|Ipswich Town 2 v 2 Huddersfield Town|
Saturday, 1st September 2012 Kick-off 15:00
Town 2-2 Huddersfield
Saturday, 1st Sep 2012 17:16
Luke Chambers scored his first Town goal, Michael Chopra netted his second of the season and Scott Loach saved a penalty as the Blues drew 2-2 at home to Huddersfield. The Terriers were in front at the break via Adam Clayton before Town equalised and then went in front. On-loan Canary James Vaughan equalised for the visitors then saw his spotkick stopped by Loach.
Town boss Paul Jewell handed new signings Paul Taylor and Daryl Murphy debuts for the Blues from the start, the Irishman’s third for the club, while Guirane N’Daw was named on the bench.
Jack Ainsley came in for skipper Carlos Edwards at right-back with the Trinidadian out with a groin injury. Luke Chambers wore the armband.
Taylor and Murphy were on the right and left of the Blues’ usual 4-2-3-1 respectively with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Josh Carson dropping to the bench having been in the sides which lost at Blackpool and Carlisle.
Jordan Rhodes-less Huddersfield named new loan signing Adam Hammill and ex-Blue Alan Lee amongst their substitutes.
There was an early scare for the Blues when keeper Scott Loach failed to hold on to a low Oliver Norwood freekick in from deep on the left but fortunately the danger was cleared. The Town keeper really ought to have had little trouble claiming.
The Blues quickly broke to the other end, Lee Martin sending Michael Chopra away but the striker hit a shot across the face of goal under pressure from two Huddersfield defenders.
Terriers defender Joel Lynch flicked a header not far wide from a Danny Ward cross on nine with the visitors having had most of the ball in the opening stages.
But Town started to get the upper hand and in the 14th minute Martin did well on the left and cut the ball back to Murphy who seemed destined to score. The season-long loanee from Celtic chose to place it low to his right but Terriers skipper Peter Clarke somehow managed to block.
From the corner, the Blues went close again, Chambers heading goalwards and Paul Dixon clearing off the line.
Andy Drury shot over for Town, then James Vaughan headed over for the visitors, then Taylor scuffed wide after good work from Martin.
Taylor, with Ainsley making an impressive first home league start behind him, started to become more involved and in the 22nd minute cut in and hit a powerful shot but too close to Terriers’ keeper Alex Smithies.
Two minutes later, Lee Novak did well down the Town left, feeding Adam Clayton as he burst from midfield but the ex-Leeds man screwed his shot into the sidenetting. There was more danger for the Blues in the 28th minute when Ward crossed from the left, but Chambers cleared.
The visitors went in front in the 36th minute after the Blues failed to clear their lines after a corner. Strikes from Clayton and Ward were blocked but when the ball again ran loose to Clayton 20 yards out the midfielder hit a low shot which came through a crowd of players and beat Loach to his left.
There had been little in the game with neither side particularly deserving to be on top, but the Blues had had several opportunities to clear before Clayton’s strike.
Terriers’ skipper Clarke was laid out by his own keeper Smithies a couple of minutes later as he punched clear but the ex-Southend man was OK to carry on after treatment.
There was a scare for the Blues in the 44th minute when Vaughan got on to Loach’s poor header from just outside the area but the on-loan Norwich man scuffed the ball into the keeper’s hands once he had retreated into his box.
Lee Martin was convinced that his side ought to have had a penalty right on 45 when Jack Hunt blocked his low cross from the left, the Blues’ midfielder looking to have a decent case. Referee Mick Russell wasn’t interested and Chambers headed over from the corner.
The scoreline was a bit harsh on the Blues at half-time, although once again they had conceded a goal due to defensive frailties and should have been in front via Murphy early on.
Other than that, it had been a fairly even half with both sides having the odd half-chance rather than a plethora of good opportunities, but with the Blues having most of the possession.
New boy Taylor had showed why Town paid an initial £1.5 million for him in flashes and looked dangerous when cutting in from the right.
The former Peterborough man changed roles along with Martin at the start of the second half, Taylor joining Chopra up front, the former Manchester United man sending in an early cross from which a Chopra header and a Murphy shot were blocked.
Drury was booked for failing to place the ball in the quadrant as he prepared to take the flagkick, the ball eventually finding Cresswell 20 yards out from where the left-back hit a right-foot shot just over.
An Ainsley error in the 55th minute led to Ward hitting a shot which Loach saved down to his right. Vaughan was quickly on to the rebound and the Blues’ keeper did superbly to stop and hold on to the ball from a matter of a few feet.
Murphy forced Smithies to concede a corner with a half-volleyed cross from the left on 58, then Drury over-hit his cross when he should have done much better following the corner.
Vaughan almost made it 2-0 with a brilliant turn and shot on the hour mark, the ball flying narrowly over Loach’s crossbar.
But the Blues had been the more threatening side for most of the second half and in the 63rd minute the equaliser came. Drury sent over a freekick from the left, Murphy peeled off his man and headed into the six-yard box from where Chambers bundled home his first goal for the Blues.
Town were close to going in front just over a minute later when Ainsley whipped over a superb ball from the right but just too far in front of Martin.
The Blues looked a revitalised side after the goal with an extra spring in their step, Martin sending in a cross and Hunt diverting it away from Murphy.
In the 72nd minute Town went in front. Chopra was played in by Drury’s deflected pass and the Blues’ frontman cleverly flicked the ball past Smithies and into the net for his second goal of the season.
Vaughan headed well wide from a Huddersfield corner, then went over after another corner was returned into the box.
The visitors got back on terms in the 80th minute when Ward broke away down the left and sent in a low cross which Vaughan slammed home from close range.
The game continued to be end to end and Town almost made it 3-2 moments later after Taylor found Chopra inside the area after good work from Luongo, but the Blues striker turned the ball on to the post.
The game was ending in a frantic manner and in the 83rd minute Huddersfield were awarded a penalty. Murphy had felled Hunt as they sought to get on to a ball in from the left and after protests and consulting a linesman who had fallen over while the move progressed, referee Russell pointed to the spot.
Vaughan took the kick and lashed it to Loach’s right, the Blues keeper pushing it on to the post. The ball flashed across the six-yard box and Vaughan hit the rebound into the sidenetting.
The on-loan Norwich man lost his head in the minutes after the goal and picked up a yellow card for a foul on Drury with whom he had recently enjoyed a lively discussion on halfway. The Blues had a penalty shout of their own when Chopra went to ground inside the box but the referee wasn't interested.
Taylor shot wide for the Blues before making way for Jason Scotland after a lively debut, then as the game moved into injury time Vaughan had another chance to win it as he brought the ball into the area from the left but Loach again saved well.
Neither side threatened again before referee Russell blew his whistle to end an entertaining encounter which probably rightly ended in a draw.
The Blues probably ought to have won it at 2-1 when they were well on top but gave away another goal on the counter-attack and were then had Loach to thank for saving first the penalty and then the later effort from Vaughan.
Of the new boys, Murphy was both hero and villain creating the first Blues goal and then conceding the penalty, while Taylor was in and out of the game but showed some classy touches at times.
Paul Jewell will be disappointed not to have won the match having been 2-1 in the lead but will probably be grateful that his side don’t go into the international break on the back of another defeat.
Town: Loach, Ainsley, Chambers (c), Smith, Cresswell, Taylor (Scotland 90), Luongo, Drury, Martin, Murphy, Chopra. Unused: Lee-Barrett, N'Daw, Carson, Emmanuel-Thomas, Hyam, Murray.
Huddersfield: Smithies, Dixon (Gerrard 69), Lynch (Woods 84), P Clarke (c), Hunt, Southern, Norwood, Clayton, Ward, Vaughan, Novak (Hammill 77). Unused: Bennett, Arfield, Lee, Spencer. Referee: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire). Att: 16,843 (Huddersfield: 830).
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