Ipswich Town 1-1 Sunderland: Blues let lead slip as Chambers' error costs Lambert's men home win
PUBLISHED: 16:56 10 August 2019 | UPDATED: 22:44 10 August 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town let a lead slip as they opened their Portman Road season with a 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland.
Luke Garbutt's second goal in as many games for the Blues gave the hosts the lead in a first half they dominated, and in which they could have been further ahead.
But they didn't take their chances and were punished midway through the second half when Luke Chambers was caught out on a battle on the byline with Marc McNulty, as he allowed the striker to nick the ball from his toes when it should have been sent tinto the stands, before it was squared for Lynden Gooch to slam home.
First-half substitute Alan Judge struggled to make an impact after replacing Garbutt and, while the Blues were able to create some openings towards the end, visiting goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin was not overly tested before the full-time whistle blew.
Ultimately this a game the Blues will feel they should have won but a point is far from a disaster following last weekend's win at Burton.
The atmosphere built towards kick-off as more of the 24,000-strong crowd filed into Portman Road for the start of the Blues' home season.
It built further as the two sides took to the field, with the home crowd nearly off their feet early on Norwood had his goalbound header blocked.
Early claims for a penalty were turned away after Jackson crashed to the turf under the challenge of Tom Flanagan, after the striker had cleverly cut inside his man. Instead of pointing to the spot, referee Neil hair instead produced a yellow card, insisting the Ipswich striker had tried to con him.
But the home crowd weren't to be denied their first goal of the season for too long, as Garbutt drifted inside to join in another Town attack which began with a Janoi Donacien long throw, took a neat touch to beat the Sunderland line and then slot a neat finish under goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin.
Ipswich tails were up, with Jackson and Norwood causing trouble for the visiting back four, who showed nerves throughout the opening period.
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Garbutt and Cole Skuse both had shots blocked, as Norwood continued to threaten without having a clear sight of goal, before Garbutt's final act saw him arrive on the edge of the box once again and hit a shot which McLaughlin saved with his chest.
Sunderland's first attempt on goal came and went as Lyndon Gooch's effort sliced wide, before Garbutt left the game having received treatment for an injury.
Norwood had two more efforts blocked before the break as he continued his wait for a first Ipswich goal, before Jack Ross acted at the break and brought on striker Chris Magure to match the Blues up in a 4-4-2.
The hosts continued to have the better of the play despite the visitors improving but, when Chambers failed to see the ball out of play under pressure from Marc McNulty, the Black Cats were level as the striker kept his nerve and laid the ball back for Gooch to fire home.
The Blues were struggling to keep the tempo high and keep the ball in opposition territory before Andre Dozzell replaced Danny Rowe, as Sunderland continued to offer a threat going forward by bringing Will Grigg into the game.
But neither of the two promotion hopefuls could find a way through as they left with a point apiece.
Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Holy; Donacien, Chambers, Woolfenden, Kenlock; Rowe (Dozzell 79), Skuse, Downes, Garbutt (Judge 39); Jackson (Roberts 90), Norwood.
Unused subs: Norris, Wilson, Huws, El Mizouni.
Sunderland (3-4-3): J McLaughlin; C McLaughlin, Willis (Ozturk 82), Flanagan; O'Nien, Dobson, McGeough, Hume (Maguire 46); Gooch, McNulty, McGeady (Grigg 74).
Unused subs: Burge, Power, Leadbitter, Embleton.