Jeers for Jim as Blues are held

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton was the subject of barracking from fans in the North Stand as the Blues fought out a pretty dreadful draw at Portman Road this evening.

Elvin King

Ipswich Town 1 Crystal Palace 1

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton was the subject of barracking from fans in the North Stand as the Blues fought out a pretty dreadful draw at Portman Road this evening.

Shouts of 'You don't know what your are doing,' accompanied the substitution of goalscorer Jon Stead with Pablo Counago after 62 minutes. The fans wanted Kevin Lisbie to be replaced.

It was the first example of crowd dissatisfaction with Magilton since he took the job 27 months ago.

Stead put Town in front in the 23rd minute - with victor Moses equalising two minutes later.

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Town were all over the place for much of a torrid second period.

The match was televised live on Sky Sports and started at 5.20pm by which time a sun that had shone brightly all day had gone down.

Town made four changes from the side that lost 4-1 at home to Premier League Wigan in the Carling Cup on Wednesday.

Ben Thatcher and Moritz Volz missed out through injury, while Ivan Campo was dropped to the bench and Alan Quinn omitted from the final 16.

Club captain Richard Naylor came back in after his 'rest' to play beside team captain Gareth McAuley at the heart of the defence with Alex Bruce moving to right back and David Wright passing a fitness test and coming in at left back.

Also coming in were Veliche Shumulikoski and Jonathan Stead - the latter after being cup-tied against Wigan.

Stead partnered Kevin Lisbie up front with Jon Walters reverting to midfield. There was no place in the final 16 for Danny Haynes.

Palace, who had lost all three of their previous away league games this season, had Craig Beattie, signed on loan from West Brom on Thursday, up front.

Former Town strikers Alan lee and James Scowcroft were injured, but Shefki Kuqi made his Palace 'comeback' on the bench.

Walters started on the left in a match were Town would move to tenth if they won by two goals or more.

The game takes time to get going with Bruce and Watson booked before Palace leading scorer Carle has an angled shot that R Wright saves at full stretch. Wright then sprints from goal to block a goal-bound effort from Ifill as Town look suspect at the back.

Town take the lead in the 23rd minute. Lisbie makes a long down the left before Walters takes over. A low cross is neatly stepped over by Norris, and Stead has time to take control, in front of goal and place a right-foot side-kick into the corner of the goal.

Palace hit back straight away and from Ifill's deep cross, R Wright does well to tip Moses' header over the bar.

From the corner the visitors equalise in the 25th minute. Bruce gets in front of a leaping R Wright and the ball goes off the top of his head and loops in the air for Moses to nod the ball over the like via the despairing hand of Norris on the line.

Speroni makes a brilliant save in the 28th minute to deny Lisbie a headed goal from a free-kick. From five yards the keeper flicks up an arm to turn the ball over the bar.

More indecisive work at the back sees Hill go close to a second Palace goal in the 31st minute. R Wright comes out but fails to make contact, and Hill's shot is beaten down by a combination of the keeper and Naylor. The ball returns to Hill who lifts his shot over the bar when it looks easier to score from seven yards.

It is mainly Palace at the start of the second half as Town fail to find any cohesion or shape - with Beattie racing clear in the 56th minute only to be booked for a dive after Naylor recovers.

The North Stand calls for Counago, who eventually takes the place of Stead after 61 minutes. There is a loud chorus of 'You don't know what you are doing' aimed at manager Magilton at Stead's departure rather than Lisbie.

In the 64th minute, Ifill crosses from the right, and Watson misses the target at the near post with most of the goal at his mercy.

Bruce had a run that resulted in a corner and Campo tried a shot but there was little to suggest a Town goal in a pretty awful display.

Garvan twice slid balls across the face of the Palace goal, but Town were no better than a draw.


Ipswich Town: R Wright, Bruce, McAuley, Naylor, D Wright; Walters, Shumiloski (sub Campo 21, Miller, Norris (Garvan 56), Lisbie, Stead (Counago 62). Subs: Supple, Balkestein.

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Butterfield, McCarthy, Fonte, Moses; Hill, Watson, Derry, Carle (Fletcher 80); Ifill (Kuqi 67); Beattie (Scannell 74). Subs: Lawrence, Oster.

Referee: Mr D Deadman (Cambridgeshire)

Attendance: 19,032.