Town show fighting character

THE Blues turned the tables on Burnley and, at the same time, showed the tide could be turning in their favour.Three weeks previously, the Clarets snatched all three points with a late goal at Turf Moor, a pattern that was repeated at Barnsley and Derby.

By Derek Davis

THE Blues turned the tables on Burnley and, at the same time, showed the tide could be turning in their favour.

Three weeks previously, the Clarets snatched all three points with a late goal at Turf Moor, a pattern that was repeated at Barnsley and Derby.

But, when Alan Lee sent Danny Coyne the wrong way two minutes into time added on at Portman Road, it was the Blues celebrating gaining a point instead of losing three.


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Kyle Lafferty had given Burnley the lead in the 86th minute, rather against the run of play, and it seemed Town fans were going to endure another week of misery.

That was before Ipswich found a new resolve and, from the moment Lafferty's shot from a James O'Connor pass curled into the corner until the referee played his five extra minutes at the end, Ipswich battled away.

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Jason De Vos would not allow his troops to wallow in misery and the heads that had dropped were soon held high as they performed a spirited comeback.

The equaliser came from a disputed corner, which Gary Roberts delivered and Gifton Noel-Williams touched away with a raised hand.

The Burnley striker claimed he was pushed as he jumped and that is why his arm came up.

While the manner of the result may have been controversial, there is no doubting that Ipswich deserved at least a draw and there could have been few complaints if they had actually won, given the chances they squandered.

Burnley will also rue their misses, especially early on when Lafferty hit a tame shot straight to Lewis Price.

The Wales keeper also made a wonderfully acrobatic save to deny the Burnley youngster, starting in place of 10-goal star Andy Gray, who has broken three bones in his right foot.

John McGreal had a couple of headers from corners saved, with Roberts clearing one off the line.

It took Ipswich about 20 minutes to find their own form and, when McGreal lost the ball to Roberts deep in the Ipswich half, a superb piece of passing play involving Owen Garvan climaxed with Billy Clarke carving out space for himself but Coyne was equal to the 20-yard shot.

Sylvain Legwinski and Jaime Peters had decent chances before Lee was clean through and, from 10 yards out, shaped to place the ball past Coyne but it hit a bobble instead and cannoned off his shin 10 yards wide.

The poor pitch is an easy excuse to make but it doesn't help either side, especially Town trying to play good football along the deck, but it is what it is and Town need to adapt.

There was no blaming the pitch when Burnley struck. Matt Richards failed to close down Lafferty, who cut inside and finished with aplomb from 25 yards.

That mistake apart, Town had defended stoutly, especially in the early period. They have benefited from getting Gavin Williams and Garvan back and, along with Legwinski's experience and composure and Roberts' skill and trickery, looked a formidable midfield at times.

With Dan Harding back from suspension at Cardiff, along with Simon Walton, Town have the makings of a decent enough side to get on the run they keep promising.

The character shone through as they refused to allow a fifth defeat in six games and it can only be hoped that the belief gained from this draw will drive them on.

Lee will be missed against his old club Cardiff City, a match he misses through suspension, and even lessons appeared to have been learnt in that department, with no cards for Town players, while Burnley picked up four.

This is a tough six-game spell coming up, with trips to Cardiff, Coventry and West Brom, while Leeds United, Stoke City and Birmingham all visit, and all are currently showing a vein of good form.

But if Ipswich can turn the tables on a few teams, even if it means winning late on, then so much the better and they can go into the January window in good heart.

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