|Ipswich Town 1 v 1 Barnsley|
Saturday, 19th January 2013 Kick-off 15:00
Town 1-1 Barnsley
Saturday, 19th Jan 2013 17:10
Barnsley sub Danny Rose netted a late equaliser - his first league goal - to deny the Blues three points as the Tykes left Portman Road having claimed a deserved 1-1 draw. Town were fortunate to be on terms at half-time – ex-Blues loanee Marlon Harewood missing a number of chances – but Luke Chambers put Mick McCarthy's men in front in the 56th minute.
Boss McCarthy named the expected unchanged side against his hometown club with new strikers David McGoldrick and Aaron Mclean making their home debuts. Barnsley, playing a 3-5-2 formation, included former Blues loanee Harewood up front.
Aside from patches and piles of snow around the periphery, the pitch itself showed little sign of the recent snowy weather.
The Blues began the game strongly and skipper Carlos Edwards forced Luke Steele to tip over in the second minute with a shot from the edge of the box Guirane N’Daw having played him the ball after a spell of Town possession.
Aaron Cresswell saw a 30-yard strike deflect wide off Stephen Foster in the sixth minute with the Blues dominating the opening stages.
The game was held up on 10 when Barnsley midfielder Stephen Dawson fell awkwardly and after several minutes’ treatment was stretchered off, Kelvin Etuhu replacing him.
Soon after the restart, David Perkins scraped a shot wide from the edge of the area when he ought to have done better.
The break for the injury seemed to benefit the Tykes more than the Blues with the away side suddenly on top. On 20 Harewood beat Cresswell down the right and cut the ball back, Chambers making an important interception.
Town were finding it hard to break out of their half with the visitors now well on top. They should have gone in front in the 24th minute when Jacob Mellis played Harewood in behind the Blues’ backline, but the 33-year-old’s shot was weak and Scott Loach saved down to his right.
Chambers should have put Town in front in the 25th minute. Cresswell sent in a freekick from the left, the centre-half’s flicked header struck Foster behind him and fell at the former Forest man’s feet on the edge of the six-yard box, but he got under the ball and sent it into the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.
On 28 Lee Martin ought to have found Mclean in space breaking on the right but failed to spot his run. The Blues lost possession and Harewood beat Chambers, cut in from the left and hit a strike across the face of Loach’s goal. It was another fortunate escape for the Blues.
Referee Nigel Miller awarded Town an indirect freekick for obstruction inside the area on the left in the 31st minute after Steele had impeded McGoldrick as they went for a bouncing ball, the keeper having mis-kicked a clearance. The freekick was played to Martin by Cresswell and the midfielder’s shot deflected wide off a defender.
Chambers made an important interception ahead of Chris Dagnall in the 36th minute, the striker having been played in by Tom Kennedy.
Martin hit a deflected effort into Steele’s arms on 40 but it was Barnsley who had continued to have the better of it, the Blues having lost their momentum after the injury interruption.
However, so far, the backline had remained resolute for the most part with Harewood failing to make the most of the Tykes’ two significant opportunities.
As the game moved into five minutes of injury time Harewood was once again played in behind the Town defence unchecked by Mellis. This time the veteran striker beat Loach to his right, but the ball struck the outside of the post and bounced to safety.
The Blues could conceivably have found themselves two or even three goals behind by now had Harewood’s finishing been of a better standard.
McGoldrick shot wide at the other end, then went as close as any Town player had up to then with a far post header from an Edwards cross from the right which struck the bar, keeper Steele getting a touch to it. Moments before the whistle, Harewood backheeled Mellis’s corner from the right wide.
New Barnsley manager David Flitcroft would have been the happier of the two bosses at the break, although would have felt his side should have deservedly been in front.
Harewood had had the best of his team’s opportunities but had finished in a manner which became all too familiar during his loan spell with the Blues in 1999.
Despite being on the backfoot, other than in the opening 10 minutes, Town could easily have had two goals, Chambers having missed a gilt-edged opportunity and McGoldrick hitting the bar.
McGoldrick knocked an N’Daw cross from the left back across the area five minutes into the second half but too far in front of Mclean.
Perkins picked up the game’s first yellow card in the 56th minute for pulling back Martin as the Town midfielder broke down the centre of the field.
From the resultant freekick, the Blues went in front. Cresswell wafted a freekick into the penalty area, McGoldrick’s back header fell to Smith, whose attempted overhead kick fell to the feet of Chambers, who made up for his earlier miss by lashing the ball past Steele and into the net.
A Martin shot from 20 yards deflected to the Barnsley keeper on 59 before Frank Nouble replaced the largely quiet Aaron Mclean up front alongside McGoldrick.
The Blues had finally regained the ascendancy having gone in front and in the 66th minute McGoldrick cut in from the right and hit a low strike just wide. Soon after, N’Daw scuffed wide from distance after dispossessing Etuhu when he ought to have brought the ball further forward.
Mellis shot wide in the 68th minute, moments before Daryl Murphy took over from Martin on the Town left.
Harewood had another chance in the 69th minute when played in on the edge of the box by sub Matt Done but scraped well wide.
On 73 Cresswell played a clever freekick into the area into McGoldrick’s path, but Kennedy was alive to his run and blocked his shot on the turn.
The Tykes were close to an equaliser in the 75th minute when Foster headed Kennedy’s freekick from deep on the left wide. Seconds later, Michael Chopra replaced the lively McGoldrick, who had played his part in the goal.
Harewood had yet another chance in the 78th minute when Perkins escaped down the Barnsley left and crossed, the ball striking the ex-Aston Villa in the midriff and bouncing harmlessly wide. The former Blues loanee had had more than enough opportunities to claim the matchball, let alone grab a point for his side.
Murphy saw a shot deflect wide in the 84th minute, then soon after failed to find Nouble with a pass on the edge of the box when the former Wolves man, making his home debut, would have had a chance to shoot at goal.
With two minutes remaining, Loach superbly tipped over Harewood’s header from Kennedy’s corner on the left, but from the subsequent corner, Barnsley drew level. Kennedy again took the flagkick and sub Danny Rose - a 19-year-old striker - stooped to head past Loach close range.
In injury time, N’Daw found Edwards in a promising position on the right but the Town captain screwed his shot wide when he should have done better.
Neither side threatened again before referee Nigel Miller blew his whistle with a draw probably a fair result.
Town hadn’t played particularly well with the Tykes having had enough chances to have netted two or three times before Chambers put the Blues in front.
The Blues hadn’t looked particularly under threat until the two late corners, sub Rose heading home from the second.
After last week’s point away against leaders Cardiff, a draw against second-bottom Barnsley will be a disappointment to boss Mick McCarthy, although on the balance of the game it would have been harsh on the Tykes if they had taken nothing from their trip to snowy Suffolk.
Town remain 19th, six points away from the relegation places with a trip to bottom club Bristol City next Saturday.
Town: Loach, Orr, Smith, Chambers, Cresswell, Edwards, N’Daw, Hyam, Martin (Murphy 69), McGoldrick (Chopra 75), Mclean (Nouble 60). Unused: Lee-Barrett, Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Drury.
Barnsley: Steele, Stones, Golbourne (Done 69), Foster, Cranie, Kennedy, Perkins, Mellis (Rose 85), Dawson (Etuhu 13), Dagnall, Harewood. Unused: Alnwick, Hassell, Wiseman, Cymka. Referee: Nigel Miller (County Durham). Att: 15,513 (Barnsley: 175).
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