Another dramatic finale sees Town lose fifth straight match

IPSWICH Town conceded two late goals for the second successive match to lose their fifth game on the spin.

Two injury time strikes from Alex Pearce and then Noel Hunt gave Reading a 3-2 win to leave the Blues devastated and some boos ringing round Portman Road on the final whistle.

It looked like Town were going to end their recent dire run when Josh Carson made it 2-1 in the 78th minute.

But Pearce headed home Ian Harte’s corner in the first minute of injury time and Hunt fired low under Richard Wright in the 93rd minute.

It was a touch cruel on the Blues who showed commitment and endeavour, even if they looked low in confidence at times.

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Paul Jewell made four changes to his starting line-up, including shock starts for Richard Wright – in place of injured David Stockdale – and Daryl Murphy.

In a bright start for the visitors, Simon Church was inches away from connecting to Jimmy Kebe’s cross after just two minutes.

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At the other end, Keith Andrews neat clipped pull played in Jay Emmanuel-Thomas down the right and he cut inside before firing wide of the far post.

But it was the visitors who continued to look the most dangerous and they should have taken the lead when Ian Harte failed to make a clean contact, five yards out, from Jobi McAnuff’s dangerous corner in the 22nd minute.

Hunt headed just wide but it was Ipswich who should have taken the lead in the 34th minute. Andrews played in Chopra and Town’s top scorer poked a shot against the far post.

Emmanuel-Thomas saw his rebound blocked and then Chopra failed to make a clean contact to Daryl Murphy’s subsequent cross.

Keith Andrews had Town’s first shot on goal after 54 minutes, his free kick well parried by Federici.

But it galvanised the home side who took the lead 60 seconds later.

A great piece of skill from Carson earned his side a free kick and Grant Leadbitter’s cracking inswinger was nodded home by Murphy.

Aaron Cresswell stopped a certain equaliser when his fantastic diving block denied Jimmy Kebe but Reading drew level in the 76th minute when Kaspars Gorkss had a free header from Harte’s deadly free kick.

To their credit, Ipswich picked themselves up and Carson scored his first of the season. Lee Martin tricked his way down the left wing and his low cross was beautifully laid off by Daryl Murphy for Carson to shoot over Adam Federici, via a deflection from Reading centre back Gorkss.

But for the second consecutive week, Town were undone by two late goals. Pearce headed home an equaliser before Hunt scored deep in injury time.

Once again, defensive frailties proved Paul Jewell’s side’s undoing.

Starting line-ups

Ipswich: Wright; Edwards, Ingimarsson, Collins, Cresswell; Carson, Andrews, Leadbitter (Wabara 870, Emmanuel-Thomas (Martin 74); Chopra (Bullard 80), Murphy. Subs - Lee-Barrett, Scotland.

Reading: Federici; Cummings, Gorkss, Pearce, Harte; Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff; Church, Hunt. Subs - Tabb, Le Fondre, Robson-Kanu, Manset, Andersen.

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