Coventry City 1-1 Ipswich Town: It's all-square once again as two sides can't be split at St Andrew's for second time
PUBLISHED: 17:01 07 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:23 08 December 2019
It was a case of different competition, same result as Ipswich Town and Coventry City played out a second 1-1 draw in six days this afternoon.
Less than a week on from their shared FA Cup encounter, it was a classic game of two halves as Ipswich dominated the opening period, playing lovely pass-and-move football with an end product, before the hosts took the game by the scruff of the neck after the break.
Town's half of domination was capped by an excellent Will Keane header, as the striker climbed highest to meet Alan Judge's cross, but when his second headed chance hit the post, following earlier missed chances from Jon Nolan and Judge, there was a nagging feeling the Blues may just end up ruing their profligacy.
And so it proved, as the Sky Blues took control of the midfield and earned their reward when Max Biamou found space in the box to fire home. They too hit the woodwork, through last weekend's goalscorer Callum O'Hare, as Ipswich lived dangerously on an afternoon where skipper Luke Chambers was missing due to a neck problem.
Coventry struck in the 94th minute in the cup game through O'Hare but there was to be no late sting in the tail for Ipswich this time, although Jamie Allen's late shot did sneak just wide, as the points were shared.
The draw moves Ipswich a point closer to leaders Wycombe, who aren't in action this weekend, cutting the gap to four, with Town's next game coming on Tuesday evening when Coventry visit for an FA Cup replay which completes a trilogy between the two sides.
Lambert made just one change to the side which drew here in the FA Cup less than a week ago, with Gwion Edwards coming into the team in place of Danny Rowe, who has been dealing with a minor knee problem.
Captain Chambers's absence meant Flynn Downes skippered again, while Cole Skuse was only fit enough for a place on the bench after taking a knock to his hip at Peterborough in midweek.
Coventry went with a front pairing of Max Biamou and Amadou Bakayoko, rather than the lone striker approach of a week ago, and the Sky Blues were on the front foot early, looking to take advantage of a narrow Ipswich right flank.
Jon Nolan got back superbly to snuff out Bakayoko's run into the box and it was the midfielder who had the first real chance of the game as, after good hold-up work from Will Keane, Alan Judge's cross flashed across the box for the midfielder to try and throw himself onto. He wasn't able to make enough contact with his header, though, and the chance was gone.
Ipswich were playing some nice football on the ground without being able to threaten in the final third, with possession spells ending with loose passes, but one passage of play saw them move the ball out from the back, with Will Norris, Luke Woolfenden, Janoi Donacien and Downes all moving it well before Nolan freed Edwards down the right. The Welshman charged into the box and shaped to shoot, with his scuffed effort heading to the far post where Judge was agonisingly unable to turn the ball home with an outstretched boot.
Downes was the next to shoot but scuffed his shot horribly wide, but Ipswich didn't have to wait long to take the lead.
Judge was the source as he took a corner shot, took possession back and whipped in a cross which Keane rose superbly to beat his man and find the bottom corner.
The visitors probably deserved their lead and it almost become two just a few minutes later when, this time from a Garbutt corner, Keane rose even higher than he had for his goal but could only angle his header against the post.
Garbutt was the next to shoot, lashing Judge's cross wide from outside the box, before Callum O'Hare's off-target header was the Sky Blues' only effort on goal of the half.
Judge ended the half clutching the left wrist he broke while on Ireland duty in the summer but was ok to return after the break, with Coventry looking to come out of the blocks quickly.
Will Norris had to make his first real save of the afternoon as he extended himself well to keep Coventry substitute Jordan Shipley's 25-yard drive out of the net, at a time when the Blues were losing ground in the middle of the pitch.
His clean sheet was soon gone, though, when an incisive ball into the box was straight into the stride of Biamou who steadied himself and lashed the ball low past the Ipswich goalkeeper.
Home tails were up, as were tensions when a collision between Edwards and Sam McCallum sparked a brawl involving both sets of players, with the Ipswich man booked as well as Coventry's Gervane Kastaneer who took a breaking from warming up on the touchline to get himself involved in the brawl.
Kayden Jackson and Cole Skuse were sent on as Ipswich reverted to a midfield diamond to try and stop the flow of Coventry pressure, but still it came, with Norris showing good hands to hold Kyle McFadzean's header.
And that was how it ended, as the second of three games between these sides ended in a draw once again.
Coventry City: Marosi, Dabo, McFadzean, Hyam (Drysdale 44), Rose, McCallum, Kelly, O'Hare, Westbrooke (Allen 79), Bakayoko, Biamou (Godden, 90)
Subs: Wilson, Hiwula, Kastaneer
Ipswich Town: Norris, Donacien, Woolfenden, Wilson, Garbutt; Downes, Dozzell, Nolan; Edwards (Skuse, 67), Judge (Jackson 67); Keane
Subs: Holy, Kenlock, El Mizouni, Dobra, Georgiou