Andre Dozzell steals the headlines, Bialkowski stars again and Pitman’s anger - five talking points from Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday
A look at the major talking points coming out of Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, in which Andre Dozzell scored on his debut aged just 16.
Andre Dozzell steals the headlines
As chief football writer Stuart Watson said in his post-match video verdict, it seemed written in the stars that Andre Dozzell would make an impact once he eventually made his Ipswich Town debut.
There has been intrigue in the youngster since his early teens due to his famous father, Jason, which has only intensified this season as he became a regular in the club’s under 21s and captain of England Under 17s, before the furore reached fever pitch following his unused substitute appearance in the home win over Nottingham Forest.
With the season slipping away, fans’ calls for Dozzell to pull on the Blue shirt previously worn by his father were finally answered at half-time at Hillsborough, as he replaced Kevin Foley at the break.
Making his debut as a 16-year-old, just as his watching his father did, Dozzell junior remarkably matched Jason’s achievement as he headed home Liam Feeney’s cross to level the score, changing the mood in the away end, and of those following the game at home, in an instant.
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Of course he is far from the complete package, aged just 16, and in truth he didn’t see an awful lot of the ball at Hillsborough aside from his goal, but the emergence of the club’s latest homegrown product is an undoubted bright spot on an increasingly disappointing season.
Bart is the star again
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It was largely overlooked given the post-match talk was almost entirely focused on Dozzell, but Bartosz Bialkowski was, again, Ipswich Town’s stand-out performer.
The Pole made save after save to keep the Blues level and was called upon regularly following Dozzell’s equaliser to ensure the Blues left with a point, fully justifying his recent player of the league victory with yet another superb performance.
He had a couple of hairy moments, most notably when his attempted clearance thundered against Luke Chambers and only just flew wide of his post, but they didn’t detract from another stunning display.
Should he be in consideration for the Polish squad for Euro 2016?
A draw was not enough
There was a slight lingering hope that a victory at Hillsborough could ignite an unlikely play-off challenge, given a victory over the team in sixth would have cut the gap to five points with four games to go.
Saturday’s draw means that gap still remains at eight; one which is surely impossible to overcome now.
It’s been clear for a number of weeks that making the play-offs was extremely unlikely. Now all lingering hopes can stop being discussed.
Passions run high in football
Had Dozzell not stolen the show, more would surely have been made of Brett Pitman’s display of frustration at teammate Jonas Knudsen.
With seconds left on the clock, and Pitman free in the middle, the Dane elected to shoot from range rather than clip a cross into the box for Pitman to have a clear effort at goal.
Pitman was not happy. He turned and chased the defender back towards half way, gesticulating wildly in the process and had to be physically stopped from storming down the tunnel post match by manager Mick McCarthy and assistant Terry Connor.
Passions run high in football and t’s good to know he cares.
A young bench
Aside from Dozzell, the Ipswich Town bench at Hillsborough was a young one.
Pitman, Dean Gerken and Ben Pringle were also joined by Paul Digby, Myles Kenlock and Adam McDonnell due to the absence of a number of first-teamers.
Could more young players be involved between now and the end of the season?