Millwall 0-0 Ipswich ~ Match Musings

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After the heroics up at Leicester on Friday the Gods of football rarely stray from the “Fuck You” scenario with Millwall and deemed it fit to serve us up a game of football that would have a crystal meth user who has also swallowed fourteen cans of red bull and two bottles of pro plus tablets into a serious contender for Rip Van Winkles crown. The “Z” key on my laptop would serve the purpose of at least eight paragraphs for this episode of my match musings.

Now I have been bored at football matches before, Ye Gods I lived through the Anderson era, but this game against Ipswich was, for me at any rate, right up there with the yawn fests of yore and no mistaking…

It all started out quite well, the Dockers day stuff went off without a hitch, the crowd, albeit another paltry affair, got behind the sentiment and made it memorable enough for those participating and even that reclusive of celestial bodies popped his golden bonce out of the grey skies to shine a bit of welcome sunlight on the frozen few who had turned up, but it was of little consequence.

The fans from Ipswich are a rare breed indeed. Not quite the universally accepted six fingered creatures of myth but stunningly close. You have the unerring notion that those banjos are but a D'Addario, phosphor bronze string away from meeting at dawn, give half a chance they’d have even the most robust amongst us squealing like poor old Ned Beatty quicker than you could say Cahulawassee River.

The thousand or so Ipswich fans boosted the attendance to just over 10,000 but the atmosphere was very subdued as the teams came out onto the pitch. Mr Jackett made a couple of changes to the winning side at Leicester, Smith A and Hulse making way for Marquis and Beevers so our line-up was as follows: Forde in goal, Dunne, Shittu, Beevers and Lowry at the back, Chaplow, Trotter and Smith J as the midfield trio with Keogh, Marquis and Easter forming a three pronged attack.

When referee Stroud got us going we were quickly led down a path of false expectations as within about 40 seconds trotter unleashed a superb volley that had Ipswich ‘keeper, Loach well beaten but the ball went agonisingly past the goal for a goal kick and on around five minutes Keogh popped the ball into the net after Easter had crossed for him but he was ruled off side so the goal was ruled out.

It all looked quite promising at this point but it soon drifted away into a drab and dreary affair. We looked the more capable of the two sides but it all became quite laboured and early promise dwindled away, replaced by niggling free kicks, wayward passes and no real endeavour.

Lowry had a go with what is becoming a bit of a trade mark free kick but was well wide off the mark, Marquis was rushing around chasing every ball but again it was more enthusiastic than productive although he did manage to charge down a clearance but couldn’t capitalise on this.

Keogh looped a cross in that almost caught out Loach, the ball bouncing on top of the bar before bouncing out for a goal kick and the only Ipswich chance I can recall in the whole of the first half was when Forde came out for a wander and inadvertently knocked the ball to Ipswich’s Hyam who hit a high hopeful goal bound shot from nigh on the half way line. Forde was never getting back for this and it was left to the timely interception by Beevers who headed clear from almost the goal line to save the Irish internationals blushes.

Half time seemed to take an age to turn up but turn up it did much to the relief of crowd who were close to comatose by now…

For the second half, Mr Jackett took off Marquis and replaced him with Hulse, but we don’t know why…

That’s a bit unfair, Hulse actually had a decent effort right at the beginning of the half, latching onto a Lowry free kick, his shot was saved by Loach at close quarters and then the game drifted into a delicious state of boredom yet again, interspersed with little snippets of oohs and aahs either from the visitors failings in front of goal or our own short comings on the scoring front.

Our defence was more than a match for their strike force and our three man midfield (which was more often than not a five man midfield) had no real competition but we let ourselves down up front yet again. Mr Jackett finally decided to revert to a 4-4-2 set up, taking off Keogh and bringing on Feeney with about twenty minutes of play left.

We could of and maybe should have, wrapped up all three points as the second half drifted to a conclusion. Lowry again showed his free kicks are no mere flash in the pan as he clipped a deft ball over the Ipswich defensive wall and we watched in misery as the ball thumped against the base of the upright and was cleared to safety by the Town’s defence.

Feeney was doing his best to play down the line and when he crossed over a perfect ball for Easter it looked odds on for the striker to find the back of the net but his first time effort rose up and over the bar and again in the dying minutes of injury time Easter squandered another gilt edged chance after Chambers cocked up just outside the area. Easter took the ball goal wards at an angle and as we all expected him to lay a simple pass across goal to the unmarked Hulse, the eager striker went for goal himself and although he beat Loach he also put the ball the wrong side of the goal.

And so it finished 0-0 and it was really everything you would surmise a 0-0 to be. Dull, lacklustre, boring and bereft of any real excitement.

I suppose if we were questioned before the Easter holidays began we would have been happy with four points from both games but it does stick in the craw when you gain a decent three points away from home and then fall flat on home soil with such a dour performance.

Still, another point in the slow road to survival, it is still not looking like a done deal yet is it, the spectre of relegation is floating around us like some stale tobacco smoke and is stubbornly refusing to piss off and bother someone else. I thought 53 points would be enough to stave of the threat of the drop but that is clearly not the case now as teams below us keep winning games that they really should be losing, the bastards.

Birmingham away on Saturday and who knows what sort of result we will end up with as they are just as difficult to fathom out as we are. We could be going into our cup semi-final with a real possibility of being right down with the deadwood of this division and I hate the fact that we have games in hand as this never seems to work in our favour.

"That it should come to this!". - (Hamlet, Act I, Scene II).
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    very hard to put the game into words, but you managed it, well done double F