Scrappy Ipswich game ends goalless TSS March 12, 2011 Match reviews 32 Comments A bore draw was the last thing anybody had in mind ahead of this game, and with other results favouring a Leeds United promotion push, the final scoreline was a frustrating one for The Whites. Ipswich set up shop in a professional manner that gave Leeds little room to operate and allowed the visitors to control play early doors. Leeds United did have their chances to take the lead, the most notable of which came from Max Gradel and Billy Paynter but the break never came and for a fanbase that have grown accustomed to several goals per game, this was difficult viewing. The problem was that Simon Grayson’s unchanged side struggled to overcome a determined Ipswich outfit who dug deep and afforded The Whites few opportunities. Closing down quickly in midfield and retaining possession well, Ipswich were in no mood to roll over and let Leeds charge towards the automatic places. There were moments of controversy when the referee failed to punish an Ipswich Town back-pass and for some of the soft free-kicks he gave to the visitors, but overall, Leeds struggled to create the amount of chances they usually would and a goalless draw is reflective of the way Ipswich contained a usually rampant and free-scoring Leeds United. Simon Grayson will likely take heavy criticism for sticking with Billy Paynter over Luciano Becchio and likewise for his decision not to start Barry Bannan. But the performances of those on the pitch wasn’t really the problem, Paul Jewell’s tactics simply didn’t allow us to carve out the sheer quantity of chances we usually would. On a more positive note, none of our promotion contenders managed to capitalise today and Swansea’s defeat away to Derby means we’ve actually closed the gap further. With Cardiff and Norwich both at home over the next few days however, the gap to the automatic places is likely to be five points by the time we play Sheffield United next week. Frustrating is the only word to sum up today’s game. Leeds had the opportunity to move level on points with Swansea, but a resilient Ipswich side blocked our path. With nine games to go, the league remains as unpredictable as it was on opening day. Leeds certainly aren’t out of the race, but a win today would have made things a hell of a lot easier. TSS man of the match I’m going to say Eric Lichaj in what could have been his final game for the club. I thought he tackled and closed down well throughout and was also one of our main threats going forward. Max Gradel also had a good game, but quietened a little in the second half. Matchday live Just want to say thanks to Dan for providing the new Matchday Live updates for us today, and to everyone who joined him here on The Scratching Shed. The statistics show just short of 800 readers for the consoles first outing, which is a very good start for the new service, especially when you consider it was a home game with more in attendance than there will be next week. It’s early days for the service and we’re working on a trial and error basis so if anyone who joined us today wants to offer any suggestions, please feel free to do so. Dan’s main concern was that it was a little difficult at times to provide all the updates himself, so we’ll be sure to add a second commentator before the Sheffield United game. Picture courtesy of MAMF. See more from Leeds v Ipswich here.