Ipswich Town denied victory at the death by 10-man Blackburn
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town 1 Blackburn Rovers 1
Ben Marshall’s last gasp free-kick, in the 93rd minute, earned 10-man Blackburn Rovers an unlikely point at Portman Road this afternoon.
Ipswich Town seemed to be heading for a deserved victory, when David McGoldrick converted a second-half free-kick.
McGoldrick curled home a delightful free-kick, in the 65th minute, to at least extend Town’s impressive unbeaten run to eight matches, with four wins and four draws. But it really should have been five wins and three draws!
Rovers centre-half, Matthew Kilgallon, had been sent off for the foul which led to McGoldrick’s free-kick.
Kilgallon had been lucky to escape with just a yellow card in the 50th minute, for his crude challenge on Conor Sammon, but he was shown a second yellow and ensuing red card for another foul on Sammon just 13 minutes later.
And McGoldrick made Kilgallon, and Rovers, pay, with a deadly free-kick.
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It was no more than Town deserved for a dominant second-half display, but they were denied all three points at the death by Marshall, who smashed home a 22-yard free-kick into the top corner of the net to stun the Portman Road faithful.
Town had been forced into changes to their starting line-up, due to injuries to Luke Hyam and leading scorer Daryl Murphy, and an illness to defender Luke Chambers.
In came Stephen Hunt, Kevin Bru and Tommy Smith.
It was a very quiet opening, with neither side threatening inside the first 10 minutes.
A Rovers long throw did cause a stir inside the Town box on 11 minutes, but the follow-up shot by Lee Williamson was deflected wide for a corner.
At the other end, a delightful flick with his heel, from McGoldrick, sent Hunt scampering down the left wing. But Hunt’s final delivery was disappointing, the ball never reaching its target of Sammon.
Tyrone Mings, making several of his trademark strong runs down the left, obliged with a familiar charge and dangerous cross into the penalty area, where fellow full-back Jonathan Parr’s ambitious volley flew well wide of target.
In the 23rd minute, giant striker Rudy Gestede climbed above midfielder Cole Skuse at the far post to nod wide with a flying header. Skuse needed some treatment on a sore back before being able to continue.
A mix-up between Dean Gerken and defender Smith almost allowed Shane Duffy to break the deadlock in the 28th minute.
Jordan Rhodes’ goal-bound effort caused panic in the Town six-yard box, and in the end Gerken’s weak punch dropped agonisingly out of the reach of defender Duffy, who was standing just six yards from goal.
Town threatened from a free-kick in the 32nd minute. McGoldrick’s well-struck delivery soared into the six-yard box, where a back-pedalling Jason Steele managed to scoop up at the second attempt.
Both keepers were forced into their first real saves of the match on the 36-minute mark. Dean Gerken did well to beat away Gestede’s low drive, struck with venom at the near post.
The action quickly switched to the other end, where McGoldrick’s curling shot, from the edge of the box, was pushed to safety by Steele. From the ensuing corner, Smith’s goal-bound header was safely gobbled up by Steels.
On the stroke of half-time, the impressive Christophe Berra cut out Craig Conway’s dangerous cross with an out-stretched boot. That summed up his classy first-half performance.
Five minutes into the second period and there was controversy when Sammon, bursting clear of the Rovers defence while chasing onto Skuse’s intelligent flick, was unceremoniously brought to ground by Kilgallon.
Town players surrounded referee James Adcock, no doubt demanding a red card, but Kilgallon escaped with a yellow – although it was a crude challenge, there were other Rovers players close to the challenge, so it was not a clear-cut goalscoring chance.
McGoldrick was only a whisker away from the ensuing free-kick, his shot dipping just the wrong side of the far upright.
Town were by now completely bossing possession, and Sammon was unlucky to see his shot diverted off target by a defender.
They were certainly well on top, even before Kilgallon was shown his second yellow and ensuing red card, for another rash challenge on Sammon.
And when McGoldrick curled home the free-kick, to put Town 1-0 up with 25 minutes left, the writing seemed to be on the wall for Blackburn.
In fact, McCarthy’s men could have doubled their lead just two minutes later, when Hunt’s goalbound header was cleared off the goal-line by Duffy.
Only the woodwork denied Town a second goal in the 82nd minute, as McGoldrick’s crisp volley thudded back off the post.
And they were made to pay for these missed chances, when Marshall converted an injury-time free-kick to secure an likely point for the visitors.
IPSWICH: Gerken, Parr, Berra, Smith, Mings, Skuse, Hunt (sub Ambrose, 90+2), Bru (sub Anderson, 85), Williams (sub Tabb, 79), McGoldrick, Sammon. Unused subs: Bialkowski, Bajner, Henshall, Clarke.
BLACKBURN: Steele, Marshall, Duffy, Kilgallon, Olsson, Cairney (sub Tunnicliffe, 83), Williamson, Evans, Conway (sub Baptiste, 68), Rhodes (sub Henley, 75), Gestede. Unused subs: Eastwood, Dunn, Varney, Taylor.
Referee: James Adcock
Attendance: 16,972 (379 away fans)