Report: Barnsley 1 Ipswich Town 1 - Lawrence’s last-gasp leveller seals sixth straight draw
Tom Lawrence scored with virtually the last kick of the game to salvage Ipswich Town a 1-1 draw at Barnsley this afternoon.
The Blues were second best for much of the game and fell behind when transfer target Marey Watkins finished off a rapid counter-attack from a cleared 58th minute corner.
Brett Pitman came on with four minutes to go – his first appearance since January – and it was his sumptuous cross which took out everyone and allowed Lawrence to ghost in and stab home at the far post deep into stoppage-time.
Mick McCarthy’s men are now unbeaten in eight matches, but have drawn seven of them – including the last six. They remain 16th in the Championship table but have seen their gap to the relegation zone cut to seven points with three of the sides below them – Wolves, Burton and Bristol City – all picking up wins today.
It was an open start to the match as an unmarked Adam Armstrong headed over from a golden position for the hosts, while Adam Davies made a fine double stop from David McGoldrick and Cole Skuse to deny the visitors.
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Town increasingly began to give away a number of free-kicks in dangerous positions but – by hook or by crook – they always managed to get the ball clear.
Ipswich started the second half better and forced a corner from substitute Grant Ward’s deflected effort. Tom Lawrence’s header was glanced across the face of goal by McGoldrick, narrowly avoiding Luke Chambers, and Barnsley counter-attacked at speed. Watkins – who Town have tried to sign in the last two transfer windows – burst clear and coolly converted one-on-one.
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The Tykes stepped up a gear after that, with tricky left-winger Adam Hammill a constant threat. McCarthy abandoned his wing-back system and matched up the opposition’s 4-4-2 system.
Matty James rifled a low volley just wide following one half-cleared corner, then Hammill was denied by a strong one-handed Bartosz Bialkowski save after he had charged down a Chambers clearance and got the ball back off Ryan Williams.
Town looked dead and buried, but Pitman’s moment of quality led to Lawrence’s late leveller – the Leicester loanee’s 11th goal of the campaign. Next up is a trip to Cardiff City on Saturday.
BARNSLEY (4-4-2): Davies; Yiadom, MacDonald, Roberts (cpt), Jones; Watkins, Scowen, James, Hammill; Bradshaw, Armstrong (Williams 79).
Unused subs: Townsend, Jackson, Mowatt, Hedges, Moncur, Kent.
IPSWICH TOWN (3-5-2): Bialowski; Chambers (cpt), Berra, Knudsen; Spence, Skuse, Huws (Pitman 84), Diagouraga (Ward 53), Kenlock (Sears 63); McGoldrick, Lawrence.
Unused subs: Gerken, Smith, Bru, Moore.
Booked: Skuse (45)
Attendance: 11,836 (742 away)
Referee: Stephen Martin