Sub plots galore in four-goal thriller
THERE were sub-plots galore as Ipswich Town drew 2-2 at Cardiff City this afternoon.
Former Bluebird Michael Chopra nodded home in the 51st minute to put Ipswich on course for another come-from-behind victory.
However, Peter Whittingham – a player Paul Jewell also tried to prise away from Cardiff in the summer – netted a 70th minute penalty, to set up a tense finish for the Suffolk side.
After a sluggish start to the match, Town fell behind to Rudy Gestede’s 19th minute header. The Frenchman was ironically popular after his countrymen had dumped the Welsh out of the Rugby World Cup earlier in the day.
Ipswich were in danger of falling further behind until Jason Scotland – booed throughout due to his Swansea City background – found an equaliser out of nothing on the half hour, smashing a low shot in from the edge of the area.
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Having taken 10 points from an impressive four game spell prior to the international break, Ipswich – unchanged for the fifth successive game – failed to get any kind of momentum going in the opening stages.
And they fell behind in the 19th minute to a simple goal. Right-back Kevin McNaughton’s long throw only just made it to the six-yard box, but towering French striker Gestede was able to rise highest and superbly head home.
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The Welsh hosts began to look increasingly dangerous and, with the front three of Peter Whittingham, Rob Earnshaw and Gestede looking lively, Ipswich lived on the edge for a spell.
They found an equaliser out of nothing on the half hour mark though when Scotland received the ball to feet 25 yards out, spun before lashing a low shot into the bottom right corner.
The Trinidadian, having been roundly booed by Cardiff fans due to his Swansea past, put his finger to his lips in celebration.
The goal settled the Blues down and they ended the half pressing for a second, with former Bluebird Michael Chopra shooting across the face of goal on the angle.
The latter looked set to take the headlines when, six minutes after the restart, he nodded in from just under the crossbar. It ended a silky move which involved Jimmy Bullard, Keith Andrews and Carlos Edwards.
Scotland missed a great chance to wrap up the points in the 68th minute, shooting at the keeper after turning his man in the box, before Cardiff found their leveller.
Having had a handball penalty appeal turned down moments earlier, there were more big shouts in the 70th minute when Robert Earnshaw hit the ball against Aaron Cresswell’s arm.
This time – after lengthy discussions with his linesman – the referee gave the spot-kick, which Whittingham put away, despite David Stockdale guessing the right way.
– Reaction to follow.
CARDIFF CITY (4-4-2): Marshall; McNaughton, Hudson (cpt), Turner, Taylor; Gunnarsson; Conway, Cowie; Whittingham; Earnshaw, Gestede.
Subs: Heaton, Kiss, Quinn, Mason, Ralls.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Stockdale; Edwards, Sonko, Collins, Cresswell; Bullard; Leadbitter (cpt), Bowyer; Andrews; Chopra, Scotland.
Subs: Lee-Barrett, Delaney, Wabara, Emmanuel-Thomas, Ellington.
Referee: Mr D Whitehouse