|Bristol City 1 v 1 Ipswich Town|
Tuesday, 12th March 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Bristol City 1-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 12th Mar 2019 21:56
Lloyd Kelly’s 68th-minute own goal saw Town to a 1-1 draw away at Bristol City, former Blues defender Adam Webster having headed the Robins in front in the 32nd minute. Kelly inadvertently smashed Myles Kenlock’s low cross into his own net to hand Town what was a deserved equaliser.
Boss Paul Lambert made five changes for the visit to Ashton Gate with Josh Emmanuel and Toto Nsiala coming into the defence, Trevoh Chalobah and Andre Dozzell starting in midfield, and Kayden Jackson replacing Collin Quaner up front.
Emmanuel made his first Town start since the final day of 2016/17 with loanee James Bree and midfield duo Cole Skuse and Teddy Bishop all dropping to the bench, while there was no place in the matchday squad for either Quaner or Jonas Knudsen.
Young keeper Harry Wright and midfielder Idris El Mizouni, who has impressed at reserve and youth levels this season, were both named on the bench for the first time in their senior careers.
The home side gave a debut to New Zealander Stefan Marinovic in goal, while former Town player Webster, who joined Bristol City in the summer, started at the back.
Inside the first minute, Jackson closed down Marinovic following a routine back-pass and although the Kiwi international had taken too long to clear the ball, following Jackson's block the ball rolled across the area before being hacked away by Kelly for an early corner.
The Blues had started well and controlled much of the opening play, and a neat touch from Jon Nolan came close to releasing Jackson but the Town front man was denied by some good defending from the hosts.
In the 10th minute, a wide right free-kick from Alan Judge was only partially cleared by the Robins and the ball fell to Chalobah just inside the box, but his first-time volley was skewed well wide of the target.
Minutes later, Chalobah played the ball out to Gwion Edwards on the right but Jackson was unable to make any meaningful contact with the Welshman's deep cross.
Famara Diedhiou cleared Judge's freekick away for another corner for the Blues which was flicked over by skipper Chambers at the near post, moments before Marinovic did well to get down low to parry away a deflected volley from Judge.
The hosts had their first little spell of pressure with a couple of left-sided corners shortly before the midway point in the first half, the second of which was headed over by Diedhiou.
Dozzell was lucky to avoid a booking after a blatant pull back on Jack Hunt wide on the right and from the resultant freekick, the ball fell kindly to Andreas Weimann and he hit a shot from the corner of the six-yard box which struck the outside of Bartosz Bialkowski's near post.
Nsiala and Edwards then combined to make an important block to deny Weimann, who had cut in and hit a dangerous left-foot shot from close range.
On the half hour mark, Dozzell committed a second rather cynical foul in a matter of minutes - this time on Eliasson on the halfway line - and he received the first caution of the game, and his second of the season.
Two minutes later the home side worked a short corner back to Eliasson and his dangerous ball into the area looped into the air following a deflection off Dozzell's head and Webster beat Nsiala in the air to head home from a couple of yards out.
Half-hearted appeals from Town for a penalty for handball after Judge's long-range effort struck Hunt were waved away by referee Darren Bond, before Diedhiou acrobatically turned Hunt's cross over the bar at the other end.
Marinovic collected and held a 25-yard drive from Edwards, shortly before another dangerous delivery from Eliasson was helped onto the roof of the net by the unmarked Diedhiou.
After a bright first 15 minutes which they again failed to make count in terms of goals, the much-changed Blues had faded with the Robins’ goal another which boss Lambert will feel shouldn’t have been conceded, while Webster being the man to score against his old club had an inevitability about it.
Chalobah struck the second half’s first shot in the 50th minute but Marinovic was able to save the on-loan Chelsea man’s effort from long distance despite it having some power in it.
Town continued to look to take the game to the home side and press but without being able to create an opening.
On 57 Marinovic was only able to punch a Dozzell freekick straight up in the air, however, Diedhiou was able to clear.
Six minutes later Jamie Paterson claimed a penalty, however, the former Forest man appeared to run straight into Chambers and Emmanuel rather than either of them fouling him.
As in the first half the Robins had started the period slowly but on 66 they might have increased their lead. Eliasson crossed from the left and Paterson flicked a header across the face and wide.
But a minute later, Marinovic was forced into his first significant save of the period, the New Zealander getting down low to his left to save Edwards’s shot from the edge of the box with Judge, unmarked in the centre, believing he was the better option.
From the resultant corner, a Robins defender almost diverted the ball into his own net but was relieved to see it go wide of the post.
However, from the flag-kick which followed, an own goal did put the Blues back on terms. Nolan rolled the ball into the path of Kenlock on the left and the full-back powered over a low ball which England U21 international Kelly could only slam into his own net from a few feet out.
The Robins swapped Weimann and Paterson for Callum O’Dowda and Kasey Palmer in the 73rd minute as they looked to restore their lead.
Two minutes later the Blues swapped Nolan and Judge for ex-Robin Cole Skuse and debutant Idris El Mizouni, who lined-up on the right of the five-man midfield
Match Gallery: 5 photos
The home side began to see more of the ball in Town’s half, but the Blues began to look more of a threat on the break, looking to make the most of Jackson’s pace.
Palmer saw a shot from the edge of the box blocked in the 82nd minute with neither side looking overly threatening as the game moved into its final 10 minutes. Moments later, the Robins swapped Eliasson for Matthew Taylor.
There was another heart-in-the-mouth moment for Marinovic in the 84th minute when his poor touch almost gifted the ball to Jackson. However, the keeper managed to get back and clear via a somewhat wild lunge which left the Town striker on the floor.
Bishop took over from Dozzell for the final four scheduled minutes, prior to Josh Brownhill hitting a shot from an angle on the left into the side-netting.
Town’s third sub won a freekick midway inside the Bristol City half in the final minute, Hunt picking up a yellow card for the foul.
Following the freekick, Bishop skipped into the box on the right and was unfortunate to see his shot from a tight angle deflect behind.
Town were the ones pressing for the winning goal as the match moved into three additional minutes.
However, the Robins went close following a counter-attack, Emmanuel snuffing out Marlon Pack’s attempt from Taylor’s low cross from the left.
Another 1-1 draw for the Blues, five of their last six games having ended in the same scoreline.
Having been behind to Webster’s goal at the break Town were only rarely seriously threatened in the second half.
Equally, while the Blues had a lot of the ball in the Bristol City half Marinovic also not significantly tested on too many occasions with the New Zealander almost proving his own worst enemy.
A draw was probably a fair result overall with what was a very young Blues side able to match a team battling for the play-offs - although on this evidence the Robins will struggle to stay in the top six - belying Town’s bottom-of-the-table standing.
The Blues only really hit the level of Saturday's display at West Brom in the opening 15 minutes but were otherwise largely untroubled by Bristol City during a game played in front of a surprisingly sullen and pre-season-like home crowd.
The gap to safety is now 11 points with fourth-bottom Millwall not in action with Town’s next game at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Town: Bialkowski, Emmanuel, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Kenlock, Chalobah, Dozzell (Bishop 86), Nolan (Skuse 75), Edwards, Judge (El Mizouni 75), Jackson. Unused: Wright, Harrison, Bree, Dawkins.
Bristol City: Marinovic, Webster, Brownhill, Diedhou, Weimann (O’Dowda 73), Kelly, Eliasson (Taylor 83), Paterson (Palmer 73), Pack (c), Kalas, Hunt. Unused: O'Leary, Dasilva, Wright, Semenyo. Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire). Att: 18,411 (Town: 525).
Photo: Action Images
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