Gallery: Jason Scotland grabs late equaliser for Ipswich Town at high-flying Southampton
SUBSTITUTE Jason Scotland earned Ipswich Town a well-deserved 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Southampton with an 85th minute equaliser at St Mary’s.
After riding their luck in a goalless first half, Town improved significantly after the break and were slightly unfortunate to fall behind to Rickie Lambert’s 74th minute opener.
Blues boss Paul Jewell introduced Scotland and Ryan Stevenson, switching to a 4-4-2 formation, and he was rewarded when Scotland’s shot from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection past ex-Town keeper Kelvin Davis.
With centre midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin pulling the strings and Adam Lallana a serious threat down the left, Saints have dominated only to see Town get in a series of last ditch interceptions, blocks and saves.
Visiting keeper Alex McCarthy spread himself to save one-on-one from Lallana in the 23rd minute, while three minutes later Smith deflected the ball wide after Lallana had burst into the box via a smart one-two with Schneiderlin.
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Ipswich have struggled to keep the ball, but did come close to breaking the deadlock against the run of play in the 29th minute when striker Michael Chopra was agonisingly close to getting on the end of a superb Lee Martin cross from the right.
That would have been harsh on Southampton though who almost scored on the counter-attack from the above Town chance, with Aaron Cresswell getting an important touch on Lallana’s cut-back.
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Ipswich’s only shot on target has been a speculative Jay Emmanuel-Thomas shot from the edge of the box which was pushed around the post by ex-Blues keeper Kelvin Davis.
Town improved significantly after the break and only a super reaction save from Davis kept out a point-blank header from Chopra soon after the restart.
Lambert lashed home sub Steve De Ridder’s cut-back in the 74th minute to end organised Ipswich resistance, before Jewell responded with his double substitution.
And it came off when Scotland grabbed his late equaliser to send 901 visiting fans home happy.
– Reaction to follow.
SOUTHAMPTON (4-4-2): Davis; Richardson, Hooiveld, Fonte, Harding; Do Prado (De Ridder 70), Schneiderlin, Hammond, Lallana (Cork 83); Lee (Sharp 75), Lambert.
Subs: Martin, Connolly.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-2-3-1): McCarthy; Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell; Drury (Scotland 77), Leadbitter (Bowyer 83) Emmanuel-Thomas, Martin, Murphy (Stevenson 77); Chopra.
Subs: Lee-Barrett; Sonko.