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Ipswich Town 1-1 Leeds United - Half-Time
Sunday, 5th May 2019 13:27

Flynn Downes gave the Blues the lead with his first senior goal but Mateusz Klich equalised for Leeds just before half-time to leave the scoreline 1-1 at Portman Road at half-time.

Town made four changes with Bartosz Bialkowski, Trevoh Chalobah, Andre Dozzell and Collin Quaner returning to the XI.

Dean Gerken and Kayden Jackson dropped to the bench, while Teddy Bishop and Will Keane, who suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury at Sheffield United last week, were missing from the 18.

Forward Kai Brown, whose only first-team experience was during his spell in non-league with Grays Athletic, was handed a place in the Town matchday squad for the first time and the number 48 shirt. Ellis Harrison returned to the subs bench having after his back injury.

Leeds, already confirmed in the play-offs and with 4,000 of their fans in the Cobbold Stand, made one change from the team which drew 1-1 Aston Villa last week with Kemar Roofe replacing the suspended Patrick Bamford.

After an evenly-balanced first few minutes the visitors struck the game’s first shot in the eighth minute but Klich blazed high and wide.

Three minutes later Roofe squeezed a shot from the left of the box across the face of Bialkowski’s left post, then on 14 Stuart Dallas, a Town target prior to joining the Whites from Brentford in 2015, scraped another effort wide.

Town went close to taking the lead with their first shot of the game in the 19th minute. After Leeds had gifted possession to Alan Judge eight yards outside the area, the Irishman and Quaner eventually forced the ball wide to Flynn Downes but his shot was diverted behind for a corner.

Leeds were next to threaten when, after a Luke Chambers pass was cut out, Adam Forshaw was fed on the right. The former Middlesbrough man’s shot was parried by Bialkowski and Pablo Hernandez was unable to direct the rebound anywhere near goal.

On 28 Dozzell played a clever pass down the right for Quaner to chase. The on-loan Huddersfield man beat Leeds keeper Kiko Casilla to the ball 10 yards outside the visitors’ area and was upended by the Spaniard.

Referee Gavin Ward booked the keeper - the situation couldn’t be viewed as an obvious goalscoring opportunity as Quaner would have had a lot still to do - and from the freekick the Blues went in front.

Judge whipped over the ball, no one was able to get a clean contact on it and it fell to Downes, who turned in his first senior goal from eight yards.

The game, played in a lively atmosphere despite it being all but meaningless with the two sets of fans exchanging banter, continued to be an evenly-contested affair.

On 37 Leeds weren’t too far away from carving out an equaliser when Dallas crossed for Roofe but Nsiala read the situation well and blocked.

The former Shrewsbury man made another important block ahead of Leeds skipper Liam Cooper a minute later, then got his head to a Luke Ayling ball in from the right.

Leeds had been looking the more likely scorers of the game’s second goal and in the final minute of the half they levelled.

The ball was played into the path of Ayling breaking untracked from halfway behind Kenlock on the Whites’ right. The ex-Yeovil man cut back to Klich, who slammed a powerful first-time strike past Bialkowski from the edge of the box.

The Leeds goal was the final action of an entertaining, if not overly intense, first half with the visitors having deserved to be on terms going in on the overall balance of the game.

The Whites had created most of the chances with the Blues again unable to create too many opportunities aside from Downes’s well-taken opener.

Town: Bialkowski, Bree, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Kenlock, Skuse, Chalobah, Downes, Dozzell, Judge, Quaner. Subs: Gerken, Jackson, Harrison, Elder, Emmanuel, El Mizouni, K Brown.

Leeds: Casilla, Dallas, Cooper, Jansson, Ayling, Phillips, Klich, Forshaw, Harrison, Hernandez, Roofe. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Beradi, Edmondson, Shackleton, Clarke, Gotts, Bogusz. Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey).

Photo: TWTD

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