Gallery: Town keep Wolves from a score

Wolves 0 Ipswich Town 0SHEER, dogged determination earned Ipswich a point at Championship leaders Ipswich.And with a little bit of luck at the end Town might even have sneaked a win at Molineux but that would have been more than they deserved.

Derek Davis

SHEER, dogged determination earned Ipswich a point at Championship leaders Ipswich.

And with a little bit of luck at the end Town might even have sneaked a win at Molineux but that would have been more than they deserved.

It may not have got them anywhere in terms of challenging for a play-off place but at least it restored some pride and confidence after the debacle at home against Southampton last week.

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With Gareth McAuley suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season at Preston, Tommy Miller skippered the side for the first time.

He told the EADT yesterday how honoured he would be to lead out the team and last night got his wish, now all he needs is a new contract, which he is also seeking before his current deal runs out in the summer.

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Also wanting a new contract is Alex Bruce but he found himself dropped to the bench, one of four changes from the side that slumped to Southampton last week.

Town chose to go with the experience of Iv�n Campo, playing for the first time since straining a calf in January, alongside the naturally left-footed, mobile and youthful, Pim Balkestein.

The young Dutchman handled the physical presence of Scotland striker Chris Iwelumo while Campo mopped up around him.

Ben Thatcher and Luciano Civelli provided more natural balance as Town went with three left-footers as starters for the first time this season with another, Owen Garvan coming off the bench.

Pablo Counago and Jon Stead were dropped with Kevin Lisbie getting the nod as the lone striker with Jon Walters wide right of midfield.

The first goal was always going to be vital in this match up as Town have managed to win just twice in the 17 times they have conceded first this season.

They have allowed early goals at Preston, QPR and Swansea in their last three away games but, despite Wolves having much of the early play, did not concede and it was not until midway through the first half that Richard Wright had a save of note to make.

That was a decent one though as he tipped a David Jones free kick over his bar.

Kyel Reid, in for Wolves' dangerman Michael Kightly who was not risked as a starter with a tight hamstring hit another free kick from 30-yards that curled into the side netting.

Kightly replaced Reid at half-time to further torment Town down the right.

But for all their dominance in the first half they were restricted to long range efforts in the main.

Town tried to counter but did not give Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey anything to do for 65 minutes.

They weren't helped when they lost Walters to injury eight minutes before the break with Pablo Counago going on but not able to make much of an impact.

The Ipswich goal had a charmed life on the hour when Balkestein made a clearance from David Edwards, Blake followed up with a shot that hit the crossbar and then Kightly shot wide from the rebound.

Edwards also had a shot saved by the well-positioned Richard Wright

Lisbie caused some consternation at the other end when Hennessey fumbled but was unable to capitalise.

David Norris had a shot deflected for a corner and from Civelli's in-swinger hit the ball back across the box but it was cleared from under the bar.

Although Ipswich have hit the most shots in the Championship, 266 before kick off, their conversion rate of less than one in five, is not particularly impressive compared to Wolves, which is better than one in four.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, the Championship's top scorer with 23, is the main reason for that with Iwelumo on 15 for the season the other although the former Colchester United star has not netted since November.

It never helped either side in this game where much of the action was around the Blues goal but Norris, Stead and Miller all went close at the death.

Whenever he feels his side need a lift, or a reminder of how well they can do things, Wolves manager Mick McCarthy uses the DVD of their 2-0 win at Portman Road in August as the example of their best all-round display of the campaign.

He will be able to use this one as an example of how a resilient opposition can make things difficult for even the top sides.

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