Town suffer rough justice

AS much as Ipswich will see this result as rough justice, Leeds will consider it poetic justice that they snatched a point through a controversial late penalty.

By Derek Davis

Ipswich Town 1 Leeds United 1

AS much as Ipswich will see this result as rough justice, Leeds will consider it poetic justice that they snatched a point through a controversial late penalty.

Danny Haynes had put the Blues ahead and might have made sure of a win but for the width of a crossbar before Jason De Vos was judged to handled the ball and David Healy swept in the penalty three minutes from time.

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The Canadian and his team-mates argued vociferously, and, it seemed, with good reason. There was no doubt that De Vos' hand was high in the air but he appeared to have been pushed by Rob Hulse and the ball did not seem to deviate from its path as Eddie Lewis knocked in the corner.

Northern Ireland international Healy sent Shane Supple the wrong way and avenged, in a small way, the 2-0 defeat at home in September, when Leeds had by far the better of the game.

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Last night there was no doubt Town dominated and belied their mid-table position against a side that was hoping to regain third place.

A predominantly young side did not let a potentially unsettling incident before kick-off affect them.

An accident on the A12 at Kelvedon meant some fans were late or didn't make it at all, while the referee Phil Crossley from Kent only arrived in time after turning his car around and catching a train at Chelmsford.

Darren Currie was another who needed to take a big diversion from his Witham home to make the start and missed the warm-up. He arrived minutes before kick-off and was too late to start, so Jim Magilton stepped in with the £250,000 bargain buy from Brighton going on at half-time in place of the Irishman.

Seven of the Town starters were home-grown, including Richard Naylor, who was making his 299th Town appearance. Haynes is the latest of the crop to have made his debut, but already the progress he has made since making his bow in the 2-0 win at Leeds, is immense.

The 18-year-old started with a blistering run down the right cut inside and his shot was tipped over for a corner.

His pace and persistence troubled United throughout and his goal three minutes after the break stemmed from two other Academy graduates.

Supple showed courage and confidence to come out of his area and head clear a dangerous long ball with Cresswell bearing down.

Matt Richards collected Scott Barron's throw in and threaded the ball from just inside his own half into Haynes' path.

The Londoner sped through and with the composure a seasoned veteran would have been proud of, placed his shot around Neil Sullivan and inside the far post.

After making his debut at Leeds, it was only fitting that he should open his goal account against the same side albeit four months later.

Haynes almost bagged another when he left Leeds skipper Paul Butler floundering as he sprinted around him but his well-hit shot rebounded off the crossbar.

Richards, aided superbly by Ian Westlake and Owen Garvan, played with terrific confidence and energy. His clever passing, long and short, from all areas of the pitch gave Leeds no end of problems and Town all round lively movement deserved even greater rewards.

Westlake epitomised the flair when he showed great skill and inter-passing with Wilnis, then Haynes to force a desperate tackle from Butler to win a corner.

Barron is the new kid on the block in defence but looked assured at the back and a threat helping in attack.

The experienced Jason De Vos, Fabian Wilnis and Naylor were virtually impenetrable at the back with the Canadian in particular, commanding in the air and made a vital block on Jon Douglas.

When 12-goal Rob Hulse carved some space for himself and hit a powerful drive it was blocked by Supple.

The 18-year-old keeper, who is keeping Wales international Lewis Price out if the side, made a super stop to deny Hulse after some head tennis in the danger area. The young Irishman also made a terrific reaction save from Hulse, who volleyed in a Lewis cross.

Alan Lee could not make the same sort of impact as he did at Southampton but was not far away when he tried to flick on a Richards volley.

Again his hold-up play was good, he closed down to good effect but never got even a half chance to round off his performance.

Town never got their just rewards for their display but the manner of the performance will put them in great heart for the trip to Norwich on Sunday and extended their unbeaten league run to five.

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