November 3, 2012 by Made In Brum
Blues 0 Ipswich 1
If Blues had turned the corner, it was quite clearly down a cul-de-sac as they suffered a third defeat from four home games. A DJ Campbell strike was enough to give the championship’s bottom club Ipswich a thoroughly deserved three points at St. Andrews.
All of the hard work in the last two games, the win Leeds and coming from three behind at Millwall, has been undone. Today was another example of Blues’ crippling inconsistency this season. Mick McCarthy, Town’s new manager, would have drilled it into his team to give it their all, so an easy game it was never going to be. But Blues’ midfield seems to have a huge gaping hole in which opposition players stroll through with ease.
Eight minutes was all it took for the visitors to take the lead, a goal that would eventually win the game. Campbell, as he has done regularly throughout his career, took Lee Martin’s pass in his stride and smashed his shot in the roof of the net.
I don’t know if the home players were aware that their team-mates were playing in blue, as ball after ball went stray. Wade Elliott forced a save from Stephen Henderson with the ‘keeper proving his worth once more, tipping Marlon King’s powerfully struck free-kick over the bar. David Murphy came close with a header, but that was as good as Blues got in the first half.
Lee Clark has been saying all week that Blues, on their day, are capable of controlling games and passing it around. In fairness, the second half saw Blues move the ball around, but mostly from side-to-side. Almost immediately after the re-start, a hopeful ball fell to King who couldn’t get his shot away.
The game was crying out for something, an idea, a bit of magic, anything to give Blues and the home fans hope. Ipswich parked the bus in front of Henderson’s penalty area as Clark’s men struggled to take advantage. Going to St. Andrews this season has been, to put it nicely, frustrating. The fans were still willing the team on as the clocked ticked down. In the 73rd minute, a good pass found Nikola Zigic who only had the ‘keeper to beat, but he hit it straight at Henderson.
Time was running out and so was the patience of the fans. Chris Burke had barely come to life when he made a mazy run, the resulting cross was cleared for a corner. Henderson flapped at the high ball, but by the time Ravel Morrison had whipped it back in the danger zone, Ipswich were re-organised and cleared the danger.
The hope from the terraces was for just one clear cut chance. In the dying minutes, Morrison’s sideways pass found Hayden Mullins right on the edge of the box. With the ball begging to be hit first time, he strangely took a touch which gave Aaron Cresswell the time to toe-end it away. The ball then fell to King who’s effort was blocked. Curtis Davies blazed over the bar from close range, when he should have done better, that was Blues’ last chance of the game.
Lee Clark’s after match comments quite rightly targeted the ‘flat first half’ display as the catalyst for the defeat. Blues have scored just once in their last four home outings. Clark also said- “we’re so Jekyll and Hyde its untrue”. Blues take on Bristol City here on Tuesday night. The home form has to improve and quickly.
Blues ratings- Butland 7. Robinson 6. Davies 7. Caldwell 6. Murphy 6. Redmond 5. Mullins 6. Morrison 6. Elliott 5. King 6. Lita 5…SUBS USED- Burke 6. Lovenkrands 5. *ZIGIC 7.
Match report by Rob Wildey.