Report: Town’s new era begins with dramatic draw as Edun rescues a point on debut
PUBLISHED: 17:04 04 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:53 04 August 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
The Paul Hurst era at Ipswich Town has begun with a dramatic late equaliser after Tayo Edun rescued a point on his Blues debut.
The Fulham youngster only joined on loan yesterday, but was the toast of Portman Road a little more than 24-hours later when his 90th-minute cross crept in at the far post to send the home crowd wild.
It had looked as if the Blues were heading for an opening-day defeat, after Danny Graham and Bradley Dack had cancelled out Gwion Edwards’ early opener, before Edun ensured Hurst has a point on the board at the earliest opportunity.
There were certainly positives to take from the display, while area of obvious need were highlighted as we hurtle towards Thursday’s transfer deadline.
There were for debutants – Ellis Harrison, Edwards, Trevoh Chalobah and Janoi Donacien – in the starting line-up as Hurst named his first Ipswich side and they all had both good and bad moments as they took their first steps in Ipswich shirts.
Edwards was the pick of the bunch, looking dangerous whenever he got on the ball and looked to run at his man, while Harrison worked tirelessly in attack for little reward.
But despite the obvious areas needing improvement, there was enough on show to encourage the near-19,000 crowd which so enthusiastically encouraged their side throughout and cheered them off at the end.
They were cheering within five minutes, as Cole Skuse started a patient Ipswich move with a neat flick in the middle of the midfield switching play to the left, where Sears floated a delightful cross which Edwards was able to cushion into the far corner with a well-placed header.
Portman Road was rocking, the Blues were getting Edwards on the ball but the odd miss-placed pass highlighted opening-day nerves.
They were punished after 20 minutes when Graham was on hand to turn the ball home after a long, flighted free-kick into the penalty wasn’t properly cleared, with Bartosz Bialkowski only able to juggle the ball into the striker’s path.
The Blues looked to push on and respond but left the door open at the other end, with a combination of Spence and Janoi Donacien caught out of position, up the pitch, allowing Derrick Williams to cross and provide Dack with the easiest of finishes for Blackburn’s second.
Spence soon departed having suffered an earlier clash of heads, which had clearly impacted his display, and was replaced by Woolfenden as the hosts tried to regain a foothold in the contest.
They struggled to create any chances of note prior to the interval and found things tough in the second as Rovers became more compact, happy with their lead.
Edwards looked the most likely to unlock the door, while Ben Morris and Edun looked bright off the bench, before the latter’s cross rescued a point.