Chambers deflects blame away from Bialkowski after Blues let lead slip in derby draw with Norwich
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Captain Luke Chambers deflected any blame away from goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski after Ipswich let their lead slip in stoppage time against bitter rivals Norwich.
It looked as though Chambers had ended nine years of hurt as he headed home Martyn Waghorn’s corner in the 89th minute, threatening a first Ipswich derby win since 2009, but Timm Klose levelled in the 95th minute after Bialkowski came flying from his goal to try and close down Grant Hanley.
The Pole didn’t get there in time, with Hanley crossing for Klose to head home before Bialkowski could recover his position, in a game where he had made several top-quality saves to keep the scores level.
“His whole performance was fantastic, some of the saves he makes week in week out, and you can’t criticise him unless he does it week in, week out – which he isn’t,” Chambers said of his goalkeeper.
“It’s a decision he’s made on the pitch, we’ve tried to repair it as a team, but at the end of the day the pressure in numbers they’ve chucked forward we weren’t able to cope with.”
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Following Chambers’ goal the Blues pushed for a second, when Jonas Knudsen crossed in an attempt to find an unmarked Waghorn, but the ball was cleared before Klose’s leveller.
The skipper admitted, with the benefit of hindsight, that his side may have been better off keeping the ball in the corner rather than pushing to double their advantage.
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“We’ve got our goal and then we should have shut up shop. Thirty seconds before their goal we are breaking, trying to make it 2-0 and in hindsight we should probably have gone to the corner and kept them in there for another 90 seconds. That’s football.
“At the time I was thinking ‘go on, just roll it across for a tap-in and score’ but we didn’t manage to do that.
“They’ve taken their chance at the end, it’s a series of errors from us which has allowed them to put a ball in and the big man has come up from the back and made the headlines for himself.”
Chambers’ goal came on the occasion of his 270th game in Ipswich blue, with the captain frustrated not to have been able to write his name in Town history by scoring a Carrow Road winner.
“I didn’t realise until I ran back and saw it was in the 89th minute – I didn’t know what time it was in the game.
“It’s something you dream of and, with my affinity for the club after 270-odd games, I’m very disappointed for myself personally to have not scored the winning goal in the biggest game of the season.”