Sammy Says – Fleetwood Review
Fleetwood Town vs Ipswich Town
Ipswich managed to overcome Fleetwood’s “best team ever” in a 0-1 score line that could have been more comfortable had Town been awarded two clear penalties and if Jackson was able to convert his late spot kick. It was Jackson (58’) who was the match winner with a close range effort after Cairns had parried Garbutt’s free kick, much like the second goal against Tranmere Rovers last weekend. The Blues’ backline managed to stay resolute and keep yet another clean sheet, despite Wilson being given a second yellow card late on in the game (93’). The win sees Town remain top and now the only unbeaten side in the EFL.
Fleetwood Town – 4-3-3
Fleetwood lined up in their expected formation of 4-3-3 with Evans leading the attack and Rossiter at the heart of their midfield. Paddy Madden had to make do with an appearance off the bench again despite his impressive goal scoring record so far this season. Ashley Hunter also came off the bench for Fleetwood as they looked for an equaliser during the last 10 minutes of the game. Even though this is Fleetwood’s best team ever, there appeared to be a lack of quality in attack as they rarely threatened Holy’s goal.
Ipswich Town – 3-4-1-2
Lambert decided to stick to the recent tactic of 3-4-1-2 which saw Skuse play in the midfield with Downes as Wilson, Woolfenden and Chambers made up the Blues’ backline. Nolan started in the role between the midfield and attack after some impressive displays in recent weeks. The usual constant players of the team sheet, Norwood, Jackson and Vincent-Young all started as expected. There were some worries for Town as Vincent-Young appeared to pick up a knock and Norwood will undergo an operation for his groin injury over the fortnight break for Ipswich.
As the game reflected for large parts, Fleetwood struggled to lay a glove on Ipswich during the 90 minutes as they failed to manage a single shot on target. This seemed to be the key problem for Town’s opponents and the score line should have been higher as Norwood’s missed one-on-one and Jackson’s missed penalty do not reflect the attacking statistics of Ipswich throughout the game (7 shots, 2 on target). Elsewhere, Ipswich shaded the possession with 52% of the ball and deservedly claimed all three points based on the match action and the match statistics.
Key Player Review
Fleetwood Town – Paddy Madden (ST)
First of all, the fact that Madden had to settle for a place on the Fleetwood bench makes this pick for their key player a pretty poor choice. However, when you consider their woeful amount of 0 shots on target and their inability to trouble the solid Town defence, then it would have been difficult to identify any player who could lay claim to this title. It is fair to say that they were simply second best in pretty much every area of the pitch and should count themselves slightly fortunate that Ipswich did not rack up more goals.
Ipswich Town – Kayden Jackson (ST)
As I predicted before the game, the pace and threat of Jackson was too much for the Fleetwood defence to handle as he comfortably reached the rebound from Garbutt’s free kick ahead of the opposition players. Jackson will be disappointed that he did not convert his penalty which would have been his 7th goal of the season. However, he will have to settle for 6 goals so far and deserves the plaudits that he has received during Norwood’s slightly disappointing run of games without a goal. It is the pace of Jackson that could be the edge for Ipswich when they face teams who try and give them a game and leave themselves open at the back, much like Tranmere did in the second half at Portman Road last weekend.
Joey Barton – Red faced?!
Barton seemed to retract his statement before the game describing the Town team as the worst they have ever had, “As I say, we can play better than that. Too many of our top players weren’t at their top level and when you play good teams you can’t do that.” However, the Fleetwood boss was quick to point out that “There’s not much between the two sides.” Given the score line of only 0-1, any passer-by could assume that it was a close-run match. However, 0 shots on target and a severe lack of threat paint a much different picture for those who care to take a closer look. Unlucky and stay classy Mr. Barton.
Paul Lambert – Could Have Been More
“I thought we were excellent, the whole game I thought we were excellent,” Lambert said in response his side’s impressive display on Saturday. The Town manager singled out particular praise for his team during the second 45 minutes, “second half I thought we were really, really good, it could have been three or four.” It demonstrates the Blues’ boss’ confidence in his players at the moment that he seems to expect more from them during the match. He will be ecstatic at the start they have made to the League One campaign, but as usual Lambert will keep his feet firmly on the ground as he still expects a few bumps in the road to come yet.
Fleetwood Town – Still Positive
Despite falling to their first home defeat since February at the weekend, plenty of Fleetwood fans remain positive as they sit 3rd in the League One table. It is a good start for the Cod Army, and they could still be in and around that position during the latter stages of the season. If I was a Fleetwood supporter, I would hope to see a greater threat in the final third and would hope that Barton may attempt to play both Evans and Madden together to try and solve that issue. It may not work for everyone, but Ipswich have seen exactly what can happen when you get a strike partnership that clicks into gear.
Ipswich Town – ‘Careful What You Wish For’
The phrase that every average pundit loved to fire at Town during their struggles of last season: Careful what you wish for. As pointed out in recent weeks, I think Ipswich fans are getting exactly what they wished for: a team that they love to watch and support as they play attacking and winning football. Hopefully pundits can now forget the days of good old Mick McCarthy and accept that although the Blues are in a lower division, they are actually enjoying their football again. The longer this excellent run of results continues then the feel-good factor will only increase as Ipswich continue to top the League One standings.
Man of the Match – Jon Nolan (CAM)
Nolan has gone from strength-to-strength in his recent performances for Town which has seen him break forward from midfield to good effect as he has scored 2 goals in pivotal moments for Ipswich. This game was no different as Nolan controlled the possession well and provided support to Jackson and Norwood for large spells of the match. I think I speak for most Town fans when they say that they are not too shocked by the form of Nolan after he showed his quality in patches during the disappointment of last season. His performances for Shrewsbury in League One were top class for this level and I believe that he is close his best and will be a real asset for the Blues as they look to outclass their opponents and move further away at the top of the League One table.