Unconvincing draw for Town at Southend

IPSWICH Town were wholly unconvincing against lower league opposition for the second time this week as Southend United threatened to snatch a come-from-behind victory tonight.

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Southend United 1 Ipswich Town 1

IPSWICH Town were wholly unconvincing against lower league opposition for the second time this week as Southend United threatened to snatch a come-from-behind victory tonight.

Neil Harris’ header deservedly had the League Two side level after Lee Martin’s opener, with the Blues failing to get any real momentum going throughout.


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Playing a 4-1-4-1 formation for the first time in pre-season, too often Michael Chopra looked isolated as a lone striker in a scrappy start to the match.

A moment of magic from the lively Martin then saw the deadlock broken in the 15th minute, the winger tricking his way inside from wide right and rifling the ball in the top left corner.

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Grant Leadbitter had resumed the captaincy he was given for the two games in Holland after Lee Bowyer took the armband in his absence from the starting line-up at Cambridge. The latter had an effort cleared off the line.

A worrying moment for Blues fans came in the 25th minute when Chopra – scorer of four goals in his first three Town games – was withdrawn from the action with an apparent ankle problem.

With the Suffolk side looking wholly unconvincing, Southend had chances to equalise soon before the interval. Town keeper Fulop’s aerial weakness was once again shown in the 42nd minute when he completely missed a deep free-kick delivery. Thankfully for the Hungarian, Mohsni headed wide.

Centre-back Mohsni was pushed up front for the second 45 minutes and the Frenchman almost had the scores level three minutes after the restart after Tommy Smith, for the second time in pre-season, played in an opponent with a terrible backpass. Keeper Fulop was just about quick enough of his line.

Town simply could not get their game going and, soon after Mohsni sent a diving header onto the bar, the Shrimpers deservedly equalised as veteran striker Neil Harris nodded in at the near post.

Scotland wasted a rare opening for Ipswich, dallying with the goal at his mercy, before the end of the match became quite heated as the frustrated Town players became embroiled in some heated exchanges.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-1-4-1): Fulop; Edwards (Ainsley 63), Smith, Delaney, Kennedy; Carson (Ellington 72), Bowyer (Drury 65), Hyam (Healy 65), Leadbitter, Martin; Chopra (Scotland 25).

Unused Subs: Lee-Barrett; Cresswell.

SOUTHEND UTD (4-4-1-1): Morris, Clohessy, Mohsni (Prosser 78), Barker, Gilbert (Sawyer 80); Johnson, Kalala, Grant (James-Lewis 86), Hall; N’Diaye (Phillips 46); Harris.

Unused Subs: Coughlan, Bentley, Crawford, Asante, Leonard.

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