Full time: Ipswich Town 2 Rotherham United 2
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
David McGoldrick scored with the last kick of the game to spare Mick McCarthy’s blushes and salvage a 2-2 draw with the Championship’s bottom side, Rotherham United, at Portman Road.
McGoldrick lashed home an unstoppable effort from 30 yards after the Millers failed to clear a cross, to deny the visitors their first away win of the season.
It was however, Rotherham’s first away point of the campaign, after seven attempts, and boos emenated around Portman Road at the full-time whistle.
After Freddie Sears’ third-minute opener, Danny Ward capitalised twice on some shoddy Town defending to give the bottom club a crucial point.
Town got off to a dream start, McCarthy having selected an attack-minded line-up, scoring with their first attack after three minutes.
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Greg Halford fouled Grant Ward on the right and from Tom Lawrence’s whipped ball to the near post, Sears was on had to tuck the ball home under Lee Camp’s left hand.
The Blues looked comfortable in possession and were lifted by that goal, but their momentum was halted four minutes later when the Millers equalised.
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Joe Newell’s right-wing corner was headed out by Town defender Adam Webster, only for Richard Wood to nod the ball back into the penalty box.
There, Town failed to clear the danger and Danny Ward swivelled in the box before firing home past Bartosz Bialkowski from close range.
After the goal came a quiet spell although Town did continue to play some attractive football, the nature of McCarthy’s team selection encouraging that.
Myles Kenlock, making his first start of the season at left-back, had a right-foot shot blocked from the edge of the box, before opposition goalkeeper Lee Camp palmed out his back post header after a good cross from Grant Ward on the right.
Teddy Bishop then dragged a shot well wide after weaving his way into the box from the corner flag, but his final effort was never going to test Camp.
At the other Dexter Blackstock was causing problems for Town’s central-defensive pairing of Christophe Berra and Adam Webster, but the Millers created little, Will Vaulks’ deflected shot from range, which went for a corner, the closest the visitors came to taking the lead.
After an encouraging first half, Town were dealt a blow just three minutes into the second period when Ward scored his second of the day.
A long throw from the right by Will Vaulks was missed by both Christophe Berra and Adam Webster as they jumped for the ball and Ward was left on his own to volley home from six yards for his eighth goal of the season.
Town had had the stuffing knocked out of them and what followed was the hosts huffing and puffing and getting increasingly desperate for an equaliser,
Instead, Rotherham could have gone three-up, but Wood scuffed his shot wide at the back post after some more suspect defending by Berra.
Jonny Williams and Leon Best were introduced as substitutes mid-way through the second half, for Teddy Bishop and Grant Ward respectively, but that failed to have the desired effect as the Blues lacked any penetration in the final third.
Chants of “Mick McCarthy, your football is s**t” and “What a load of rubbish” emenated around Portman Road shortly before the final whistle and the mood would have got even more toxic had it not been for McGoldrick’s intervention.
Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Webster, Berra, Kenlock (Varney, 85), Ward (Best, 66), Skuse, Bishop (Williams, 66), Lawrence, McGoldrick, Sears. Subs: Gerken, Bru, Grant, Emmanuel
Rotherham: Camp, Fisher, Wood, Fry, Mattock, Halford (Ball, 35), Taylor (Odemwingie, 80), Newell, Vaulks, Blackstock, Ward. Subs: Price, Kelly, Forde, Forster-Caskey, Brown.