MATCH REPORT AND GALLERY: Ipswich Town 1 Charlton Athletic 1
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich v Charlton: David McGoldrick’s saved penalty ended up proving costly as Charlton grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser to draw 1-1 at Portman Road.
The Blues played some neat football in the wet conditions and deservedly led 1-0 at half-time courtesy of Richard Wood’s 23rd minute own goal, the defender forced to tap the outstanding Daryl Murphy’s low cross over his own line.
Town sat back and attempted to protect their lead after the restart and, in a rare attack, were awarded a spot-kick in the 78th minute when Jordan Cousins barged Paul Anderson in the back following a corner.
Addicks keeper Ben Alnwick dived full stretch to his left to keep out McGoldrick’s spot-kick though, pushing it against the inside of the post, before Charlton snatched a point at the death when Johnnie Jackson’s shot took a big deflection off Christophe Berra to wrong-foot Dean Gerken.
Town remain sixth in the table, their unbeaten run extended to eight matches, but that’s now 23 points dropped from winning positions this season.
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Ipswich, as is becoming increasingly customary, produced a lightening start to the match and had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down in the third minute.
Following Paul Taylor’s through ball, Murphy got the wrong side of marker Wood but couldn’t quite wriggle free of his attentions and eventually stumbled to the deck just as he was about to pull the trigger. Referee Stuart Attwell waved away the protests. Was his momentum already taking him down? You’ve seen them given.
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Town began to zip the ball about nicely on the wet surface, with Taylor and Paul Anderson particularly lively. The latter forced keeper Ben Alnwick into a diving save in the eighth minute with a fine curling, left-footed effort from the angle of the box.
Charlton were struggling with the conditions and began to make numerous unforced errors. The visiting side certainly lived dangerously in the 10th minute when Dale Stephens sliced a poor Anderson corner towards his own goal, with the ball eventually scrambled clear.
Murphy sent a powerful drive just past the left post following more neat build-up, while Taylor carried the ball a good 50 yards on a surging run before eventually being dragged to the ground by Michael Morrison.
Charlton had offered little going forwards, but it required a fine save from Dean Gerken to keep the scores level in the 17th minute. Yann Kermorgant’s low shot from 25 yards was heading for the bottom right corner of the goal after taking a deflection off of Berra, but Gerken did superbly to turn the ball around the post at full stretch.
Undeterred, Ipswich continued to play the better football and you sensed they would break the deadlock sooner rather than later when Luke Chambers put a difficult left-foot volley past the post following good work from Murphy down the left.
Murphy had said in the build-up to this match that he was in the form of his life and he was certainly living up to that with a performance full of energy, power and finesse.
Indeed, following another smart interchange between Anderson and Taylor, it was the Irish front man’s superb low cross from the left which forced defender Wood into an own goal in the 23rd minute. Town fully deserved their lead.
Just like in the reverse fixture less than five weeks previous, Charlton continued to look powderpuff in attack. Even the most ardent of Ipswich fans would admit that the south Londoners should have been awarded a spot-kick in the 39th minute though.
Kermorgant’s clever reverse pass had put Cameron Stewart clear in the box, he cut back across Chambers and appeared to have his heels clipped by the stranded full-back. Attwell, again, was unmoved. In fact, he booked the Charlton winger for ‘simulation’ as well as showing Berra a yellow card for his foul on Kermorgant in the build-up.
Was it a case of two penalty appeals evening themselves out? Or had the fact that Stewart had seemingly gone to ground easily earlier in the match come into it? Either way, Charlton could rightly feel aggrieved.
The rain came down even more relentlessly during half-time, water continuing to cascade off the roof of the Co-op Stand.
It made for a scrappy second half as the Blues, as they so often have done this season, sat back and attempted to protect a lead.
The hosts put two banks of four behind the ball and, with centre-backs Berra and Tommy Smith winning their individual battles, the Blues rarely looked in danger.
Town were handed a golden opportunity to seal all three points in the 78th minute when Attwell finally pointed to the penalty spot. Following a rare counter-attack, Cousins barged Anderson to the ground just as a corner had looked to be cleared.
McGoldrick, on as a sub, was superbly denied from 12 yards out though as Alnwick dived full stretch to his left to push the attempt onto the inside of the post, the ball rolling agonisingly back across the face of goal.
Ipswich began to sit deeper and deeper and they were punished just as the fourth official raised the board to indicate four minutes of stoppage-time.
Rhoys Wiggins lofted a high ball into the box from left-back, Kermorgant won the headed knock-down at the far post and, after Simon Church laid the ball off with his back to goal, Jackson – on as an 80th minute sub – struck a shot into the ground, the effort taking a deflection off the thigh of Berra and wrong-footing Gerken.
- Reaction to follow.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Gerken; Chambers (cpt), Berra, Smith, Cresswell; Anderson, Skuse, Tunnicliffe, Tabb (Hyam 68); Murphy (Nouble. 82), Taylor (McGoldrick 68).
Subs: Loach, Mings, Edwards, Wordsworth.
Booked: Berra (39), Smith (45+), Nouble (90+)
CHARLTON ATHLETIC (4-4-2): Alnwick; Solly, Morrison, Woods, Wiggins; Wilson (Church 71), Stephens, Cousins, Stewart (Jackson 80); Kermorgant, Sordell (Cook 45+).
Subs: Hamer, Evina, Dervite, Pritchard.
Booked: Stewart (39), Cook (69)
Referee: Stuart Attwell.