FULL-TIME: Ipswich Town 1 Peterborough United 1
Ipswich v Peterborough: IPSWICH Town needed a soft penalty award to rescue a point against rock-bottom Peterborough United at Portman Road.
Poor defending from Danny Higginbotham and Aaron Cresswell allowed Lee Tomlin the chance to break the deadlock in the eighth minute, with the confidence-rocked Blues then producing their most nervy half of football of the season.
Town did improve after the restart, but they required a soft spot-kick award to draw level in the 59th minute. Lee Martin cut inside Tomlin in the box, the wideman left his foot hanging and the home player needed no second invtation to go down,
DJ Campbell coolly converted the penalty to take his goal tally to five in nine games since joining on loan from QPR.
The game then opened up, with both sides having chances to win it, but a draw was probably the fair result as two poor sides cancelled each other out.
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Another early goal conceded has led to Ipswich Town producing their most nervy 45 minutes of football this season against fellow strugglers Peterborough.
In an all too familiar tale, it was schoolboy defending from the Suffolk side as they fell behind in the eighth minute. Danny Higginbotham and Aaron Cresswell were left for dead in the box thanks to a simple drop of the shoulder from Lee Tomlin and, with time and space, the wideman forced the ball home.
It then became a vicious cycle as the crowd got more and more edgy, with that then transpiring to Mick McCarthy’s already confidence-rocked men.
The Blues failed to produce a single shot on goal in the entire 45 minutes, with simple mis-placed passes and long balls up to the diminutive strike duo of Michael Chopra and DJ Campbell drawing shouts of anger from the home fans.
Peterborough – who started the day rock-bottom thanks to a record of 13 defeats from 17 – were not much better in the driving rain.
However, on a couple of occasions, basic through-balls have almost caught Ipswich out as a huge chasm has opened up between centre-backs Higginbotham and Tommy Smith. On two occasions, a tight offside decision has denied striker Saido Berahino racing clear.
Town’s work-rate did improve in the second half, but – devoid of ideas – you sensed they may need a slice of luck to force a breakthrough.
It arrived just before the hour when Tomlin stupidly left his dangling when Martin cut into the box. The winger needed no second invitation to go down, with Campbell coolly converting the resulting spot-kick.
Both sides could have gone on to win it as the match suddenly opened up.
Home keeper Stephen Henderson saved with his legs from an angled Tomlin shot, while a sliding Campbell came within inches of converting Bradley Orr’s low cut-back across the face of goal.
Higginbotham had a lopping header tipped over the bar, while sub Dwight Gayle fired over from a glorious position.
A point was probably about right as two poor sides cancelled each other out.
– Reaction to follow.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Henderson; Orr, Smith, Higginbotham, Cresswell; Edwards, Reo-Coker (Hyam 80), N’Daw, Martin; Campbell (Murphy 76), Chopra (Emmanuel-Thomas 62).
Subs: Loach, Chambers, Hewitt, Mohsni.
PETERBOROUGH UNITED (5-4-1): Olejnik; Little, Brisley, Bostwick (cpt), Knight-Percival, Little; Tomlin, McCann, Thorne, Boyd; Berahino (Gayle 53).
Subs: Day, Alcock, Zakuani, Swanson, Ferdinand, Clarke-Harris.
Referee: Mark Halsey