Ipswich Town 2-2 AFC Wimbledon: Blues pegged back once again

Hayden Coulson is fouled.

Hayden Coulson is fouled. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Ipswich Town let a lead slip for the third-successive game as the Blues once again failed to register their first win of the season. 

Things were looking so good after Joe Pigott’s penalty and Wes Burns’ superb strike had put Paul Cook’s men 2-0 up.  

But Ben Heneghan pulled one back within two minutes of Town’s second and, five minutes into stoppage time, substitute Jack Rudoni pounced after Vaclav Hladky could only push Henegan’s header back into danger and slammed home to equalise. 

The result means Town are now winless in their five League One games this season, picking up just three points, and are one of only three sides not to have registered a victory in the opening month of the season. 

Next up is a trip to Wycombe Wanderers next weekend. 

Joe Pigott scores from the penalty spot.

Joe Pigott scores from the penalty spot. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Cook made just a single change to his starting line-up, with Joe Pigott coming into the side in place of Macauley Bonne, who dropped out of the 18 through injury following his two-goal display against MK Dons a week ago. 

The heavens opened in the minutes leading up to kick-off, before Kyle Edwards showed his attacking intent within seconds of the opening whistle as he looked to skip past his man inside the box. 

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Town looked to work the flanks early, without pressure on the Dons’ goal, before Rekeem Harper had the game’s first chance as he fired straight down the throat of Wimbledon keeper Nik Tzanev on 15 minutes. 

Pigott, facing his old club, left former strike partner Oli Palmer flat on the floor as a shot thumped the Wimbledon No.9 in the face before being cleared, with Aaron Pressley having the visitors’ first attempt when turning Henry Lawrence’s cross over the top of the bar. 

Wes Burns makes it 2-0.

Wes Burns makes it 2-0. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

A swift counter-attack saw Pigott feed Burns down the right, with Harper connecting superbly with the Welshman’s pull-back, only for his driven shot to be deflected over the top by Dons midfielder Luke McCormick. 

Edwards was the next to test the keeper, forcing Tzanev to drop to his right and push clear after a good connection between Pigott and Scott Fraser, before Lee Evans let fly from 50 yards with the goalkeeper out of position to end the half. 

Hayden Coulson was the first to threaten at the start of the second period, coming in on his right foot and curling wide of the far post after taking Harper’s cross-field ball, but Town didn’t have to wait too long to take the lead. 

Burns isolated centre-half Will Nightingale in a one-on-one battle on the right flank and used his pace to burn past his man, before hitting the deck in the box after the Wimbledon man had stepped in to try and cut off his run. Pigott did the business from the spot, sending Tzanev the wrong way. 

The home fans had barely returned to their seats when the second hit the back of the net, with Burns again using his searing pace to latch onto Kane Vincent-Young's through-ball and lash a superb first-team finish back into the opposite corner. 

Fans at the game.

Fans at the game. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

The game appeared safe, only for Heneghan to head home to cut the deficit and continue a spell of three goals in just six minutes, as nerves crept into Portman Road just as the home fans had begun to feel truly comfortable.  

Ipswich were still struggling to truly connect Pigott and Fraser in the final third and had some worrying moments at the back, too, with Palmer having a shot deflected wide, before Rudoni’s late strike once again saw Portman Road fall flat.  

Ipswich Town: Hladky; Vincent-Young (Aluko, 78), Woolfenden, Burgess, Coulson (Penney, 87); Evans, Harper; Burns (Donacien, 78), Fraser, Edwards; Pigott

Subs: Holy, Carroll, Barry, Jackson

AFC Wimbledon: Tzanev; Alexander, Nightingale, Heneghan, Lawrence (Guinness-Walker, 70), Hartigan, Woodyard, McCormick (Rudoni, 70), Assal, Pressley (Mebude, 60)

Subs: Oualah, Kalambayi, Marsh, Chislett

Attendance: 19,051 (611)

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