Ray Eggleton’s Albion Column
It didn’t go to plan at Portman Road on Saturday. The hard working Tractor Boys scored twice through David McGoldrick to take the three points and really we can’t complain.
After a run of good results and three goals against Bolton last week took us up to tenth in the Championship, Brighton fans were hoping for a positive result against Ipswich.
But we couldn’t dominate, failed to create enough chances and we didn’t score. It was the first defeat in seven games and drops us down to 12th.
Of course, it could have been very different IF Andrew Crofts had scored from the low Will Buckley cross after just six minutes. He stabbed it wide.
It is fair to say Mick McCarthy’s side were lucky with McGoldrick’s first. His shot deflected off Keith Andrews, hit the underside of the bar and flew into the net. This was on 20 minutes.
Just four minutes later he was too nimble for our captain Gordon Greer, beating him and firing past Tomasz Kuszczak for 2-0.
The stats show we had the most possession but only seven shots to Ipswich’s 10. The important stat was that NONE of our shots were on target!
Fans knew it wasn’t their day when ref Stephen Martin rejected a clear penalty shout as Albion attempted toget back into the game in the second half. A Will Buckley shot from inside the box was stopped by a Tommy Smith’s arm at head height.
Every Brighton player saw it but Mr Martin, who was very close to the action, waved play on. That was harsh but in all honesty, Ipswich deserved their win and in MoM McGoldrick had the goal scoring forward Brighton are missing.
Oscar Garcia didn’t start Kazenga LuaLua which with hindsight may be questioned. LuaLua makes things happen so perhaps he needed 90 minutes.
With Andrea Orlandi and Liam Bridcutt out injured, Garcia is still trying to find his strongest midfield. He didn’t play Rohan Ince although many supporters think the youngster provides valuable height and strength to midfield.
With Craig Conway yet to make an impression upfront, the good news was that top scorer Leonardo Ulloa was back from suspension for Tuesday night’s game with Sheffield Wednesday.
Sadly, though, he was stretchered off as we only just scraped a draw against one of the worst teams to visit the Amex.
Garcia still hasn’t worked out his best formation. There was no place in the starting line-up for Ince, Barnes or Buckley. Our passing and control were not good, our shooting woeful. We didn’t play well as a team and individual performances were poor.
Wednesday wasted time from the start and the ref lost control at times.
We let them score against the run of play just before half-time and it got worse with the loss of Ulloa. A large number of Seagulls’ fans had left before we got the late, late equaliser through Keith Andrews.
Can we improve on Saturday at the Amex against a better footballing side like Forest? Our current position is disappointing and we need to get a few wins together to get to where we need to be: in the play-off positions.
It is still relatively early days perhaps but the gap must not get bigger. Nigel Clough found this out to his cost after his Derby were beaten by Notts Forest and he was sacked.
Picture by Angela Brinkhurst.