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Ipswich Town 2 v 2 West Bromwich Albion
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 10th February 2024 Kick-off 12:30
Ipswich Town 2-2 West Bromwich Albion - Match Report
Saturday, 10th Feb 2024 14:41

Omari Hutchinson netted an injury time leveller as Town and West Brom drew 2-2 at Portman Road. Tom Fellows’s 18th-minute goal gave the visitors the lead before Nathan Broadhead levelled seconds after half-time, but Albion sub John Swift restored the Baggies’ lead with 14 minutes to go, before Hutchinson grabbed a deserved second equaliser for Town three minutes into time added on, the Blues having dominated the second half.

Kieffer Moore was handed his full Town debut and Nathan Broadhead returned to the XI with Kayden Jackson and ex-Baggies loanee Jeremy Sarmiento dropping to the bench.

Centre-half George Edmundson kept his place in the side despite Cameron Burgess’s return from international duty with Australia at the Asian Cup with the former Accrington man not in the 20.

Albion made one change from the team which beat Birmingham 1-0 at home last week with goalscorer Andreas Weimann coming in for John Swift, who was among the subs.

The visitors struck the first shot of the match at the end of the first minute, Fellows cutting in from the left after the Baggies had countered following a Town attack, but sent the ball well into the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.

West Brom continued to have the better of the game in the opening minutes, Weimann sending a dangerous ball over from the right in the eighth minute, but fortunately beyond Brandon Thomas-Asante.

Town began to take control as the game moved past the 10-minute mark and on 13 skipper Sam Morsy played a clever chipped pass over the top into Conor Chaplin on the left of the area. The forward knocked it back towards Moore but it was cleared before it came down to a height which afforded the striker the opportunity to shoot.

However, the Baggies remained a threat and in the 17th minute Weimann shot over the bar after a corner had been half-cleared to him at the back of the box.

A minute later, Davis was fed in on the left of the area and crossed for Moore, who nodded back across towards Chaplin, but an Albion toe took it away from the Blues’ top scorer as he prepared to strike.

Almost immediately, the visitors took the lead. The ball was played down the left for Fellows to chase and the one-time Crawley loanee outmuscled Luke Woolfenden, who had initially looked favourite to win it, cut inside and hit a low shot past Vaclav Hladky to the keeper’s right, the 20-year-old’s third goal in five games.

The Blues didn’t seem unduly impacted by the goal and took the game to Albion in the minutes after going behind and on 24 should have levelled.

Broadhead was sent away on the left and Kyle Bartley diverted his low cross out to Chaplin on the penalty spot. The forward seemed certain to add to his nine goals but blazed over the bar. The former Barnsley man’s frustration was plain to seem.

As the game moved towards the half-hour mark, Morsy was shown the game’s first yellow card for pulling back Fellows as the earlier scorer threatened to get away just inside the Town half.

On 34, Town almost profited from West Brom getting themselves into trouble playing out from the back - eventually, the visitors having taken an age over restarts with referee David Coote doing little to remedy the situation - and Morsy ultimately hit a low shot which was little trouble for Albion keeper Alex Palmer.

Coote finally did take note of the home crowd’s frustration with the time-wasting as Albion tardily prepared to take a throw but even so just made it clear that he was aware what was going on rather than showing any cards.

Town were continuing to see most of the ball but without seriously testing Palmer. In the 38th minute, Chaplin moved the ball wide to Wes Burns on the right from where the Wales international struck a shot which deflected wide off one-time Blues target Conor Townsend.

In the 43rd minute, the ball was played to Harry Clarke 30 yards out and the full-back brought it forward a few yards before hitting a shot which looked on its way over but which Palmer helped it on its way in any case. Town’s corner, like their previous three, came to nothing with their set pieces having been underwhelming.

As the half moved into the second minute of a very conservative additional two, referee Coote finally took action regarding the time-wasting, booking Darnell Furlong as he took a typically leisurely approach to taking a throw-in.

The boos at the half-time whistle - blown with Baggies defender Bartley down injured - were aimed at the referee for the inaction regarding West Brom’s time-wasting, which had started as soon as they had taken the lead.

Town had once again started slowly but had got themselves into the game and were largely in control when they were caught on the counter-attack, not for the first time during the half, for Fellows’s goal, although Woolfenden will feel he should have done much, much better.

From there, the Blues saw most of the ball and much of the game was played in the West Brom half but aside from Chaplin’s chance, which the Town top scorer really should have netted, few big chances had been created.

The Baggies had defended in numbers and kept things tight in the final third, making it difficult for the Blues to find space, while continuing to look a threat on the break.

But Town were far from out of it at the break and one moment of inspiration would find a way through the Baggies’ backline - with Bartley making way at the break and Nathaniel Chalobah taking over - and change the complexion of the match.

And that moment of inspiration came in the opening minute of the second period. After his long throw had been headed out, Clarke returned the ball, Edmundson flicked on and Broadhead did well to keep the ball down and guide it past Palmer from beyond the far post, the Welsh international’s ninth goal of the season, ending a run of eight matches without a goal.

The leveller changed the mood around Portman Road and the Blues remained on the front foot, winning a corner in the 49th minute which again came to nothing and led to a West Brom counter-attack. Clarke dived in on visitors skipper Jed Wallace 30 yards out and was booked and vehemently protested his innocence, however, the full-back appeared to have got the man before the ball. Albion were unable to make anything of the free-kick.

In the 54th minute, Morsy, who started his career with the Baggies greatest rivals Wolves, his hometown club, unleashed a powerful strike from distance which just flew over Palmer’s bar with the keeper appearing to get a touch, although referee Coote decided otherwise and gave a goal-kick.

West Brom made the game’s first changes on 56, Daryl Dike and Michael Johnston replacing Thomas-Asante and goalscorer Fellows.

Moments later, there was controversy when Weimann palmed the ball into the net at the far post after a cross from the right had reached him. Fortunately for the Blues, referee Coote spotted it, disallowed the goal and booked the former Aston Villa and Bristol City man.

As the game passed the hour mark, the game was continuing in a familiar pattern. The Blues were seeing most of the ball and were in control except when the lost it and West Brom looked dangerous on the break.

Palmer was forced into his best save of the afternoon on 61 when Burns cut back to Chaplin from the right and the forward hit a well-struck effort. Two minutes later, Clarke cut in from the right and his shot was blocked.

The Baggies were forced into a change in the 65th minute after sub Dike picked up an injury and was clearly upset having only just returned to fitness.

Swift took over but the game was subsequently held up as the stretcher cart picked up the stricken Albion player and took him back to the tunnel. Given the earlier time-wasting, the Town support was less than convinced that the cart had been required.

Town made their first changes of the afternoon in the 74th minute when Marcus Harness and Omari Hutchinson replaced Chaplin and Burns.

Seconds after the change, Okay Yokuslu played a backpass without looking, forcing Palmer to scramble back and slide the ball away from his line.

It was to prove an important interception with Albion taking the lead in the 77th minute. Harness lost out midway inside the Town half and the ball was eventually played to Swift, who struck a low 25-yard shot just inside Hladky’s right post, scuffing the woodwork on its way through.

The goal was harsh on the Blues, who had been well on top since the break but without creating many significant chances.

Town made two further changes on 83, Ali Al-Hamadi and Sarmiento replacing Luongo and Broadhead, while Albion swapped Pipa for Weimann.

Four minutes later, Hutchinson cut in from the right of the box and hit a low shot which was too close to Palmer.

On 88, Sarmiento sent over a dangerous low ball from the byline on the right, which took a deflection and Palmer was forced to dive and bat into the middle of his area but with no Town player on hand to seize on the opportunity.

The Blues had lost their impetus somewhat in the closing stages but the fourth official’s board indicating an additional eight minutes renewed the energy off the pitch, and on it.

In the third minute of added-on time, Clarke nodded the ball down to Moore, whose shot on the turn was diverted behind by Palmer.

And from the resultant corner, ahead of which the Blues had swapped Davis for Cameron Humphreys, Town scored their second equaliser. The ball was nodded out to Morsy, who took a touch before hitting a shot, which struck Swift and was diverted out to Hutchinson, who feinted before slamming a low shot through a crowd of players and into the net to send Portman Road wild.

The crowd sensed there was still time for the Blues to grab a leveller and the noise went up a notch for the final few minutes as Town put the Baggies under relentless pressure.

Town went close to grabbing a famous winner when Al-Hamadi powerfully hooked goalwards but Palmer reacted quickly to keep it out down to his left.

At the whistle, most of the Albion players crashed to the turf having given their all to keep Town out during the second half.

Town were well worth their late equaliser - which prevented West Brom inflicting the Blues’ second double of the season and the first back-to-back league defeats of McKenna’s time as boss - with the Baggies’ second goal having come via one of their very few second half chances, Town having been much the better side after the break, albeit without creating too many clear-cut chances even if for the third game running McKenna’s men had carved out more than 20 shots.

But once again Town found themselves having to launch a comeback after going behind relatively early on, something they’ve had to do all too regularly of late.

However, overall, despite the Blues having won only one in their last nine, it was a positive display and West Brom, who remain fifth, 11 points behind Town, will almost certainly take points off at least some of the other challengers towards the top of the division.

The Blues are next in action at Millwall on Wednesday with another away trip, to Swansea, next Saturday.

Town: Hladky, Clarke, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Davis (Humphreys 93), Morsy (c), Luongo (Al-Hamadi 83), Burns (Hutchinson 74), Chaplin (Harness 74), Broadhead (Sarmiento 83), Moore. Unused: Walton, Tuanzebe, Travis, Jackson.

West Brom: Palmer, Furlong, Townsend, Kipre, Bartley (Chalobah 46), Wallace (c), Weimann (Pipa 83), Thomas-Asante (Dike 56 (Swift 65)), Mowatt, Fellows (Johnston 55), Yokuslu. Unused: Griffiths, Pieters, Marshall, Hall. Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire).

Photo: Matchday Images

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brazilblue added 14:44 - Feb 10
Probably the most inept officiating I have ever seen. Was like watching hockey with the amount of stoppages. On the footie front we slowly learnt how to use Moore. The bloke really does attack the ball with his head, absolute beast if we use him right

IpswichT62OldBoy added 14:46 - Feb 10
The usual frailties, conceding early and gifting a goal.
The usual strengths, never say die and we always have a goal in us.
Hopefully kick on against Millwall and the next 5 games.

TimmyH added 14:47 - Feb 10
Commendable effort from the lads to keep going til' the death and getting a draw and almost more!...Just a shame we continually start games poorly and it then always seems we're swimming against the tide not being so clinical upfront and being defensively deficient (Woolfie and Clarke the culprits today).

Hutch and Al-Hamadi made a difference today when coming on but Morsy just my MOTM, we really need to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later as 1 win in 9 is not particularly good.

LimerickTractorBoy added 14:48 - Feb 10
Sorry to say, but, defending for the goals was absolutely terrible, come on Wolfie, that's not go enough for the 1st and how was Swift given so much space for the 2nd???
However, Ipswich are terrific, never say die, never beaten, an absolutely priceless point. 2nd place still doable.
PS Ali so unlucky not to get the winner, terrific save, super sharp Ali.

oldburian added 14:55 - Feb 10
What was the attendance?

HopefulBlue69 added 14:55 - Feb 10
Hard to understand why we didn't add to our defence in the window. Yes we defo needed strikers but just shows how much we also needed additional defenders..

warktheline added 14:57 - Feb 10
Well done boys! Tremendous effort and deserved more! It’s going to be extremely difficult to beat Leeds and Southampton to that automatic promotion spot…but that said it’s still all to play for…guaranteed play offs , nobody would have complained about that pre season! Would they?

OxtonBlue added 14:57 - Feb 10
11 points behind us still

Bert added 14:58 - Feb 10
Tremendous second half but Wolfenden is becoming a liability tracking back. A weak ref and two giveaway goals robbed us of three points. WBA were knackered after our onslaught but the ball did not run kindly for us.

Broadbent23 added 15:02 - Feb 10
Good effort. This is level we are growing into. WBA tactically won the first half. Brody early second half goal helped the confidence. Once again their goalie did well. They acknowledged Moore was a problem and kept him from free headers. Sorry to say our defence was jittery throughout but did enough. Hopefully we can build a run and see where it will lead us. Just needed some luck in extra time to find the eye through a needle. KMc just needs to learn from this game. Still believe.

blueboy1981 added 15:02 - Feb 10
Why do we need to get the Subs’ on to start playing to our potential ? - equally, another two Gift Goals given away !
One Win in Nine now is the the result of such !

JimJamITFC added 15:03 - Feb 10
One of the most tipsy-turvy games I’ve ever watched. One minute I was fuming, the next delighted. By the end of the game I feel like we deserved it, hopefully gives us a springboard for the next 10 games to come.

I actually thought Coote did fairly well today, I hate it when refs don’t give cards for time-wasting.

Suffolkboy added 15:05 - Feb 10
Stats aren’t everything,as Morsy said, BUT summats up ! The numbers of shots / goals must be questioned — and reports indicate frequently we’re short of a man in the right place in the opposition box .
For the second game running ITFC have swarmed over the opposition but been unable ( or is it unfortunate?) to get the spherical object into the net .
Our spirit is unquestionable ,admirable and great to see , but whilst patterns and systems are needed we definitely need to either execute more quickly ,and/ or find the occasional inspired break !
Come on boys ,everyone is behind you : back to winning ways asap !

delias_cheesy_flaps added 15:13 - Feb 10
Lots of bad and good traits in this performance!
The latest worrying trait being our inept performances in the first half!
I’ve said it before the season started and I have seen nothing to suggest that our centre backs are not championship standard.
Second half we were a different side, yet again!
Whatever KM says at HT, he should say it before Kickoff!
We can still get automatic promotion COYB

londontractorboy57 added 15:21 - Feb 10
You can't have all the possession if you can't defend .

SickParrot added 15:21 - Feb 10
A typical Town game really. Started slowly and poor defending for both goals conceded, but dominated possession and attempts at goal, kept going to the end and could have snatched all three points.
What separates us from the other promotion candidates is the number of goals we concede, especially at home. It's been an issue all season but earlier in the season we were still winning games because we were scoring so many goals. We're now finding it harder to score, particularly from open play. We always struggle to open up teams that defend deep with two lines of four players behind the ball, and this was the case today where both our goals were from set pieces.

grow_our_own added 15:22 - Feb 10
Walton's got to be knocking at the door now. Hladky's either believing his own hype and labouring over the perfect pass, or he's pass-shy having conceded vs Preston. Either way his distribution has become a bit ponderous. Walton's a better shot stopper.

As others say, Hutch is worth a start. I think Al Ham is too.

johnwarksshorts added 15:27 - Feb 10
As much as I enjoyed the match, both their goals were avoidable, Woolf shd have bossed that situation and won the ball b4 the lad got into penalty area, 2nd poor ball to Harness from Edmondson. But we showed great spirit yet again with our never say die approach. We could have nicked it in the end...Great point against a good side.

EssexTractor added 15:27 - Feb 10
After disappointing first half the recovery was truly terrific against an excellent WBA who were exhausted floored by the 99th minute
Realistically finishing second has a great dependency on the failure of either Southampton or Leeds failing, that looks unlikely
But we must now play our most dangerous players for longer game minutes.
Hutchinson mazy creative more dangerous than Burns, Chaplin has lost his mojo .in the few minutes on the field Ali Al Hamadi gave evidence of being an excellent signing
Burgess will need to be recalled
Corners were disappointing particularly with presence of Kieffer.
But overall I came away from ground more pleased than disappointed.

DannyITFC added 15:39 - Feb 10
Disappointed again. Hladky 2 mistakes in 2 games now, burns looks spent……. First half we looked clueless. When we had two upfront and Hutchinson on we looked confident. Sadly top 2 has now gone, playoffs is not guaranteed either especially whilst we are in relegation form (1 win in 9). Can’t help but feel we have thrown away a golden opportunity of automatic promotion in an unbelievable fashion, bad times. Wheels are completely fallen off and we are in free fall. It will be a blessing in disguise dropping out of the playoffs because we will be battered by anyone over two legs who make it. Such as shame really because for 21 games this team looked a real threat. I just hope we can hold onto KM next season.

brittaniaman added 15:43 - Feb 10
Passing out from the Back undone us for there second goal ? West Brom GK did very little from Passing out from the back he did most of the time getting the ball upfield to start there attacks

AYACCA added 15:43 - Feb 10
We're a really good team to watch, the wind is turning. Our run started today. 6 wins coming

Gforce added 15:52 - Feb 10
That's two games running,where if you add on an extra 10 minutes, we definitely go on to win the game. Take that second half form into the next run of games and we've still got every chance of finishing top 2.
However we must learn fast to tighten up at the back,we just can't afford to keep giving teams a one goal start.A Burgess return next week should help.

tractorboybig added 15:57 - Feb 10
chaplin needs resting he has lost it, broadhead is living on his laurels.

bgexile added 15:57 - Feb 10
Real deja vu stuff.
Burns was poor today imo, too often playing the ball back rather than taking a player on.
I thought the Fridge was immense though. Deserves to keep his place.
Lacking much spark in midfield and up front. NB was poor but took his goal well.

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