PICTURE GALLERY: Dour draw but Ipswich Town end Dutch tour unbeaten
AARON Cresswell rescued a draw for Ipswich Town with a deflected free kick against Den Bosch as the Blues ended their pre-season tour of the Netherlands with a second 1-1 scoreline.
The left-back’s shot hit home from 25 yards to earn Paul Jewell’s men a deserved draw in an ultimately flat encounter.
The visitors took the lead in the 63rd minute with the only moment of quality in the match – Randy Wolters rifling home after intricate one-touch play from Ralf Seuntjens and Tom van Weert.
There were positives for Ipswich – Luke Chambers and Luke Hyam impressed while Ronan Murray was lively in the second half – but manager Paul Jewell conceded that his players’ efforts on the training ground ultimately impaired their performance over the 90 minutes.
Played on Den Bosch’s sparse training ground, Jewell opted against risking Lee Martin (groin) again and he was joined on the sideline by Ryan Stevenson (hamstring).
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Other than Martin, every single outfield player, including Joe Whight, was given a run-out and intriguingly keeper Marian Kello played the entire 90 minutes while Arran Lee-Barrett had to be content with merely warming up.
After an early scare when van Weert went over in the penalty area under Jack Ainsley’s tackle, both sides epitomised the training nature of the game.
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This was not the case of the over-officious referee who booked Andy Drury after 21 minutes and, later, two home players.
Chances were few and far between in a low-key first half but, as with Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Helmond Sport, the match livened up after the break.
Jason Scotland tested Bruno Appels from distance, the keeper tipping a shot around the post before also being equal to Jay Emmanuel-Thomas as Town improved.
But within minutes, Den Bosch took the lead with a quality move and shot from Wolters that gave Kello no chance.
Ipswich continued to have the best of the half-chances, Chopra had an effort blocked and Luke Chambers had a first-time effort that flew wide when well-placed.
But Cresswell’s 83rd minute free-kick ensured Ipswich remained unbeaten and Jewell was happy with the tour – even if the match will not live long in the memory.