Gallery: Chopra brace rescues Town at Cambridge

MICHAEL Chopra’s first half brace rescued Ipswich Town a 2-2 draw at Cambridge United after the non-league side stormed into a two-goal lead within the opening three minutes.

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Cambridge United 2 Ipswich Town 2

MICHAEL Chopra’s first half brace rescued Ipswich Town a 2-2 draw at Cambridge United after the non-league side stormed into a two-goal lead within the opening three minutes.

A terrible mistake by Lee Bowyer – made captain with Grant Leadbitter on the bench – allowed the Blue Square Premier side to score with less then two minutes on the clock. His casually played, blind backpass set Ryan Charles in the clear and he took full advantage with a crisp finish from outside the box.


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Less than a minute later Bowyer gave away a cheap free-kick 25 yards from goal and Ryan Charles punished the error by curling the dead ball superbly into the top corner.

The third goal of the game arrived in the fifth minute and this time it went Town’s way. Following good build-up play involving Lee Martin and Nathan Ellington, it was Michael Chopra who showed all his goalscoring instincts by converting from close range.

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And the summer signing from Cardiff then made it four Ipswich goals in little over 130 minutes by volleying home from 10 yards to level things up in the 21st minute. Once again it was good build-up play, this time Carlos Edwards sending a perfectly weighted ball over the top for Josh Carson to pull back from the byline.

Chopra was denied a hat-trick in the 38th minute when his goalbound volley hit unsuspecting team mate Ellington’s legs.

Town, full of unforced errors in the opening half, were much improved after the break, with substitute Andy Drury making a real difference in midfield.

It was still a highly disrupted 45 minutes though as both sides made numerous substitutions.

The closest Town came was when Jason Scotland hit the post from Edwards’ cutback in the 65th minute.

Cambridge then had two glorious chances to win it in the death. In the 86th minute Liam Hughes headed over the bar with the goal gaping after Jordan Patrick had burst past makeshift centre-back Luke Hyam.

Then, in stoppage-time, Conal Platt had a shot cleared off the line by Hyam and saw his follow-up hit the crossbar.

IPSWICH TOWN: Lee-Barrett (Fulop 65); Edwards, Smith (Hyam 81), Delaney, Cresswell (Kennedy 46); Carson (Ainsley 46), Bowyer (cpt) (Leadbitter 65), Healy (Drury 46), Martin (Priskin 65); Chopra, Ellington (Scotland 46).

Attendance: 2,307 (752 away).

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