Bristol City 1-1 Ipswich Town: Blues show spirit to come from behind and earn a point at Ashton Gate
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Ipswich Town earned their fifth 1-1 draw in their last six games as they secured another good point at Bristol City this evening.
The Blues started like a train but ran out of steam in the first half before former Ipswich defender Adam Webster headed the hosts in front, but Paul Lambert’s men responded well after the break and made their point when Myles Kenlock’s driven cross forced Lloyd Kelly to slam the ball into his own net.
Manager Paul Lambert used five academy products during the course of the game at Ashton Gate, including a debut for 18-year-old Idris El Mizouni as a second-half substitute.
A draw was probably a fair result in a game in which both sides had spells of pressure, with home stopper Stefan Marinovic perhaps the busiest of the two goalkeepers as he put himself under extra pressure time and time again on a difficult City debut.
Ipswich now head into Saturday’s game with Nottingham Forest on a run of just one defeat in six, but without a win since the victory over Rotherham in January.
As has been a regular occurrence of late, there was intrigue on the team-sheet as Lambert made five changes to the side which drew so positively at West Brom at the weekend.
Kayden Jackson came in for Collin Quaner in attack, Josh Emmanuel made his first Ipswich start since April 2017 while Andre Dozzell, Trevoh Chalobah and Toto Nsiala also came into the side.
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It was Jackson who almost forced the opening goal inside a minute as, following a chase down the right flank, he continued to charge down debutant goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic and stole the ball off his foot, only to see the ball roll agonisingly out of his reach.
The Blues maintained their intense approach throughout the opening 10 minutes, forcing pressure from corners and a Chalobah effort which the Chelsea loanee shanked wide.
Luke Chambers was the next to threaten, getting ahead of Tomas Kalas to head Alan Judge’s corner over the top, before the Irishman let fly from 25 yards with an effort which skipped off the turf and off the palms of Marinovic.
City’s first opening of the evening saw Famara Diedhiou head Jamie Paterson’s corner over the top, before Andi Weimann cracked the outside of the post with an effort from a tight angle.
Weimann, who played under Lambert at Aston Villa, brought the first save out of Bialkowski as the Pole blocked his drive at the near post as the Blues began to get stretched following their early exertions.
The visitors’ early pressure had fizzled out and, when Webster got behind Nsiala to head City ahead it was what the hosts deserved.
Diedhiou got the Ashton Gate crowd excited when he flashed a superb overhead kick over the bar, before Gwion Edwards responded with a driven shot which was just about held by Marinovic.
Niclas Eliasson’s dangerous set-piece delivery continued to cause problems, with Diedhiou heading another over the top before the half-time whistle blew.
The Blues were on the front foot again at the start of the second period, with Chalobah stinging the palms of Marinovic as he fired a shot through traffic as both sides struggled to truly take control of the contest.
Paterson had muted penalty appeals turned down after colliding with Chambers and then headed wide a few minutes later, before a quick Ipswich break saw Edwards collect a ball from Jackson and fire a shot from 20 yards which Marinovic had to head wide.
The Blues did soon find their equaliser as a beautiful piece of play down the left saw Kenlock play a one-two with Nolan, with the left-back seizing on the midfielder’s excellent flick to fire in a cross which Kelly could only rocket into the top corner of his own goal.
Both sides traded blows in the final stages of the game without being able to find the net, with Ipswich perhaps the happier with the point as the boos rang out from the home crowd at the final whistle.
Bristol City: Marinovic; Hunt, Kalas, Webster, Kelly; Brownhill, Pack; Eliasson (Taylor 83), Paterson (Palmer 73), Weimann (O’Dowda 73), Diedhiou
Subs: O’Leary, Dasilva, Wright, Semenyo, Taylor
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Emmanuel, Chambers, Nsiala, Kenlock; Chalobah, Nolan (Skuse 75), Dozzell (Bishop 85); Edwards, Judge (El Mizouni 75); Jackson
Subs: Wright, Bree, Dawkins, Harrison
Att: 18,411 525