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Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon’s column: A mixture of emotions after away win

It’s hard to sum up the mixture of feelings following Town over the past week.

‘Frustration’ was clearly the prominent emotion felt during Friday night’s SKY match at Reading, with Jonas Knudsen’s stupidity in dragging down Joey van den Berg in the box deep into injury-time, having been warned, costing us a point.

Mick McCarthy felt we played well, which was not what I or many others saw.

Brett Pitman was left too isolated and too many long balls were still being pumped forward.

Yet we did create chances and, despite Reading’s monopoly on possession we could, and should, have got something from the game.

On Tuesday the lessons to be learnt from the Madejski Stadium seemed to not have been heeded as it became like listening to the Alamo in the first half as Derby battered us without scoring.

Only three great saves from Bartosz Bialkowski kept us in it, while BBC Radio Suffolk’s Brenner Wolley was even moved to say he felt sorry for Pitman at the other end, as we continued to play out long balls to him.

Despair, exasperation, more frustration and trepidation at what the second half would bring were all felt during that half-time break.

But fast forward 45 minutes and it was elation and relief after recording a first away win of the season, and a clean sheet to boot. It’s a funny old game.

McCarthy deserves credit for switching to two up front at the break with Luke Varney making a real difference in someone who can hold up the ball and bring others into play.

But there’s that nagging doubt at how fortunate we got, especially with a heart-in-the-mouth moment at the end.

Varney or Leon Best have to start alongside Pitman for Aston Villa’s visit tomorrow (3pm), and in terms of a convincing performance, this side still have a lot to prove.

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