Match report & gallery - AFC Bournemouth 2 Ipswich Town 2
Bournemouth v Ipswich: Ipswich Town twice came from behind to secure a hard-fought draw against fellow high-fliers AFC Bournemouth, Teddy Bishop and Daryl Murphy scoring second-half goals as Mick McCarthy’s men moved up to fourth in the Championship table.
The Cherries – who remain in second-place – broke the deadlock in the second minute through Yann Kermorgant’s sublime acrobatic finish, dominating possession throughout an impressive first half.
Bishop side-footed home a leveller at the end of a fluid move five minutes into the second half, but Bournemouth were back in front less than four minutes later as Matt Ritchie profited from some slack defending.
McCarthy’s men continued to battle though and found another equaliser in the 76th minute when Daryl Murphy headed home Paul Anderson’s free-kick for his 11th goal of the campaign.
Town had plenty of heart-in-mouth moments in the closing stages, especially during the 12 minutes of added-time that came courtesy of a lengthy break following a Tokelo Rantie injury, but they held on to move to within four points of league-leaders Derby County.
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Blues boss Mick McCarthy made three changes to his starting XI following the 1-0 home win over Watford prior to the international break. Cole Skuse and Luke Hyam – available again following a groin injury and suspension respectively – replaced Jay Tabb (bench) and Jonny Williams (thigh) in midfield, while Paul Anderson came in for Stephen Hunt (hamstring) on the right side of a front three.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has named the same starting XI regularly this season and his team, on a superb run of form, came out of the traps like a rocket.
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Ritchie struck the bar from outside the area in the second minute, the ball eventually worked its way out to the right and, following Simon Francis’ cross, Kermorgant netted with a superb acrobatic volley at the far post.
It was wonderful technique and had Dean Court – packed to its 12,000 capacity – rocking.
After that it was wave-after-wave of attack from the confident Cherries who, using the slick surface to their advantage, cut through Town like butter with their one-touch passing and clever movement.
It required a fine double stop from Blues keeper Bartosz Bialkoswki to prevent the hosts from doubling their lead in the ninth minute, the Polish custodian – retaining his place in the team despite No.1 Dean Gerken being fit again – getting down low to his left to keep out Marc Pugh’s side-footed effort. He then sprang to his feet to block Kermorgant’s low drive at the far post.
Town were dealt a blow in the 15th minute when Kevin Bru landed awkwardly on his ankle. The midfielder tried to play on, but, visibly in discomfort, eventually had to limp off to be replaced by Teddy Bishop.
Ipswich were giving the ball away far too cheaply, never really able to get their foot on the ball and take the sting out of the game. They did force the odd corner on the counter-attack from which they looked a threat though.
Paul Anderson produced two fine corner deliveries around the 21st minute, one from either side, with Murphy glancing a header onto the top of the crossbar from the second.
It continued to be all Bournemouth from open play though, with McCarthy urging his players not to sit so deep.
Home keeper Artur Borux was forced into a low save at his near post after McGoldrick had latched on to Anderson’s raking ball over the top, the Town striker racing clear after Steve Cook had slipped and turning Tommy Elphick in the box. The final, angled attempt, was a difficult one.
Moments later, Boruc tipped over a powerful Christophe Berra header following another good Anderson corner delivery.
Bournemouth then finished the half on top, Bialkowski beating away a fierce Marc Pugh volley after he’d initially got poor contact on an attempted punch.
Ipswich drew level within five minutes of the restart following their first real moment of fluidity in the match. Tyrone Mings started the move at left-back, finding Murphy’s feet in the middle of the pitch, the striker spinning and finding the marauding full-back on the overlap. His first-time cut-back found Bishop near the penalty spot and he coolly opened his body to side-foot into the bottom right corner of the goal.
Town were level for less than four minutes though. Newly-capped England Under-21 international Callum Wilson somehow squeezed his way to the by-line, cutting the ball back for an unmarked Ritchie to control, steady himself and slam the ball home.
South African international Rantie stepped off the bench for Bournemouth in the 62nd minute and, within seconds, he was trying to surge between Smith and Luke Chambers in the box. The striker went down in a heap, the referee waved away strong penalty protests before it quickly became apparent that Rantie was hurt. A lengthy delay ensued as a host of paramedics attended to him before the front man was stretchered from the field.
Tempers began to flair as Mings, involved in an angry exchange with home fans earlier in the half, was booked for a foul. The left-back, looking fired up, may have got the hook. Instead, he played a part in the equaliser.
It was his forward run which drew a foul out by the touchline, Anderson producing yet another fine set-piece delivery for Murphy to head home emphatically on the run.
Moments later Mings had to be replaced – to a standing ovation from the away fans – after he was hurt in a strong 50/50 challenge with Francis.
David McGoldrick fired wide from the edge of the box for Ipswich, while at the other end Pugh went even closer when he span and arrowed a fine 20-yard effort just past the right-hand post.
There were 12 minutes added-time due to the lengthy stoppage that followed the Rantie injury. Town began to sit deeper and deeper, with Bournemouth creating a golden opportunity through a fine move. Kermorgant’s clever chip over the top was cushioned into the path of Harry Arter by the head of sub Brett Pitman, but the home midfielder fluffed his chance – mis-hitting his shot straight at Bialkowski.
Bournemouth continued to pile on the pressure, Pitman blazing over from close-range after Ritchie out-paced Jonathan Parr down the right.
In the end, the final whistle came as a relief for the Blues. The travelling army of 1,300 away fans urged skipper Chambers to carry out his famed post-match fist-pump celebrations, but he urged them to calm down a little and instead gave them some heart applause. It was that sort of draw.
– More to follow.
AFC BOURNEMOUTH (4-4-2): Boruc; Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels; Ritchie, Arter, Surman, Pugh; Kermorgant, Wilson (Rantie 62, Pitman 71).
Unused subs: Camp, Smith, Stanislas, Gosling, Fraser.
Booked: Ritchie (52), Kermorgant (90+).
IPSWICH TOWN (4-3-3): Bialkoswki; Chambers (cpt), Smith, Berra, Mings (Parr 83); Skuse, Hyam, Bru (Bishop 17, Sammon 90+); Anderson, McGoldrick, Murphy.
Unused subs: Gerken, Tabb, Henshall, Bajner.
Booked: Berra (59), Mings (73), Hyam (86).
Attendance: 11,115 (1,424 away).
Referee: Michael Bull.
Conditions: Overcast. Slick surface.