Ipswich Town’s relegation to League One confirmed following draw with Birmingham City
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town 1 Birmingham City 1
Ipswich Town have been relegated to League One.
The Blues’ fate was secured at Portman Road today after a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City. Town needed to win.
It’s the first time the Suffolk side have dropped into the third tier of the Football League since 1957 and ends a 17-year stint for the Blues in the Championship.
There were emotional scenes at the end with the Town fans, led by the North Stand, singing their hearts out as the players reflected on the club’s relegation.
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Town were behind to a Lukas Jutkiewicz seventh minute goal and were tepid in the first half, much to the frustration of the 17,000 crowd.
But the Blues came out in the second period a different side and Gwion Edwards restored hope for Paul Lambert’s side with a 46th minute equaliser.
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Town had chances to win it but it wasn’t to be and the Suffolk club must now prepare for life in League One.
In a game Town had to win it was the visitors took the lead after just seven minutes.
It had been mostly Birmingham in the opening stages and when Maxim Colin went past Myles Kenlock, he crossed into the six-yard box where Jutkiewicz crashed the ball the roof of the net six yards out.
It was just the start Town didn’t want and Birmingham, buoyed by a decent following from the midlands were in good heart.
Jutkiewicz almost made it two minutes later, sliding in from a clever Che Adams cross-shot.
Colin was attacking well and his cross was met by the unmarked Kerim Mrabti 14 yards out, but his shot was blocked.
Town were looking nervy and were struggling to get their passing going.
However, at last they got their act together on 16 minutes.
Kenlock made a determined run, played the ball into Collin Quaner, cut back inside and right-footed hit a good shot that just cleared the bar.
Bartosz Biaklowski made a diving save as Jota shot
Cole Skuse sprayed a lovely ball to Kenlock as Ipswich got their first corner on 23 minutes.
Dozzell’s pass was intercepted as Birmigham attacked dangerously with Adams. His cross found Jota whose effort was blocked, with Edwards booked for an earlier foul.
Judge fouled Gary Gardner 20 yards out. It was a dangerous position but Jutkiewicz fired over.
Despite the scoreline Ipswich fans were in good voice and Teddy Bishop won a free-kick 25 yards out that Judge took and Lee Camp tipped over for a corner.
Collins was booked for a foul on Adams and Skuse was in the book for another foul on the same player.
Adams was causing all sorts of problems for Town and when Chambers fouled him on the edge of the area, it was another yellow for a Town player.
Kayden Jackson came on for Andre Dozzell at the start of the second period and the No.9 made an immediate impression, picking up a Chambers ball, cutting inside and crossing perfectly for Edwards to cushion-volley home.
It was just what the fans wanted just a minute into the second half and Judge almost put Town ahead two minutes later, volleying onto the post from a Josh Emmanuel cross.
Jackson curled a cross wide as Town were unrecognisable from the side who ended the first half.
Mrabti almost put the visitors back in front with a curling effort, before Toto Nsiala replaced Collins on the hour.
Quanner almost got on the end of a Judge cross, the little Irishman Town’s best player right now.
Jutkiewicz flung himself to a header from a corner as the game settled down with Birmingham having seemingly quelled Town’s early second-half fire.
David Davis was booked for a foul on Edwards and Nsiala was the next in referee Mr Simpson’s book after a foul on Connor Mahoney.
Edwards’ cross found Jackson who laid the ball off to Judge, but his shot was pushed away by Camp.
Town had at least given it a real go in this seond half but it now League One football they must prepare for.