Ipswich Town earn a draw at home to Leeds United, after 1-1 draw

Thumbs up from Freddie Sears to skipper Luke Chambers after Sears had scored the opener to give Ipsw

Thumbs up from Freddie Sears to skipper Luke Chambers after Sears had scored the opener to give Ipswich a 1-0 lead in the Ipswich Town v Leeds United (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 18 February 2017. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town picked up a deserved point from a 1-1 draw with play-off chasing Leeds United, at Portman Road, this afternoon.

Freddie Sears wheels away after putting Town into a 1-0 lead in the Ipswich Town v Leeds United (Sky

Freddie Sears wheels away after putting Town into a 1-0 lead in the Ipswich Town v Leeds United (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 18 February 2017. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Missing top-scorer Tom Lawrence, who was suspended, Town went ahead in the ninth minute through Freddie Sears, only to be pegged back three minutes before the break by Stuart Dallas.

That goal for Leeds came against the run of play, and it was Town, after a quiet start to the second half, who had the better chances to win the game.

David McGoldrick hit the bar, forced a good save from Rob Green and missed his kick with the goal gaping in the second period, while Emyr Huws was a constant menace with inswinging free-kicks and corners.

The Blues made three changes from the 1-1 draw at Brighton. Luke Chambers was fit, despite suffering a cracked rib at the Amex, but Berra came back into the team at the expense of Josh Emmanuel, while Cole Skuse replaced the ineligible Toumani Diagouraga and Sears came in for Lawrence.

Freddie Sears (right) is congratulated by skipper Luke Chambers after scoring to put Town 1-0 ahead

Freddie Sears (right) is congratulated by skipper Luke Chambers after scoring to put Town 1-0 ahead in the Ipswich Town v Leeds United (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 18 February 2017. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller


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Town took the lead after nine minutes, Sears grabbing just his third goal of the season.

After Cole Skuse picked up the ball in midfield, he fed Huws who charged forward, weaving his way past two players, before finding Grant Ward on the right.

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The winger crossed to the back post and there was Sears to confidently sidefoot home from six yards.

Despite their lofty position in the play-offs, Leeds were offering little in the final third as Town dominated possession, led by Huws and McGoldrick, who were both having fine games.

Despite being in the ascendancy, Town didn’t create that many clear-cut chances although Jonas Knudsen was denied a second goal, three yards out, when Ronaldo Vieira stuck out a boot to divert the ball over the bar from Huws’ cross.

From the resulting corner, Green was called into action to tip Huws’ dipping corner over his own crossbar.

Leeds’ best chance had come when Hadi Sacko had cut in from the right and forced a comfortable catch from Bartosz Bialkowski at his near post, under pressure from Spence.

But they equalised, against the run of play, three minutes before the break.

Sacko’s deep cross from the right seemed to get the faintest of touches off Chris Wood’s head and Dallas sneaked in at the back post, behind Spence, to force the ball home from close range and a narrow angle.

After a quiet start to the second half, in which Liam Bridcutt was brought on to shore things up in front of the Leeds defence, the game came to life just after the hour.

Huws’ latest, dangerous inswinging corner was only punched clear by Green and McGoldrick, on the penalty spot, casually chipped the ball back towards goal, only for his effort to hit the bar. From the rebound, a stretching Christophe Berra could only head into Green’s hands.

McGoldrick was in the thick of things again on 70 minutes, this time just failing to connect with the ball – the goal gaping – as Spence nodded Kevin Bru’s diagonal cross back across goal.

McGoldrick looked the most likely player to score in a Town shirt and on 78 minutes he brought out a good, parried save at near post from Green, after latching onto Sears’ cross to the back post.

Town (3-5-2): Bialkowski; Chambers, Berra, Knudsen; Spence; Kenlock; Skuse (Bru, 60), Huws (Bishop, 81), Ward; McGoldrick (Moore, 90), Sears. Subs not used: Gerken, Smith, Pitman, Emmanuel.

Leeds (4-4-1-1): Green; Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi; Sacko (Barrow, 77), Vieira (Bridcutt, 45), O’Kane, Dallas; Hernandez; Wood (Doukara, 85). Subs not used: Silvestri, Cooper, Roofe, Pedraza.

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