MATCH REPORT: Leeds United 1 Ipswich Town 1
Leeds v Ipswich: Ipswich Town drew 1-1 for the ninth time in all competitions this season following an even match at Leeds United.
The Blues broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when David McGoldrick’s innocuous long-range shot somehow beat Paddy Kenny at his near post.
Leeds drew level five minutes later when Luke Chambers slid in on Cameron Stewart in the box to concede a soft penalty which was converted by Ross McCormack.
Town – who have now dropped 25 points from winning positions this season – remain seventh in the Championship table but are now four points adrift of the play-off places.
Leeds are now winless in eight matches, but a draw ends a run of five consecutive defeats for them.
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It was a quiet opening 20 minutes to the match. Neither side managed to produce a shot on goal or string too many passes together, with just a couple of fouls and offsides going onto the stats sheet.
It was Ipswich who produced the first attempt on goal, McGoldrick meeting Daryl Murphy’s fine chip over the top with a left-foot volley on the angle. It was a difficult chance which went just wide, but it lifted the visitors and they gradually got on top.
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When Leeds centre-back Tom Lees went off the field to get his cut head bandaged up, the Blues pushed forwards in an attempt to take advantage of their temporary one-man advantage.
When Lees came back on he had to make a superb sliding tackle on McGoldrick in the box. Town midfielder Cole Skuse was increasingly beginning to pull the strings.
Moments later Jason Pearce hacked the ball of the line after McGoldrick’s mis-hit shot, following Anderson’s headed knock down, threatened to creep in the bottom corner.
Lees produced another last ditch tackle to halt Ryan Tunnciliffe in the box moments later. The resultant corner was half-cleared, Tunnicliffe’s low shot saved by a full-stretch Kenny who then sprung back to his feet to deny Murphy’s rebound attempt.
Leeds finally produced their first shot on goal when Rudolph Austin’s low long-range shot was pushed around the post by Dean Gerken. It was an effort which signalled a major momentum shift.
Cameron Stewart’s driving run to the by-line, which left Tommy Smith for dead, lifted the Eland Road crowd.
And Leeds should have broken the deadlock just before half-time when McCormack rose between Smith and Aaron Cresswell in the six-yard box only to glance the ball well wide of the post.
Ipswich started on the front foot after the restart, with Tunnicliffe side-footing over from the edge of the box after a Cresswell cross was half-cleared.
Soon afterwards the Manchester United loanee burst into the box following a fine Anderson pass, but - with McGoldrick and Tabb unmarked at the back post - he could only find the body of Kenny with his tame low cross.
You sensed that an Ipswich opener was coming, though when it did arrive it was thanks to a keeper howler rather than a piece of brilliance.
Credit to Tunnicliffe for winning the ball back off of Jimmy Kebe after initially squandering possession himself, though when he fed McGoldrick there looked little danger on.
The Town striker drifted inside Sam Byram from the left and unleashed an innocuous looking shot from 25 yards out, the ball bouncing before somehow squeezing inside Kenny at the near post. The replay on the big screen drew gasps from the Elland Road crowd.
Ipswich’s lead last just five minutes and again it was a soft goal. Stewart looked to be going nowhere when he burst into the box, the ball heading for a goalkick, but Chambers lunged in and a penalty was given.
McCormack blasted it straight down the middle to notch up his 19th goal of the season.
Town then had to ride a storm as Leeds - bouyed by the crowd - came streaming forwards. Ipswich, who had nine outfield players camped on the edge of their own box, lived dangerously as shots came flying in from all angles, one deflecting over the bar when it could have gone anywhere.
McCarthy responded by bringing on Frank Nouble for Anderson and switching to a 4-3-3 formation. It settled his side down and the game rather petered out into a draw as both teams seemed happy with a point.
LEEDS UNITED (4-4-2): Kenny, Lees, Pearce, Byram (Peltier 88), Warnock; Stewart, Austin, Brown (Mowatt 63), Stewart; McCormack (cpt), Diouf (Poleon 63).
Subs: Cairns, Murphy, Pugh, Wootton.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Gerken; Chambers (cpt), Berra, Smith, Cresswell; Anderson (Nouble 72), Skuse, Tunnicliffe, Tabb; Murphy, McGoldrick.
Subs: Loach, Mings, Richardson, Wordsworth, Hunt, Taylor.
Booked: Skuse (79)
Referee: David Webb