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Ipswich Town 1-1 Stoke City - Match Report
Saturday, 16th Feb 2019 17:11

Will Keane nodded an injury-time equaliser as the Blues drew 1-1 at home to Stoke City, James McClean having made the most of a Town defensive mix-up to put the visitors ahead three minutes before half-time.

Boss Paul Lambert made one enforced change to his team with Jon Nolan replacing Flynn Downes, who had been suffering with illness before being replaced by Nolan on Wednesday.

Cole Skuse was back on the bench after recovering from illness with Trevoh Chalobah continuing in the deeper midfield role. Teddy Bishop started back-to-back games for the first time since November 2016.

Skipper Luke Chambers again missed out due to his foot injury with Bartosz Bialkowski wearing the armband.

Stoke, without a goal in four matches and an away win since October, made one change with James McClean replacing Benik Afobe as they moved to 4-5-1 rather than their more regular diamond.

Stand-in Blues skipper Bialkowski was the first keeper called into action, pawing away an awkward Tom Edwards cross from the right in the third minute.

But Town were beginning the game where they left off on Wednesday and on eight Judge tried a curling effort with the outside of his boot which looped not too far wide of Jack Butland’s right post without overly concerning the England keeper.

The two sets of fans subsequently paid tribute to probably England’s greatest ever keeper, ex-Stoke man Gordon Banks, who died earlier in the week.

Pennington did well to cut out a Tom Ince cross from the right in the 14th minute, then reacted quickest to clear after Myles Kenlock had dallied in the area.

Stoke were on top and a minute later McClean crossed from the left and the ball eventually fell to Joe Allen, who stabbed back to Ince, who rather fortunately for the Blues blazed well over.

Town subsequently had a decent spell and in the 20th minute Chalobah struck a low effort from the edge of the box through to Butland after a well-worked move down the right.

On 28 Stoke worked themselves a chance on the edge of the area but Ince’s shot deflected away from goal. Sam Vokes stuck out a foot but sent it wide and in any case was flagged offside.

The visitors largely continued to control the game and in the 34th minute - soon after McClean had been booked for a clumsy foul on James Bree - they went close to going in front.

Ince whipped over a cross from the right which Vokes headed over from eight yards when the Wales international will feel he should have done better.

Four minutes later, a low Ince cross from the right flashed across the Town six-yard box with no one adding the final touch and then just past the far post.

But it was far from all Stoke with the half having been an end to end affair and on 39 Bishop skipped into the area before sending a low ball across the box but too far in front of his team-mates.

On 41 Nolan almost found himself space to shoot as he broke into the area but was closed down, but a minute later the Potters took the lead after a disastrous mix-up in the Town defence.

Knudsen got to a ball played into the Town box from the left ahead of McClean, with Pennington also in attendance, and the Dane headed back towards goal. However, Bialkowski had come off his line - with his call presumably unheard - and the Irish international was able to turn into an empty net from a matter of inches. It was Stoke's first goal for 404 minutes after four goalless matches.

Judge, like McClean and Blues team-mate Keane watched by former Blues boss and current Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, back at Portman Road for the second time in four days, shot over and then cut in from the left and struck an effort which Butland claimed to his left as the Blues sought to get back on terms immediately.

There was applause for the Blues as they left the field at the break having been a touch unfortunate to be behind given the nature of the game.

Stoke had, however, shaded the half having created the better opportunities with Vokes missing the best of the game’s earlier chances.

The Blues had put together some neat moves but as so often of late with the final ball or shot going astray and Butland hadn’t been significantly stretched.

Six minutes after the restart, the Blues were within a couple of inches of levelling. After Bishop had won a freekick with a trademark run towards the box, Judge curled a freekick to Butland’s left which cannoned off the post. Quaner looked to get on the ball but turned his ankle and appeared to suffering a painful injury but was able to carry on.

Etebo smashed over for Stoke in the 58th minute with the Blues passing it around neatly at times but without being able to create a chance, Judge’s freekick aside.

A minute later Bishop made another strong run into the area and exchanged a one-two with Nolan but the ball was forced behind for a corner. In the 63rd minute Town switched Quaner for Kayden Jackson

Town began to take control as the game passed the 70-minute mark, enjoying long spells of possession but still without being able to carve out a serious chance with the Stoke defence remaining resolute.

On 76 Keane claimed a penalty when he felt a Nolan shot had struck Ryan Woods on the arm, however referee Scott Duncan felt otherwise.

The Blues continued to dominate possession and on 79 Kenlock scuffed a weak shot which struck a Stoke defender after a long spell of Town passing.

Gwion Edwards replaced Nolan for the final nine minutes and immediately made some impact, crossing for Jackson who acrobatically hooked over.

Town continued to take the game to the Potters as the game moved into three minutes of stoppage time.

And, after Toto Nsiala had replaced Bishop as an emergency striker, the Blues equalised via Keane. Judge sent over a corner from the right and Keane nodded into the net to Butland’s right to send Portman Road into relieved raptures.

There was no time for either side to find the game’s third goal before referee Duncan’s final whistle.

On the balance of the game overall, the Blues deserved a point having dominated for spells without creating many chances - in a manner which is all too familiar - while Stoke had few if any opportunities during the second half.

While it was a game the Blues were hopeful of winning on the back of Wednesday’s display against Derby, securing a late draw is still a relatively positive result with both Reading and Bolton losing 4-0 and Rotherham drawing 2-2 with Sheffield Wednesday.

Town are now nine points plus goal difference from safety ahead of next week’s trip to Wigan and then a home game against the Royals.

Town: Bialkowski (c), Bree, Pennington, Knudsen, Kenlock, Chalobah, Nolan (Edwards 81), Bishop (Nsiala 90), Judge, Quaner (Jackson 63), Keane. Unused: Gerken, Skuse,, Dozzell, Dawkins.

Stoke City: Butland Edwards, Batth (c), Martins Indi, Clucas, Woods (Adam 81), Allen, Etebo, Ince (Shawcross 88), McClean (Afobe 76), Vokes. Unused: Federici, Bauer, Williams, Bojan. Referee: Scott Duncan (Northumberland). Att: 15,924 (Stoke: 1,138).

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blue added 17:12 - Feb 16
1-1 result another point onwards and upwards , next week must win game to give us a teeny weeny chance of not finishing bottom 3 , CMON you blueys

jpring89 added 17:17 - Feb 16
So badly needed a win today. But we now have to win the next two or it’s all done and dusted. Keep digging in Town that’s all I ask go down fighting.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:18 - Feb 16
That point is massive.

martin587 added 17:19 - Feb 16
Cannot fault the lads for commitment.The quality up front is still missing but hey we got a draw and it still keeps us in the frame.
Well done lads,keep going.Onwards and upwards to next Saturday.Happy drive back to the seaside again,getting used to this.

NewEraNewMe added 17:24 - Feb 16
If someone said how many points I expected from this game and derby, I would of said a big fat 0 so although 2 points isn't great from these two games, these points could end up being huge...IF we can get the three points against wigan and then capitalise on reading, thats 8 points in total if we can get 2 wins ( I know wishful thinking ) from the next two big games...then its all back up in the air...lets get as many as we can down to wigan on Saturday next week, I myself have took advantage of the student offer they are doing which means myself and 4 others will be attending for absolutely zilch and if you can do it too...get down there and lets make the most of it!

SpiritOfJohn added 17:24 - Feb 16
Judge, Bishop and Keane have played themselves into form. We finally have some goal threat and wins will follow. Hopefully not too little too late.

dirtydingusmagee added 17:25 - Feb 16
Jona Knudson ! other than that another decent effort well done lads, the seasons outcome is nailed on IMO but showing spirit and effort will keep fans on side and hopefully continue next season.

martin587 added 17:33 - Feb 16
Dirty,very sorry,my fat finger down marked you by mistake.Please accept my sincere apologies.🙏

TimmyH added 17:33 - Feb 16
Hoped for a win today but they are becoming as rare as hens teeth...we don't really seem to be making anyway headway on the top team of the mini league of 4 i.e Bolton, Reading and Rotherham but again a reasonably committed game from us but not on the same level as Wednesday's game but there must be some pretty tired legs at the moment.

Next 2 games against Wigan and Reading will define the rest of the season if we can take it to the wire or sink into the mire of league 1.

EssexTractor added 17:42 - Feb 16
Main points today
Paul Lambert continues his enthusiasm and wherever we are next season he will be there, and hopefully will have the ability and finance to really make it his team...although I believe Pennington has been a stand out player recently, he is likely to leave us.
Please aside from an injury need , no loans next year.
Lambert does not really favour them.
Today two teams with little quality but we had endeavour which saw us gain that deserved point.
Glimpses of Bishops artistry, a 100% effort by Judge and Nolans improvement added to Penningtons consistency .
But Lamberts scouts advisors etc must be seeking at least one forward with a real goal threat, because today although Keane made the scoresheet that was the only effort that either he or the underwhelming Quanner had.

TractorBeezer added 17:53 - Feb 16
Some very good football at times however am disappointed with the conceded goal Did Bart shout to claim it? Wonderful to see progress from Teddy Bishop with some incisive driving runs. Overall defence was sound, we controlled midfield but still lack attacking theat. We need to be winning some three pointers.

raycrawfordswig added 18:00 - Feb 16
Time to sell Knudsen to Pukka pies.

DebsyAngel added 18:21 - Feb 16
Thought we played well first half - until that stupid goal. Second half not so good,too much faffing about in midfield. But delighted for Keane with that equaliser! Man of the match - Judge (again), what a terrific player. We have to go out our way to keep him here for next season.

heathen66 added 18:42 - Feb 16
Another very entertaining game unfortunately blighted by a defensive error.
Again it is not solely a lack of goals that are costing us it it defensive howlers.
Glad to see the same team and I thought they rewarded the managers faith, however I think we ran out of fuel in the end and were just playing on adrenaline.
I hope people are not too harsh on Chabolah as he again was the driving force in the side however the more the side tired the more Chalobah tried to force it himself, which led to a few loose passes. Credit however must be given as he again did not shy away from trying to do the right thing.
The same could be said for Kenlock who always tried to do the right footballing thing, which again did not always come off
I would much rather have players taking responsibility to do the right thing rather than hoof it to nobody or shirk responsibility.
Again Judge was the star of the show followed by Bishop and Keane.
Not sure about Quaner as for someone so big does not win many battles.
Would love to see Keane and Jackson given 3-4 games together as Jacksons pace is frightening and he also has some ability that would dovetail in with Keane.
Bree again had a very competent game, whilst Nolan was very industrious in the middle.

It really is a shame it has taken PL so long to realise 2 up top is the way to go and that a young vibrant fearless midfield complements this too.

On wards and is a pleasure to go to Portman Road.
We may be bottom but would swap this for anything Mick dished up

runaround added 19:06 - Feb 16
A point probably not enough in the long run but was a fair result. We didn’t create enough chances to win today but neither did Stoke who, with the players they have, are massively underachieving. Stoke should have gone at us second half but instead just tried to see the game out which I hate so was doubly pleased when we knicked a point at the death. Great to see Bishop getting back towards his best & brilliant atmosphere again which is making going to games enjoyable again

Cakeman added 19:09 - Feb 16
It’s already been noted by others but what another impressive performance from Alan Judge and Ted Bishop. Judge was everywhere and instrumental in every positive we did. His corner kicks pose a threat and he is just so busy and very difficult to mark.
Bishop is growing in confidence with every passing game and has certainly got strength on the ball.
I thought the lads did well to grind out a draw because in all honesty I thought we were a little flat at times as the effort put in against Derby must have taken its toll a little.
It might be too little too late but at least we are now competing well in every match.

dirtydingusmagee added 19:15 - Feb 16
No probs Martin , thanks .

hammo56 added 19:30 - Feb 16
Scrappy game between two poor sides.
Draw a fair result but at the end of the day the point will just prolong the inevitable.

runningout added 19:31 - Feb 16
Well played.. just a bit slow getting our act together

londontractorboy57 added 20:06 - Feb 16
Yet again as in so many matches we were the architects of our own downfall think its a bit harsh to put all the blame on Jonas for the goal mix up.
Teddy and Judge outstanding game seemed to fall apart abit in the second half at least it finished with a flurry.
Though relegation looks certain i've got to say i am looking forward to next season.

Nobbysnuts added 20:06 - Feb 16
What an opportunity to make up some ground with other results going our way. They think it's all over! Well it is now.Will someone turn the lights off on the way out.

Lightningboy added 20:13 - Feb 16
Nice to get an injury time goal for once..At least we’ve got a team with plenty of fighting spirit - if only we could cut out the stupid mistakes.

Still,i’m proud to support this club no matter what..Lambert deserves great credit for giving me that feeling back.

jas0999 added 20:18 - Feb 16
Thought we deserved the point, but sadly, a point just isn’t enough. I’m really pleased for Keane and delighted we got something out of the game, but yet again we really do look like a team who can’t score goals. Quaner was all hustle and bustle, but he never looks like scoring and in that is our problem along with the obvious ... conceding really stupid goals. The Stoke goal today defied any sort of belief. Madness.

Stoke were very beatable. Hadn’t scored in four. Looked poor. Yet we didn’t win. Story of the season unfortunately.

Nonetheless can’t fault the effort and you can clearly see PLs strategy moving forwards. There is hope (but not this season), but I’m now resigned to next season being in League One. I guess most are!

Lightningboy added 20:19 - Feb 16
Oh and whatever they’re putting in Bishop’s tea please put some in Emyr Huws’.

Kirbmeister added 20:39 - Feb 16
At last, after all these years, a manager who’s trying to get us to play ‘football’ - long may it continue. We were down months ago, way before Lambert took over, so not sure why some are still hoping for a miracle. I’ve known football long enough to know that whatever points we manage to scrape together the other teams around us will do the same.

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