Tag Archives: David McGoldrick

A Rare Defeat in Suffolk

The players are joined by servicemen for the minute's silence

The players are joined by servicemen for the minute’s silence

When I arrived at Liverpool Street at 10:30, I didn’t bother to text my travelling companions, just headed for the pub and, sure enough, there was Jac (with a pint of Stella) I turned around to find Toddy walking in, so we were soon sitting comfortably with a tasty breakfast (IPA).  If we started early, the Norfolk ‘Orns had started earlier and with some gusto, so were a very merry group on their arrival.  So much so that one of them was requested to pop over to the burger van for a cup of tea before he was allowed entrance at Portman Road.

For the second game running, Jokanovic had made 5 changes, although there were fewer complaints this time as the only change from the win against Millwall was Forestieri in for Ighalo.  So the starting line-up was Gomes, Pudil, Ekstrand, Bassong, Paredes, Andrews, Munari, Tözsér, Forestieri, Deeney, Vydra.

A cross from Williams is cleared

A cross from Williams is cleared

The home side had an early corner that was cleared by Bassong.  Then a rebound fell perfectly for Forestieri who advanced into the box but was tackled before he could shoot.  Watford should have taken the lead after ten minutes when Vydra played a ball across to Forestieri, his pass found Munari in the box who had only the keeper to beat but hit his shot straight at Bialkowski.  Ipswich then had a wonderful chance of their own with a side foot volley from Murphy that was tipped over by Gomes.  The next goal attempt also fell to Murphy, but this one was a soft shot that was straight at Gomes.  At the other end Vydra fed Forestieri but again his shot was blocked.  The first card of the game came after half an hour when Paredes was booked for a foul on Williams, which was a bit frustrating as the referee had let a lot of fouls against Watford players go.  Watford had another half chance as Vydra received a ball from Andrews on the right, he cut it back to Pudil whose shot deflected off a defender into the keeper’s arms.  Then Paredes crossed for Deeney who had to control the ball before hitting his shot, which was blocked.

Challenging at a corner

Challenging at a corner

The first, and only, card for Ipswich came when McGoldrick stopped Watford taking a quick free-kick.  Just before half time, McGoldrick was penalized for a handball which was greeted with red and yellow confetti in the away end from fans frustrated that none of the decisions seemed to be going our way.  When the whistle went for half time, the referee was booed off by the Watford fans.  In all honesty, it had been a scrappy half, the play had been end to end but there was little in the way of decent chances.

Deeney had a fantastic chance to put the visitors ahead early in the second half after Forestieri and Vydra broke forward, but Fernando’s shot from Matej’s cut back flew well over the crossbar.  The home side threatened after Andrews failed to clear, Williams hit a shot wide of the far post although it didn’t seem to concern Gomes who just stood and watched it drift wide.  A cut back from Murphy was cleared by Ekstrand.  Murphy then received a ball over the top and hit a shot that required an excellent save from Gomes to turn it over the bar.  The keeper’s sterling efforts proved unnecessary as the flag was already up for offside.

Deeney on the ball

Deeney on the ball

Ekstrand was the next Watford player to be booked as he fouled Williams to stop a breakaway.  That was the midfielder’s last involvement in the game as the injury that was inflicted by the tackle meant that he couldn’t continue.  He was replaced by Bishop.  The resulting free kick was punched clear by Gomes.  Hunt tried to lob the keeper, but the ball ended up on top of the net.  Watford had another wonderful chance as Vydra broke forward, he crossed for Forestieri who really should have hit the target, but he blasted his shot over the bar.  Then Hunt broke into the Watford box, Gomes bravely saved at his feet but they had come together with some force so the keeper needed treatment.  Bond readied himself to come on but Gomes eventually got back to his feet and was judged fit to continue.  On 70 minutes some lights appeared in the Ipswich crowd.  I have no idea what they signified and they were gone as soon as they appeared, but it was very bizarre.  On 73 minutes, Jokanovic made his first substitution as Forestieri made way for Ighalo.

Tozser takes a free kick

Tozser takes a free kick

A poor pass from Vydra allowed McGoldrick to break so Munari took the forward down and received a yellow card that he accepted with a handshake.  Bru had a great chance to put the home side ahead when a corner was cleared to him but he volleyed just wide.  The same player threatened the Watford goal again soon after but his shot was met with a brilliant catch from Gomes.  At the other end a Deeney cross found Ighalo free in the box, the flag stayed down but the Nigerian’s shot was blocked for a corner.  Increasingly it appeared that one goal would win this game.  Unfortunately that goal went to the home side.  Watford failed to clear from a free-kick, the ball bobbled around the box before falling to Smith who hit it past Gomes.  It was a scrappy goal that summed up the game.  There were a couple of late substitutions with Murray coming on for Andrews for the visitors and Sammon replacing McGoldrick for the home side.  Watford waited until the last minute of the six added on before attempting an equalizer, but the shot from Munari was blocked by Bialkowski and the three points stayed in Suffolk.

So, after a nine game unbeaten run, we had suffered two consecutive defeats.  Both performances were disappointing, but two draws would probably have been fair as neither side dominated in the games.  We now have the international break to regroup.  The last two breaks have seen the Watford manager replaced but that is very unlikely to happen again, so Jokanovic has two weeks to plot the downfall of Derby whose recent blip appears to be over.  Despite the disappointment of the last couple of games, I am really looking forward to that encounter.

 

The King is Dead. Long Live the King

After the news of Zola’s resignation this week, our party travelled to Ipswich with rather heavy hearts.  Last season was a lot of fun and, while this one has been disappointing so far, there is a feeling of a story only half told for which we will never know the ending.

The new man in the dugout

The new man in the dugout

The team lined up with a 3-5-2 formation and the first piece of good news was that Sannino’s first game would feature Lloyd Doyley and would see the return of Angella after injury.  The new gaffer also put Almunia back in goal.  So the starting line-up was Almunia, Ekstrand, Angella, Doyley, Pudil, Murray, Thorne, McGugan, Cassetti, Fabbrini and Deeney.  Our new manager was looking very elegant on the touchline, although I thought that the club really should have provided him with a coat to cover his smart suit in the pouring rain.

The welcome return of Doyley

The welcome return of Doyley

The first action of note was a McGugan free-kick at some distance from the goal, which was disappointingly soft and straight at Gerken.  On 15 minutes, Cassetti beat a defender on the wing and put in a cross that was met with a headed clearance.  Then Murphy tried a cross into the Watford box, but Almunia came out to punch clear.  On 21 minutes, a free-kick from McGugan was cleared only as far as Angella whose shot flew well over the bar.  Then McGoldrick threatened down the other end dribbling into the box and flicking the ball harmlessly past the far post.  On 25 minutes, Deeney headed a Cassetti cross back to Fabbrini whose shot rebounded off the corner of the post and the crossbar.  Then a shot from Cresswell was blocked by Ekstrand for the first corner of the game.  The first really dangerous on target attempt came just before the half hour from

A pass to Murray

A pass to Murray

McGoldrick whose shot was tipped over by Almunia.  From the corner, Murphy headed the ball to Nouble whose header went over the bar.  Then McGugan played a one-two with Fabbrini, but delayed too long before shooting and was tackled.  With 10 minutes remaining in the half, Murphy headed wide from a McGoldrick cross.  On 39 minutes, Ipswich tried a free-kick routine which clearly needs more practice as Skuse passed to McGoldrick on the left of the box, presumably to avoid the wall but he blasted the ball over the bar.  Then McGoldrick fed Cresswell who crossed into the box, but there was nobody to get on the end of it and the ball drifted wide.  Just before half time, Nouble broke through the defence and unleashed a shot that Almunia parried.  So we reached half-time goalless, without a single Watford shot on target.  On the way back to the stand at the end of the half time break, one of the screens was showing the score as 2-0 to Watford.  If only.

Thorne on defensive duties

Thorne on defensive duties

Early in the second half, McGugan played a through ball to Pudil who crossed for Fabbrini, but the Italian was closed down before he could shoot.  Then it was Fabbrini’s turn to play a through ball to Murray whose shot was put out for a corner by Gerken.  On 55 minutes, this was our first shot on target.  On the hour Pudil fouled Chambers who rolled over a few times prompting shouts of “off, off, off” from the home crowd which seemed to convince the referee to show a yellow card.  On 66 minutes, Fabbrini passed back to McGugan, who played a lovely through ball to Deeney, but Troy was well offside. 

Lloydy on the attack

Lloydy on the attack

Then McGugan battled to keep the ball on the wing and put in a cross for Deeney to run on to, but his shot rebounded off a defender.  On 70 minutes, a nothing ball into the box bounced up and hit Angella’s arm and the referee pointed to the spot.  The Watford players surrounded the ref to argue their case and Ekstrand was booked for his protests.  McGoldrick stepped up to take the spot kick and buried the ball in the bottom corner to shouts of “cheat” from the travelling Hornets.  With 15 minutes remaining, Battocchio replaced Murray.   There were shouts for a penalty at the other end as a Deeney cross appeared to be carried in the box before being cleared, but the referee didn’t give it. 

Troy celebrates his goal

Troy celebrates his goal

With 10 minutes remaining Anya replaced Pudil.  The equalizer came soon after as a cross from Cassetti was deflected into the path of Deeney, but he still did really well to reach it and prod it past Gerken.  At this point some idiot child let off a smoke bomb at the top of the stand.  Despite how windy it was, the stand is quite enclosed so the smoke took quite some time to dissipate.  I wasn’t particularly close to it and it made me cough so I can only hope that it choked the idiot who set it off.  On the pitch Forestieri replaced Fabbrini.  With a couple of minutes remaining, Ipswich had a great chance to win the game as Almunia parried a shot from McGoldrick only as far as Hyams whose header crashed back off the crossbar.  Then Watford had their own chance to win it as McGugan passed to Anya on the wing but he curled his shot wide of the far post.  In injury time McGugan put the ball into the box but neither Deeney nor Battocchio could get on the end of it. 

Thanking the fans

Thanking the fans

So, everything changes, everything stays the same.  That was our fifth away draw in a row and we only had two shots on target.  Sannino has only been with the club for 4 days so it will be some time before see his how his team will play.  We certainly looked tighter at the back, but the return of Angella and Doyley contributed to that and our forward line still appears unconvincing.  The visits of Millwall and QPR to Vicarage Road will be very interesting.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a wonderful 2014.