to attack, but this created more space for Ipswich on the counter, and the Blues should really have wrapped the game up as chance after chance was wasted. Richard Naylor was again guilty of missing a guilt edged chance, after a good cross from Clapham. Psycho managed to connect, but the ball flew inches wide. With a couple of minutes to go. Hreidarsson looked like he had sneaked a winner when he fired a fierce effort goal bound. However, it was too close to Hislop, and the Keeper pulled off a good save to send his team home with a well earnt point. Overall, this was defiantly a case of two points lost rather than one point won, and there was a feeling of frustration at the final whistle as another home victory had been denied. This was never going to be an easy game against another good footballing outfit, and it was at least refreshing to see another team attempting to play us at our own game, rather than trying to stop us playing. Once more though, a combination of a momentary lapse of concentration and poor finishing was Town's undoing. But lets not get too despondent. This match was always going to be testing, and Ipswich proved again they are more than up to it at this level. We are not going to win every game and a point is better than nothing. On a final note, it was disappointing to see Stuart Pearce's performance. I have always been a fan of his during his long and illustrious career. But the aging Pearce appears now to be struggling at this level, and was lucky not to take an early bath after a couple of ‘cynical' challenges. His obvious lack of pace was exploited by the Ipswich midfield, and it was a somewhat sad sight to see this once proud Englander being booed by the home fans after having to resort to unfair tactics. Someone should tell him he has well and truly reached his ‘sell by' date, and put him out to grass.

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