Ipswich Town 2-2 Blackpool: Spoils shared as Garbutt's penalty earns Blues a point in entertaining contest
PUBLISHED: 17:56 23 November 2019 | UPDATED: 18:26 23 November 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town and Blackpool played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Portman Road this afternoon.
The Blues led early through Gwion Edwards' striker but had to come from behind after a goal from Sullay Kaikai and a Jay Spearing penalty, given away by captain Luke Chambers, put the visitors in front.
Luke Garbutt ultimately rescued a point for Ipswich with a penalty of his own, in a game in which a draw was probably a fair result between two sides with promotion aspirations.
Next up for Ipswich is a first-v-second clash with leaders Wycombe under the Portman Road lights on Tuesday night, with the gap now standing at five points with Ipswich holding two games in hand.
We knew change was coming, with a raft of players set to return to the starting line-up after being rested for the three cup games, with James Norwood expected to be one of those incoming men.
His name was missing from the team sheet, though, after the striker picked up an injury, but Lukes Chambers, Woolfenden and Garbutt, as well as Cole Skuse, Flynn Downes, Jon Nolan and Kayden Jackson, did all return to the side.
In what was their first league game in 17 days and their first League One contest at Portman Road in 31, the Blues were on the front foot from the first minutes, with Danny Rowe the first to fashion an opening as he cut inside, dribbled towards the edge of the box but ultimately couldn't hit the target as his shot rolled wide.
Blackpool had their early moments too, with Will Norris, preferred to Tomas Holy, pushing Sully Kaikai's free-kick away before the Blues took the lead.
Janoi Donacien was the source of it, as he did well to reach a ball on the byline and dig out a high, arching cross which Garbutt superbly headed back into danger. Jackson had drawn defenders' eyes to the near post, leaving Edwards free to thump the ball into the back of the net.
The lead lasted a little over 10 minutes, though, as Blackpool broke following an Ipswich corner to equalise. Skuse was left on the Portman Road turf after a foul in the Blackpool half, but referee Stephen Martin allowed the advantage which helped the visitors to storm down the left where on-loan Norwich man James Husband crossed for Nuttall to finish at the second attempt.
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Norris had to be alert to again keep Kaikai out, as Town began to find things a little tough following their strong start before the two sides went in level at the interval.
Just as they did in first, Ipswich came out flying in the second half but were quickly behind as Chambers' late tackle felled Kaikai in the box as the winger headed to the byline. The Ipswich players, led by Chambers and Norris felt aggrieved, but captain Jay Spearing did the rest.
But just as you began to fear it might become a long afternoon, the Blues were level with a penalty of their own after Ben Heneghan's hand ball in the box gifted Garbutt the opportunity to coolly dispatch.
The atmosphere inside Portman Road was bubbling up nicely and the roof nearly came off as, following a succession of corners, Jackson and Georgiou turned the ball towards the goal before it was hacked off the line.
Norris was called upon to make two good saves from Ryan Edwards as Town were forced to defend set-pieces before Will Keane and Alan Judge were thrown on late on.
They couldn't force the issue, though, with the two sides sharing the points.
Ipswich Town: Norris; Donacien, Woolfenden, Chambers, Garbutt; Skuse, Downes (Keane 84), Nolan; Edwards (Judge 84), Rowe (Georgiou 66), Jackson
Subs: Holy, Wilson, Dozzell, Huws
Blackpool: Alnwick; Edwards, Heneghan, Husband; Feeney, Virtue (Guy 66), Spearing, MacDonald (Turton 66), Kaikai (Thompson, 84), Nuttall, Delfouneso
Subs: Sims, Hardie, Scannell, Tilt
Attendance: 19,503 (498 away fans)