Donald Kerr was at Portman Road to see the Bees take a point with Maupay again making headlines.

On a warm blustery night in Suffolk, the Bees dominated the first 45 minutes and then, with a change of tactics and two substitutions at half time, Ipswich took charge of the second half.

Without ever showing the same fluidity and almost nonchalant dominance of the game on Saturday, Brentford still looked a class apart in the first half, and, as ever, the 450+ fans that had made the long trip must have been concerned that we had failed to score that all important second goal that you felt sure would have killed them off. Right from the start, Maupay caused problems with his darting runs through the back line, and, while it was difficult to judge from distance, it looked as if the yellow card for simulation after 5 minutes could equally have been adjudged a foul by the goal keeper and a penalty, He eventually scored with a looping header, but what really impressed tonight was his all round forward play, acting as the fulcrum around which the others could break beyond and receiving several penetrating balls from McEachran and distributing them with pace to both Benrahma and Watkins. We had several close calls prior to the goal with perhaps the cross from Sawyers from the right hand side the most dangerous, needing only the faintest touch to open our account. 

McEachran also had a very good first half and, in addition to his usual effective quarterback role in attack, also put in some essential tackles in midfield and helped tidy up when Ipswich made what we’re very rare incursions into Brentford territory. Mokotjo, the only change from the starting line up on Saturday, had a shaky start but grew into the game as the half progressed. In summary, 

Ipswich simply didn’t cope with the speed of thought and passing movement of the Bees, and when they did regain possession their lack of confidence prompted several mistakes and misplaced passes. They left the field to the sound of local discontent ringing in their ears.  

 At the start of the second half, the Ipswich manager, Paul Hurst, changed from a back three and wing backs to a back four, and brought on Edwards and Nolan for Spence and Harrison, and the impact was immediate, with Brentford under the sort of attack and pressure they hadn’t seen up to that point. And that set the pattern for the second half. It was now Brentford who were misplacing passes and missing tackles, and Dalsgaard in particular seemed to be the focal point of Ipswich attacks. Several times he found himself struggling to cope with long balls being pumped up the Ipswich left and, even when Canos came on to replace Benrahma and offer a little more support the onslaught continued. Too often this resulted in dangerous set pieces and there were a couple of occasions when the ball bounced around the six yard area before being cleared upfield. Apart from a stunning free kick by Barbet from just outside the box, which struck the crossbar, Brentford didn’t cause Gerken huge problems after the break, and the goal which finally came in the 73rd minute seemed inevitable. The substitutions of Yennaris for the tiring McEachran and Judge for Maupay didn’t change the pattern of play, and although Watkins had a couple of runs through the Ipswich defence, there was little support for his efforts. 

On the plus side, this was a point that in previous seasons might well have escaped us. The impression left by the second half was that our young defence had been severely tested and had done well, on occasions with Bentley’s help to clear the danger. It was an exciting match but the quality was patchy and we were dragged into a scrap that suited our opponents more than ourselves.