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Ipswich Town 2 v 2 AFC Bournemouth
SkyBet Championship
Monday, 21st April 2014 Kick-off 15:00
Town 2-2 AFC Bournemouth
Monday, 21st Apr 2014 17:35

Paul Anderson and Paul Green were on target as Town and Bournemouth drew 2-2 at Portman Road. Anderson put the home side in front on 36 but the Cherries hit back via Steve Cook's overhead kick just before the break. Green's first Blues goal restored the lead on 56 but Matt Ritchie's deflected freekick gained a point for the Dorset club.

Christophe Berra and Luke Hyam missed out due to injury with on-loan Middlesbrough man Frazer Richardson handed his first Blues start at right-back. Skipper Luke Chambers moved to his preferred position of centre-half alongside Tommy Smith.

Anthony Wordsworth continued in central midfield in Hyam’s absence with Anderson returning on the right and Stephen Hunt on the left, with Frank Nouble dropping to the bench.

Neither side was able to carve out an opening in a scruffy first 15 minutes of over-hit passes at both ends of the field.

There was a scare for the Blues on 14 when Chambers lost his footing but the ball ran through to Gerken before Lewis Grabban was able to get onto it. Two minutes later, the former Millwall striker hit a low effort wide from distance.

On 25 Yann Kermorgant headed well over with chances still rare but with Bournemouth having most of the ball.

Two minutes later, the Frenchman went closer when he nodded Marc Pugh’s cross from the left just over. Soon after, Eunan O’Kane lashed wildly into the upper tier of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand when he should have done better after Ritchie’s mis-hit effort fell to him inside the box.

Hunt switched to the right and Anderson to the left as the Blues looked to get more into the game. On 34 Jonny Williams sent Aaron Cresswell away down the left but the full-back shot wide.

Despite the visitors having been the better of the two teams, the Blues went ahead in the 36th minute. Cole Skuse was found in unfamiliar territory on the right and sent in a low cross. Daryl Murphy couldn’t reach it, but Anderson smashed his fifth goal of the season into the roof of the net from a few feet out at the far post.

Town were close to adding a second two minutes later after Pugh had fouled Williams not far outside the area. Cresswell curled a goalbound freekick but Cherries keeper Lee Camp did superbly to tip it onto his right post.

Richardson did well to divert Ritchie’s low cross away from Pugh at the far post as the visitors looked to get back on terms.

On 41 Grabban shot wide after a blocked Ritchie shot had deflected to him in a good position in the area.

And it wasn’t long before Bournemouth were back on terms. A Charlie Daniels freekick from deep on the left was headed into the air by Cook at the far post and Cherries the defender acrobatically overhead kicked into the roof of the net.

Just before the whistle Wordsworth hit a shot into Camp’s arms when he might well have tested the one-time Town target more.

It would have been harsh on the visitors to have found themselves behind at the break as they had shaded what hadn’t been a great half, creating most of the better opportunities with Town having gone in front from their only clear-cut chance.

However, the Blues could easily have found themselves two in front before the equaliser but for Camp’s excellent save from Cresswell’s freekick.

Ahead of the restart, Town switched Wordsworth for Green and Anderson and Hunt swapped back to the right and left respectively.

The Cherries started the second half on top and on 50 Grabban almost latched onto a ball over the top having got beyond the Town backline. On 53 Nouble replaced Anderson, who had suffered a knock soon after the break.

Town went back in front with their first chance of the second half. After Williams was fouled by Simon Francis on the left, Cresswell sent over a freekick, Smith flicked it on and sub Green stooped to nod home his first goal for the Blues.

Murphy thought he was away and in the clear from Williams’s pass on the hour only for the linesman to raise his flag, wrongly according to the Town players.

The Cherries should have been on terms in the 65th minute when Francis crossed from the right and the ball deflected to Pugh who really ought to have scored but lashed wildly over. That was the former Hereford man’s last involvement as Bournemouth boss swapped him and Daniels for Tokelo Rantie and Adam Smith.

Having gone in front Town were largely content to sit back, soak up everything Bournemouth could throw at them and catch them on the break. On 77 Tyrone Mings replaced Williams with Cresswell moving to an unfamiliar right midfield role.

The sub was quickly into the action, heading the ball away from goal after Rantie had nodded it beyond the advancing Gerken who was outside the area as the Cherries broke following a Town freekick.

Ten minutes from time, the visitors equalised for the second time. After Smith had fouled Rantie five yards outside the area, Andrew Surman played a freekick short to Ritchie, who hit a low shot which took a huge deflection off Skuse at the end of the Town wall and beat the wrong-footed Gerken.

On 84 Mings flicked Cresswell’s freekick from the left just beyond the far post as the Blues looked to restore their lead once again.

The game was now an end to end, very open affair. Richardson dispossessed Grabban in a dangerous position inside the Town area, then almost immediately at the other end Murphy and Hunt were just unable to get on a Nouble cross from the left.

Bournemouth continued to take the game to tiring Town as the match moved into its final minutes. On 88 Gerken saved Kermogant’s shot from the edge of the box, then as the fourth official announced four additional minutes the Blues keeper did well to get down to his right to push Grabban’s low shot wide.

The visitors presented the greater threat during injury time, a mis-hit Skuse shot after a corner had been cleared to him 25 yards out the nearest the Blues came to a winner.

There was almost a moment of controversy right at the end when referee D’Urso blew the final whistle as Kermogant headed a cross narrowly wide.

A draw was probably a fair result. Bournemouth were the better side before the break, while Town presented a greater threat in the second half before going in front for the second time.

After that the Blues - who had had a day fewer to recover from their first Easter weekend game - defended in depth and were unfortunate with the Cherries’ second equaliser. But overall it would have been harsh on the visitors had they taken nothing from the game, particularly given some of the chances they created but spurned.

With Brighton drawing 1-1 at home to Blackpool and Nottingham Forest winning 2-0 at Leeds, Town are eighth a point from Brighton in sixth, while Reading, a point and a place behind the Blues, are in action at home to Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

Town: Gerken, Richardson, Chambers (c), Smith, Cresswell, Skuse, Wordsworth (Green 46), Anderson (Nouble 53), Hunt, Williams (Mings 77), Murphy. Unused: Loach, Tabb, Taylor, Marriott.

AFC Bournemouth: Camp, Francis (c), Cook, Ward, Daniels (Smith 65), Surman, O'Kane, Pugh (Rantie 65), Ritchie, Kermorgant, Grabban. Unused: Allsop, Elphick, Harte, MacDonald, Fraser. Referee: Andy D'Urso (Billericay). Att: 20,356 (Bournemouth: 890).

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mrivancampo added 17:38 - Apr 21
Shameful performance how many chances do we need to get in the top 6? Mick has taken us backwards since Jewell and keane

gobs93 added 17:38 - Apr 21
What a chance this was to get ahead of Brighton! Never the less, onwards and upwards. Lets go and give a now promoted (and a possibly lacklustre) Burnley a run for their money, COYB!!!

town1328 added 17:39 - Apr 21
Frustrating result because we just sit back and invite pressure as soon as we go into the lead! Can never just kill the game off! Brighton only drew and hopefully reading will drop points to keep our dream alive! COYB

TractorCam added 17:40 - Apr 21
Do we even want the play-offs? Bringing on Tyrone Mings for our only flair player with 25 minutes to go, surprise surprise we've then conceded and dropped more points which has been happening all season and we haven't learnt our lesson. Then we're all sitting deep just hoofing it out waiting for them to cross it in the box, no desire to attack what so ever.

All out attack against Burnley if we want to stand any sort of chance!

mrivancampo added 17:40 - Apr 21
Also nouble and Anderson are absolutely hopeless ran ankhs Blake is terrible need another striker Taylor no good, only 2 good strikers we have are Murphy and mcgoldrick

TractorBoy666 added 17:44 - Apr 21
Ahh, well back when I spoke to my friend who's a wolves fan and he spoke that McCarthy was negative but I never knew he was THIS negative. 20 minutes to play and he brings Mings on for our best player?! Does mick know how many points we've lost from winning positions? It's because we sit back as soon as we take the lead. Disappointing today, some of his decisions baffle me. We have wasted far too many opportunities now, but just win our next two and who knows. What a chance gone again, Bournemouth wanted it more today.

Michael11 added 17:45 - Apr 21
Poor performance today. Expected much more as it was a must win game. At least Blackpool helped us out! It's not all over but now we have to hope Burnley players get drunk all week and win there. Keep the faith!!

floridaboy added 17:50 - Apr 21
One word - BOTTLERS!!!!

Lets be fair we don't deserve to be in the play offs. We are simply not good enough.

As for Mings for Williams, think Williams was struggling after the battering he took against Watford on Saturday

bluelady added 17:50 - Apr 21
Meivancampo I'm assuming your an attention seeker? What ridiculous posts!! As I've said before even if we don't make play offs we have to remember what Mick has done on zero Budget and how far we have come since the dark lord and relegation expert PJ. I do think we have on several occasions dropped two points which would have seen us in the play offs but I also think the players today looked shattered - the only team to play two games in 48 hours, must make a didferance. Thought Anderson looked pretty good till he was forced off injured and actually don't have an issue with Johnny going off as I thought he looked totally shattered however I would rather have seen Tayor come on. We do play way too deep (even before we are ahead) and that's frustration as we invite teams to attack. My final message is to our owner - now we have a manager finally capable of getting us home for goodness sake back him in the Summer if you don't it will be mid table for the foreseeable future!

essextractorboy93 added 17:54 - Apr 21
Can we get mrivancampo blocked or deleted from this? He is clearly a Naaarwich fan and completely deluded. Ridiculous comments all the time.

Thought that Bournemouth were impressive and a draw isn't ideal for either but we are still in with a shout of the play offs. Great to see the biggest crowd of the season too! We have made so much progress this season!


TimmyH added 17:54 - Apr 21
Would have been a travesty if Bournemouth had come away with nothing, I just feel as mentioned a few days ago we are at the same level as numerous clubs from 6th down to about 12th or so and lack that bit of quality. We keep relying on other clubs around us to do us a favour but the fact is it's been in our own hands and a 1 point return from Easter is not particularly very good.

IF we win our last 2 we have a chance but to be honest we need a hung over Burnley side like the Leicester team that lost at home to Brighton to turn up as I feel it might be a bridge too far. Sadly disappointed today (again).


irishtim added 17:55 - Apr 21
Think we need to look at how Leicester responded this season. We are making progress. For that i am grateful.

AndyUK61873 added 17:55 - Apr 21
Lets just say, Mings came on very Williams with just 13mins left to play (not 20-25), most teams in any league when leading by 1 and looking to secure a win typically bring on a defensive player with 10-15 mins to go.

Chicago_Blue added 17:55 - Apr 21
I'm still mystified as to why Mings came on, took Cresswell's place, and Cresswell went to right midfield. I think Williams was knackered, but maybe he should have just brought onto Taylor for him, like for like almost, and kept the team's shape. Cresswell looked over to the bench a little bewildered (figured it was to mark the same guy he'd marked all match?), and it was down at the left back position where the free kick for their 2nd equaliser came about. I wish Brenner would ask Mick the probing and topical questions in his post-match interview instead of giving Mick the freedom to talk about what he wants to talk about. Fact is we have lost so many points from winning positions, the stats point to the tactics not working. And I know Mick likes his stats.

coyb99 added 17:55 - Apr 21
Next year will be our year, you watch.

pinewoodblueboy added 17:56 - Apr 21
Another opportunity lost. Baffling substitutions, 25 minutes to go, in the lead, bring on a left back, put the existing left back quite where I,ve no idea. Surely Taylor would have been a better option. Frustrating in the extreme. One up front in the 1st half is just not good enough.

AndyUK61873 added 17:58 - Apr 21
and as a fan, at the start of the season I would have snatched the hand off anybody that offered us a Top10 finish this potential Top 6 is just a bonus.

RFATOWNFAN added 17:59 - Apr 21
Too soft at home again. Get a goal ahead and then invite teams to come at us giving them too much time and space. Bournemouth always looked more likely to equalise than we did to push on and score a third. Let's hope Reading slip up again tomorrow......

BoredWithThisNow added 18:01 - Apr 21
Boringly predictable. Tactically naive and hoof ball in all but name.

Saves us from humiliation in the play- offs mind. Let's face it, QPR and Derby are a country mile ahead of us.

floridaboy added 18:01 - Apr 21
I wonder if MM might move on if - sorry but we wont - we dont finish in the top 6

Maybe he will think he has gone as far as he can with the players and funds he has been given.

Unless ME gives him assurances re funds then I really do believe he will go!

EssexTractor added 18:02 - Apr 21
As I left the ground murmurings of " didn't we look shattered ", " terrible negative tactics" "that's the play offs blown". Sentiments shared by many I would imagine. In truth despite the disappointment we were not deserving of a victory today. We were very poor for 35 minutes then thanks to ball watching by the Bournemouth full back and creditable determination by Anderson we took a shock lead.
But not surprisingly tentative if not to say amateurish defending allowed the Cherries centre half to score what Paul Merson would call a "Worldy". Maybe if our keeper had taken responsibility in his six yard box that could have been averted. Nonetheless even Steven at the break.
Surely with so much at stake and a first half that seldom even reached mediocrity, our manager would have made positive inspirational substitutions at the break. When I saw P Green lining up my heart sunk and although he was on hand to net the second, he like all of our midfielders is lightweight and when it came to not only holding that advantage but doubling it, no one had the physical or mental ability to make that happen.
When the clock showed 5 minutes to play and following Bournemouths deserved if somewhat fortuitous equaliser, our two most advanced players and then only just in the Bournemouth half, were Aaron Cresswell in the "outside right" position and "Whirling Dervish Hunt" in the centre forward spot.
Evidence I regret of inept game planning on the day.

Flewitt85 added 18:02 - Apr 21
Still in there with a chance! Lets be positive please!

Dont go to many games but after the match I was looking at Cresswell closly and he seem abit tearful dont know if thats cause he thinks playoffs gone or he will be gone.?

joshITFCporter added 18:06 - Apr 21
dean gerkin cost us our playoff spot, he's been consistantly poor in recent weeks and hasnt helped us at all

Elizabeth added 18:07 - Apr 21
What ridiculous comments on here this evening. MM has worked wonders with the players that are here , unlike Mr Keane and Mr Jewell who were given copious amounts of money and produced teams that were the absolute pits!
Who would have thought that we would even be in this position two months ago ?
Let's be thankful for the progress that has been made and the unfortunate injury to David Mc Goldrick I feel has cost us our place.

theobald1985 added 18:08 - Apr 21
boring mick strikes again we should have gone for it they were there for the taking at the back but everytime we score we shut up shop its so frustrating to watch along with all the long balls.
i dont think funds can be used as an excuse he has signed berra ebanks blake skuse anderson woody as well as others and they are not playing for nothing but we are just playing hoofball trying to nixk a goal and then see the game out by getting men behind the ball-to make us spend the season watching such uninspiring football we should at least get a play off place otherwise we may have well as played attacking footy on the deck and finished 14th but at least be building something a bit more modern and with some style

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