Match report: Ipswich Town 1 Norwich City 1 – Paul Anderson scores equaliser in first leg draw
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Ipswich Town and Norwich City drew 1-1 in the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final at Portman Road.
Jonny Howson broke the deadlock in a frenetic first half on 41 minutes, the Canaries’ midfielder slotting home from 12 yards after Cameron Jerome had shrugged off Tommy Smith down the left and centred into the penalty box.
However, early substitute Paul Anderson replied for Town from close range in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time, firing in the rebound after John Ruddy had failed to deal with a Freddie Sears shot from the edge of the penalty box.
Town missed a couple of other decent chances, Sears and Luke Varney being denied by a superb double save from John Ruddy, while Alex Tettey hit the post and Bradley Johnson and Nathan Redmond went close for Norwich
Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy made two changes from the team that lost 3-2 at Blackburn, last weekend, Kevin Bru and Varney replacing Jonathan Parr and Jay Tabb, the latter duo taking their places on the bench, while Teddy Bishop made his first appearance in an East Anglian derby.
Last season’s top-scorer David McGoldrick returned to the squad on the bench, alongside the Hunt brothers, Anderson, Dean Gerken, Tabb and Parr.
As for the Canaries, Alex Neil made three changes from the team that defeated Fulham 4-2 on the final day of the season, Steven Whittaker, Tettey and Jerome coming in for Elliott Bennett, Gary O’Neil and Gary Hooper respectively.
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Ipswich probably shaded the first half and Sears and Varney were both denied by a superb Ruddy double save on eight minutes.
Anderson, on as sub for Varney, who left the field on a stretcher after falling awkwardly, headed wide with his first touch, while Daryl Murphy also glanced a header wide.
At the other end, Tettey clipped a post from range and Johnson was inches wide with a back post header from Graham Dorrans’ cross.
Late in first half stoppage time, Smith headed over for Ipswich after a Bru cross, before Bartosz Bialkowski saved well from Redmond after the winger had jinked into the box.
Into the second half and Sears saw a difficult back post header go over the bar, before Johnson’s driven shot from the edge of the area took a deflection off Luke Chambers and whistled wide of the far post.
Chambers was then in the right position to block a fierce Johnson strike at the back post, during a second period that lacked the same intensity as the first.
Bialkowski was then well positioned to tip Redmond’s looping header over the bar in the 89th minute, from Wes Hoolahan’s cross.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-3-3): Bialkowski; Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings; Skuse, Bishop (Parr 76), Bru (Tabb 71); Varney (Anderson 30), Murphy, Sears.
Unused subs: Gerken, S. Hunt, McGoldrick, N. Hunt.
Booked: Anderson (84).
NORWICH CITY (4-2-3-1): Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin, Bassong, Olsson; Tettey, Dorrans (Hoolahan 69); Redmond, Howson, Johnson; Jerome (Hooper 85).
Unused Subs: Rudd, E Bennett, R Bennett, O’Neil, Odjidja-Ofoe.
Booked: Dorrans 48, Jerome 57
Attendance: 29,166 (2,085 away)
Referee: Anthony Taylor