Ipswich Town 1-1 Nottingham Forest: Blues good value for their point again at passionate Portman Road
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Draw specialists Ipswich Town were at it again as they shared the spoils with Nottingham Forest this afternoon.
This was the Blues’ sixth 1-1 draw in their last seven games and, like so many of those that went before, they perhaps deserved to come away with all three points.
Collin Quaner’s first Ipswich goal put Ipswich ahead after just five minutes before Molla Wague’s equaliser levelled things up at the break.
Forest should really have been ahead, given former Ipswich striker Daryl Murphy’s effort was wrongly ruled out for offside, before Jon Nolan had the ball in the net only for Alan Judge’s free-kick to be ruled to have been taken too quickly.
Substitute Kayden Jackson forced two good saves from Costel Pantilimon as the pressure inside Portman Road grew, with the home support roaring their side on in their search for victory.
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Late penalty appeals were turned away after a foul on Jackson - another puzzling refereeing decision from Keith Stroud - before Judge’s free-kick was deflected behind with the final kick of the game.
The win didn’t come, but this was another positive afternoon as Paul Lambert’s Ipswich rebuild continues.
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The Blues once again made five changes to his side ahead of this game, reverting to the side that drew at West Brom aside from Matthew Pennington coming in at centre-half in place of Jonas Knudsen from the team which earned a point at the Hawthorns.
That meant a return to starting action for Collin Quaner following a muscle injury, and the German made his mark inside five minutes as he finished off a free-flowing move down the right as Bree and Bishop combined for Edwards to cross.
The goal, breaking a run of 49 without scoring for Quaner, prompted chants of ‘Keano, Keano what’s the score’ directed at former Town boss and current Forest No.2 Roy Keane, with the Irishman’s team’s first chance coming soon after as former Blues striker Daryl Murphy glanced a head wide.
The visitors maintained pressure in the Ipswich third and the hosts needed a superb Pennington block from Ben Osborn to stop his effort reaching goal, before Bialkowski stopped a tame Joe Lolley effort.
A clever set piece routine saw Ipswich catch their opponents as Chambers signalled for his players to all move to the left side of the box, before cleverly playing Bree away down the right. Sadly the Aston Villa loanee’s cross just evaded Quaner’s flying heel.
The hosts were level when Lolley’s ball into the box hit Nolan’s shins and looked to possibly have crossed the line before Molla Wague made sure, before a succession of corner deliveries caused Ipswich problems.
They should have been behind at the break, with Murphy’s neat finish as he followed up a Bialkowski save being wrongly ruled out for offside.
The Forest players protested as they left the field at the end of the first period and continued as they re-emerged for the start of the second, which Ipswich started the stronger.
Nolan glanced a header straight at the goalkeeper before substitute Trevoh Chalobah, on for Cole Skuse just before the break, sent a thunderous volley just wide of the post.
The Blues’ intensity was back and the crowd responded, with Portman Road on its feet as Judge danced past his man on the right wing after being sprung free by Bialkowski, before delivering a sumptuous ball which caught Nolan in two minds. The former Shrewsbury man went with his head rather than feet and just missed the target after being picked out in acres of space. Nolan’s head was in his hands, as were those of thousands of Ipswich fans, as the chance went begging.
It was all Ipswich and it looked as if Nolan had lashed the Blues into the lead once again, only for the whistle of nemesis referee Keith Stroud to intervene and rule that Judge’s quickly-taken free-kick had been taken prematurely.
Substitute Kayden Jackson then had two efforts saved when put through on goalkeeper Costal Pantilimon, as Ipswich turned the screw.
The winner didn’t arrive but the Blues were once again applauded off, with the home crowd appreciative of their team’s efforts.
Next up were the penalty shouts as Wague lunged in on Jackson, with Stroud again saying no, before the referee blew the final whistle seconds after Judge’s free-kick was deflected behind.
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Bree, Chambers, Pennington, Kenlock; Skuse (Chalobah, 41), Bishop, Nolan, Edwards, Judge, Quaner (Jackson 59)
Subs: Gerken, Knudsen, Nsiala, Chalobah, El Mizouni, Dozzell, Jackson
Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Wague, Benalouane, Robinson; Colback, Yates (Carvalho 64), Pele (Ansarifard 77), Lolley, Osborn (Cash 64), Murphy
Subs: Steele, Guedioura, Watson, Milosevic
Attendance: 16,709 (1,691)