Optimism for this season was at an all-time high in the Ipswich following, but, failure to beat any team in the top six could potentially derail the immediate return to the championship.
Peterborough, traditionally a selling team (I mean that as a compliment) could not have expected the gifts on offer at Portman Road on Saturday, with most fans of both teams concerned about the officials, the first decision revealed the issue.
A collision between Dembele, Wilson and Norris spilt the ball goalward but cleared.
Initially the ref, Andy Woolmer, gave a throw-in, even checking with his assistant, but Toney, Smodzics, and co surrounded the linesman, the ref then spoke to – and changed his mind. 1-0
The second goal will appear on blooper reels at the end of the season, Norris cannoning the ball off Smodzics shin, for the attacker to chase down and slot home… 2-0
The final result of 4-1 flattered Peterborough, but strangely also Ipswich, who could not have been upset with more of a deficit.
Earlier in the game, Jackson had been hauled down by Beevers, a rare neck high hugging, yet Woolmer waved for a foul the other way.
I don’t begrudge Peterborough the win, but if I know Mr Woolmer is referee at another game, I may stay home.
Ipswich are currently 4th, five points adrift of the top, and two of second, with a game in hand on most although Coventry and Portsmouth are lurking with two more ‘bonus matches.
Paul Lambert signed a five-year deal at Christmas, a bid to galvanise the club and create stability. However, a season without promotion will see the talented players poached, Dobra (Armando) a youngster was subject to interest in the window, whilst Downes and Woolfenden courted attention from big Premier League clubs.
No major transfer dealings in January is not uncommon for Ipswich, merely holding on to what we’ve got has become the norm but the lack of a ‘boost’ signing may be the signal of demise once more.
second to everything on the pitch today, and in midweek away at table-topping Rotherham too, suddenly Saturday at Sunderland is a must-win game at a ground Ipswich do not generally find points at.
In short, Ipswich need a turn in fortune. The second goal today was a freak show but did not condemn the team. The failure to pick up from that point was the death knell on this first February in League One.