A long and ultimately pointless day

Last updated : 11 November 2012 By Tony Scholes

Once again the game at Portman Road was decided by a late goal and again we were on the receiving end of it just a few minutes after we thought Sam Vokes' first goal of the season had earned us a richly deserved point.

It wasn't to be; we were caught on the counter attack as we pushed for a winner and for the sixth time this season came home from an away game with nothing, and that was something we could never have envisaged during a Burnley dominated first half.

Dyche made just the one enforced change to the team that had started in the win against Leeds. Ben Mee was ruled unfit and, as expected, was replaced by Danny Lafferty at left back with Mee able to take his place on the bench. Lafferty must have had concerns. He had a nightmare in the corresponding fixture last season but this time round turned in a very accomplished performance.

First goal of the season for Sam Vokes

It had been a trouble free journey down for what was my 14th visit to Portman Road. None of the previous 13 had been won and we were looking for what could be only our second ever win there following on from a 1-0 success in January 1970, almost 43 years ago.

Mick McCarthy strode out for his first home game in charge, hoping to bring with him a change in their fortunes, particularly at home where they hadn't won a league game since March.

Ahead of Remembrance Sunday today, a minute's silence was observed, and impeccably so, ahead of kick off but once the game kicked off it was very much Burnley in the ascendancy. Apart from one routine save from Lee Grant early in the game we dominated proceedings and at times were passing Ipswich off the pitch.

We were moving the ball much quicker than of late but we just couldn't quite find a breakthrough. Brian Stock was passing the ball immaculately and Chris McCann was involved in everything, but chances were at a premium.

Probably our best opportunity was one that came Martin Paterson's way. He came in from the left but, from a tight angle, saw Stephen Henderson save. Pato didn't have the best of games and should have done better, even laying the ball off to a better placed team mate.

Ipswich had offered virtually nothing but then might have gone in front with their first real chance of the afternoon. Ipswich attacked down the right and the ball made its way to DJ Campbell. He looked a certain scorer but Grant brilliantly got down to his left to tip the ball round the post.

By half time the game had started to even out but there is no doubt we'd been the better side by some distance in the first 45 minutes and really should have been taking a lead into the break.

We didn't though and soon paid for it although no one will ever convince me that Ipswich's opening goal should have stood.

Ipswich were definitely ready for the second half. They were out on the pitch over six minutes before us doing training drills and once the half had started it took them just a further six minutes to take the lead.

Some will say the goal was legitimate but no matter how many times I look at it I remain totally bemused that it was allowed to stand. Daryl Murphy was not standing his ground at all. He'd been grounded, got up and clearly moved to block Grant.

It's as simple as that and it would have been disallowed on at least 99 of 100 occasions, but Mark Brown, who had another ridiculous game that left you wondering what he might do next, initially gave the goal.

Despite his good positioning, he wasn't convinced and so, surrounded by Burnley players, he went over to speak to his assistant. Now he'd given nothing all afternoon and wasn't going to start now. The Burnley players were in a rage; manager Dyche went to the fourth official, but the goal did stand and we were behind.

It threw us, and it took some time for us to get back into the game. For the next twenty minutes or so we offered little. It was our worst spell of the game.

Ross Wallace was receiving some harsh treatment and having been yellow carded, a card that will keep him out of the Charlton game, Dyche took him off. The impressive Stock went too with Junior Stanislas and Marvin Bartley coming on. The Bartley substitution looked a strange one to me and just a few minutes later we needed to sacrifice a midfielder, and it was Dean Marney, to get Sam Vokes on.

Two of those substitutes combined for our equaliser. How frustrating is Stanislas? He played on the left and that meant he was right in front of the Burnley fans. He saw so much of the ball and had so many opportunities, but his delivery was poor and wasteful and the opportunities just get being lost.

Then, once more, he got in a good position and crossed the ball superbly where Vokes, possibly with some assistance from an Ipswich head, got his first goal of the season.

We were level with ten minutes remaining and at that time I'd have taken a point. Maybe had we taken that option we'd have been coming home with a draw, but instead we very definitely went looking for a win.

It was that desire to try and win it that cost us. Jason Shackell, another to play well, won the ball. He played it forward and continued his run. As the attack broke down he was up there with our forwards.

Ipswich got it out to Carlos Edwards down their right. Bartley really should have dealt with it. He had every opportunity to stop Edwards at the probably cost of a yellow card. But he allowed him to go and the cross found Campbell beyond Michael Duff and he made no mistake.

There were five minutes of stoppage time added but we didn't once threaten to get a second equaliser. Ipswich had won it with that goal, they made sure of that.

This was, without doubt, a game where we should have come home with something. You have to score when you are as much on top as we were in that first half, particularly the first half hour. We didn't and we paid the price. We'd given Ipswich their first home win of the season and it should not have been the case.

It's dropped us three places in the table, just as I was starting to get used to being in the top half too.

So it was pointless, and eventually the day turned out to be a longer one than expected because of an accident on the A14. It cost us about an hour, but given the number of emergency vehicles that were required and given the state of the cars that we finally passed it looks as though some weren't quite so fortunate.

That's 14 visits now - it's 7 draws and 7 defeats. Maybe, one day, I'll see us win at Portman Road.

The teams were;

Ipswich: Stephen Henderson, Carlos Edwards, Luke Chambers, Danny Higginbotham, Tommy Smith, Aaron Cresswell, Guirane N'Daw, Nigel Reo-Coker, Richie Wellens (Jay Emmanuel-Thomas 79), Daryl Murphy, DJ Campbell (Bilel Mohsni 89). Subs not used: Scott Loach, Elliott Hewitt, Andy Drury, Jason Scotland, Michael Chopra.
Yellow Card:  Nigel Reo-Coker.

Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Danny Lafferty, Brian Stock (Marvin Bartley 65), Dean Marney (Sam Vokes 76), Chris McCann, Ross Wallace (Junior Stanislas 65), Charlie Austin, Martin Paterson. Subs not used: Brian Jensen, David Edgar, Ben Mee, Danny Ings.
Yellow Cards: Ross Wallace, Martin Paterson.

Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire).

Attendance: 16,297 (including 455 Clarets).