Match report: Ipswich Town 1 Brentford 1 – Unbeaten run extended following lifeless match

David McGoldrick gets an elbow in the ear, courtesy of Andreas Bjelland during this challenge in the

David McGoldrick gets an elbow in the ear, courtesy of Andreas Bjelland during this challenge in the first half of the Ipswich Town v Brentford (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 04 March 2017. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town’s unbeaten run has been extended to six matches, following this afternoon’s lifeless 1-1 home draw with Brentford, but they once again let a lead slip.

Emyr Huws’ smart finish put the hosts in front after 26 minutes, but Nico Yennaris levelled things up by finishing off an equally well-worked move moments before the break.

It was a wide open game, but lacked intensity and atmosphere. Too many players on both teams were well below par and this isn’t a match that will live long in the memory.

Mick McCarthy’s men have gone from being wildly inconsistent to drawing five of their last six games. They led against Reading (twice), Brighton, Leeds and Norwich too, meaning it’s 10 points dropped from winning positions since the end of January.

This is the first time Town have drawn four league matches in a row since September 1992.

Brentford started on the front foot and forced two early corners as twice Luke Chambers had to make last-ditch challenges on former Norwich winger Sergi Canos. At the other end, Christophe Berra hooked an effort wide following Tom Lawrence’s corner delivery.

The Blues slowly but surely began to knock the ball around patiently. One such lengthy build-up led to them breaking the deadlock when Lawrence and Huws combined. The former’s form cross wasn’t intended for his Welsh international team-mate, but the Cardiff loanee was afforded the time and space to chest the ball up in the air, swivel and pull a shot into the bottom corner from 10 yards out.

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Town’s intensity dropped after this though and the Bees increasingly looked a threat in an open affair.

Berra made a last-ditch block on Lasse Vibe’s shot after Chambers was dispossessed high up the field, then Romaine Sawyer’s shot was deflected inches wide.

Brentford got themselves back on level terms a minute before the break when Huws had lost a boot in the middle of the park. The visitors capitalised with some fine midfield work, Sawyer’s sublime dink over the top converted first time by the on-running Yennaris.

Town’s front pairing of McGoldrick and Lawrence were a lot quieter than in previous games and the former couldn’t get hold of a shot soon after the restart.

Brentford had a chance in the 54th minute after Chambers gave the way poorly once again. Canos saw his shot deflected wide after cutting inside.

The game began to drift, with neither team able to build any real momentum, and the atmosphere became increasingly flat.

It required a dramatic goalline clearance to keep Town level in the 68th minute. Canos played a sharp one-two to burst into the box and saw the pace of his angled shot slowed by the hand of Bartosz Bialokowski. The ball was still creeping over the line until an alert Myles Kenlock hacked the ball away ahead of Yennaris.

Ipswich came oh-so-close to scoring a superb goal in the 86th minute following sharp, intricate, one-touch build-up. Skuse started and almost finished the move, but in the end was left stretching just a little too much to get enough contact on the end of Kevin Bru’s pass.

That would have been a goal worthy of winning any game, but in truth a share of the spoils was about right following a fairly lifeless mid-table clash.

IPSWICH TOWN (3-5-2): Bialkowski; Chambers (cpt), Berra, Knudsen; Spence, Ward (Diagouraga 57), Huws (Bru 71), Skuse, Kenlock; McGoldrick, Lawrence (Moore 81).

Unused subs: Gerken, Smith, Sears, Pitman.

BRENTFORD (4-3-3): Bentley; Colin, Egan, Bjelland (Barbet 57), Henry; Yennaris, Woods; Jota, Sawyers, Canos (Jozefzoon 69); Vibe (Shaibu 71).

Unused subs: Bonham, Clarke, Kerschbaumer, Cole.

Attendance: 15,868

Referee: Scott Duncan

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