First Town draw since September PLUS full match ratings
Coventry City 1 Ipswich Town 1
IPSWICH Town started 2011 and reached the half-way point in the league season with a Championship point against Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.
It was the Blues’ first draw in 17 games going back to Scunthorpe on September 25 and their first point on the road since Sheffield United on November 6.
Rory Fallon gave Town the lead in the 43rd minute before Freddy Eastwood equalised in the 49th minute.
When Marlon King was sent off in the 59th minute for a dreadful tackle of Darren O’Dea, Coventry were left to play the final half and hour with 10 men.
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There was a surprise recall for key defender McAuley who was playing his first game since November 9 having undergone an Achilles operation.
Peters came in to play right back with Zuiverloon having gone back to West Brom where he featured as a substitute against Manchester United today. O’Dea replaced Kennedy while Edwards came in for the injured O’Connor. Wickham was fit enough to be on the bench despite suffering a knock in the win over Leicester on December 18.
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Lee-Barrett took over from broken ankle victim Murphy as replacement keeper with striker Murray getting a substitute spot ahead of Priskin.
Town show plenty of command in the early stages and in the 21st minute good play on the right by Edwards resulted in a perfect cross to the far post where Fallon got above his man but only headed into the raised hands of Westwood.
Two minutes later Town had a let off when Wood got his head to a cross and the ball looped above Colback standing on the line and rebounded back into play off the top of the post.
In the 30th minute it was Town’s turn to strike the woodwork – and how! Edwards made ground in a swift counter attack and his vicious 22 yard strike was touched by Westwood before thundering against the underside of the bar and bouncing back into play.
Ipswich score their first goal of 2011 in the 43rd minute, and it’s a good one. Norris was fed into space down the left channel by Colback at the end of prolonged possession. From his cross, Westwood dived to his left to save superbly from Colback, but the ball ran loose and Fallon side-footed into the net for his first goal for the Blues.
Just when Town wanted to consolidate and build on their advantage they failed to deal with a big 49th minute punt forward. When the ball was laid back to Eastwood he beat the diving Fulop with a low 22 yard shot that entered the net via the keeper’s hands.
Ten minutes later the dangerous King was sent off for a high challenge that left O’Dea on the floor feeling his shin.
In the 69th minute, Scotland was denied by a last-ditch tackle by McPake, and seconds later Colback side-footed wide from close range when he should have done better following a neat knock-down by Fallon.
Coventry had late strong penalty claim for a Smith challenge on Jutkiewicz turned down.
Coventry City: Westwood; Keogh, McPake, Cameron, Wood; Bell (Platt 69), Carsley, Doyle, Eastwood; Jutkiewicz, King. Substitutes: Ireland, O’Halloran, Cranie, Baker, O’Donovan, Thomas.
Ipswich Town: Fulop; Peters (Brown 86), McAuley, Smith, O’Dea; Edwards, Norris, Leadbitter, Colback (Murray 84); Scotland (Wickham 76), Fallon. Substitutes: Lee-Barrett, Delaney, Livermore, Kennedy.
Referee: Mr R Booth (Nottinghamshire)
Attendance: 14,412 (899 Ipswich)
COVENTRY CITY V IPSWICH TOWN MATCH RATINGS
Coventry City: Westwood 8; Keogh 6, McPake 7, Cameron 6, Wood 6; Bell 6, Carsley 7, Doyle 6, Eastwood 7; Jutkiewicz 6, King 8.
Ipswich Town: Fulop 7; Peters 7, McAuley 7, Smith 6, O’Dea 6; Edwards 7, Norris 7, Leadbitter 7, Colback 7; Scotland 6, Fallon 7.
Coventry City 1
Goal: Eastwood 49
Sent off: King 59
Shots on target: 3
Shots off target: 9
Free-kicks conceded (including off sides): 9
Ipswich Town 1
Goal: Fallon 43
Bookings: Scotland 61
Sent off: -
Shots on target: 3
Shots off target: 7
Free-kicks conceded (including off sides): 11