Report & gallery: Kenwyne Jones’ late leveller snatches a point for Bournemouth at Ipswich Town
- Credit: PA
Ipswich v Bournemouth: Kenwyne Jones’ late header cancelled out Freddie Sears’ early opener as Ipswich Town drew 1-1 with AFC Bournemouth at Portman Road.
Sears provided an emphatic first-time finish in the sixth minute and the Blues then had to soak up lengthy periods of pressure from the free-flowing visitors.
For all their fancy football, the Cherries – who have been criticised for not being able to mix up their game when in losing positions – could not find a way through.
That was until Eddie Howe brought on experienced target man Kenwyne Jones off the bench, the former Sunderland and Stoke man – only signed on loan from Cardiff last week – heading home with his first touch following Matt Ritchie’s corner.
With Middlesbrough, Norwich, Brentford and Wolves all winning in the afternoon matches, a point sees Ipswich move back into sixth spot ahead of the evening match between derby and Watford (7.45pm ko).
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Blues boss Mick McCarthy made three changes to his starting line-up following the dramatic 1-0 win at Watford prior to the international break. New Crystal Palace loanee Zeki Fryers made his debut at left-back, replacing the suspended Tyrone Mings, the fit-again Teddy Bishop came in for the injured Kevin Bru (calf), while Freddie Sears started in place of Chris Wood, the latter having not been back in the country long after representing New Zealand in South Korea.
Jonny Williams, back on loan from Palace, and David McGoldrick were both on the bench having only just returned to full training following lengthy injuries.
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Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has said in the build-up that he would be ‘surprised’ if 16-goal top-scorer Callum Wilson would be fit. McCarthy said he didn’t read into that too much and he was right, Wilson starting. Winger Marc Pugh hadn’t recovered from the ankle knock he sustained in the 3-0 home win over Middlesbrough though and was replaced by Ryan Fraser.
A frantic start to proceedings set the tone and, after Bournemouth had a couple of early sightings at goal, it was Ipswich who broke the deadlock in the sixth minute.
Following a short throw by the left corner flag by Fryers, Cole Skuse delivered a diagonal cross to the back post and Daryl Murphy – in acres of space – had time to chest the ball down, turn and pick out the unmarked Freddie Sears on the edge of the six-yard box. The ex-Colchester United striker provided an emphatic first-time finish high into the net to take his goal tally for the season to five for Town and 19 altogether.
Bournemouth responded well and, playing their usual passing and movement game, continued to commit several men forward in the search for an equaliser.
In the ninth minute, Andrew Surman pulled an angled shot narrowly across the face of goal following Wilson’s clever reverse pass.
Moments later, Fryers did just enough to prevent Brett Pitman getting on the end of a dangerous Charlie Daniels cross into the six-yard box.
Town created a chance of their own when Luke Varney bustled his way into the area from the right side before picking out Fryers, the latter firing well over the bar.
Back came the Cherries, Christophe Berra blocking Wilson’s shot inside the box after Ryan Fraser’s pass.
Following a frenetic opening 15 minutes the game settled down for a period before exploding back into life around the half an hour mark.
Blues skipper Luke Chambers was booked when he clattered into Fraser with a firm and just mis-timed challenge. The Town right-back was then not happy with a perceived dive by Pitman, letting the visiting striker know exactly what he thought.
Pitman fluffed a shot straight at Bartosz Bialkowski after Teddy Bishop inadvertently toed the ball straight into his path, then it required a smart stop by Bialkowski to keep out Fraser’s driven effort following a flowing right-to-left move by Eddie Howe’s men.
Bialkowski again had to be alert in the 39th minute, clawing Fraser’s looping cross out of the top corner.
There was yet more bad blood involving Chambers soon after, the Blues skipper again not happy with Wilson going down very easily on the edge of the box. Wilson barged into Chambers back in response and, eventually, the referee calmed the situation down.
There was still time for one more Bournemouth chance, two minutes before the break, when Matt Ritchie’s swerving long-range effort was pushed away by Bialkowski.
The Cherries produced eight attempts on goal to Town’s two in the first period, but the key statistic was the score was 1-0.
Bournemouth got straight on the front foot after the restart and Bialkowski had to be quick off his line to beat Charlie Daniels to the ball on the corner of the penalty box. Seconds later, Town’s Polish custodian got a strong hand to Arter’s shot.
You began to wonder it the Blues could sustain that sort of continued pressure for another 40 minutes, but the visitors’ chances did begin to dry up and Town gained some more solidity when Richard Chaplow replaced Bishop in midfield – Tabb switching to a central role.
The livewire Wilson continued to pose a threat on the last shoulder for Bournemouth though and Town lived dangerously in the 70th minute when the Cherries’ striker shielded the ball from Berra in the area. An almighty penalty box scramble followed, the ball could have gone anywhere, but was eventually cleared.
Moments later, Wilson got clear of Berra and was seemingly tugged back as he burst into the area. Thankfully, the offside flag was up.
Town’s attacking moments had been few and far between but they were handed a golden opportunity when Tommy Elphick unnecessarily tugged Murphy’s shirt by the corner flag. Tabb’s free-kick was aimed for the head of Berra, but a foul was given against the Scotsman.
Howe decided to go for it in the 78th minute, bringing on striker Kenwyne Jones for centre-back Steve Cook and switching to a 3-4-3 system.
The former Sunderland and Stoke man – only signed on loan from Cardiff last week - proceeded to score with his first touch, getting away from marker Tommy Smith to head home Ritchie’s corner.
McCarthy responded by bringing on teenage defender Matt Clarke for the tireless Varney when four minutes of added time was shown, Town seeing the game out.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Bialkowski; Chambers (cpt), Smith, Berra, Fryers; Varney (Clarke 90), Bishop (Chaplow 56), Skuse, Tabb; Sears (Wood 78), Murphy.
Unused subs: Gerken, Anderson, Williams, McGoldrick.
AFC BOURNEMOUTH (4-4-2): Boruc; Francis, Cook (Jones 78), Elphick (cpt), Daniels; Ritchie, Arter, Surman, Fraser (Smith 78); Wilson, Pitman (Kermorgant 65).
Unused subs: Camp, Ward, Gosling, Macdonald.
Referee: Robert Madley