Town miss chances but keep run going

IPSWICH Town stretched their unbeaten Championship run to eight matches when they gained a well deserved point against Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Elvin King

Bristol City 0 Ipswich Town 0

IPSWICH Town stretched their unbeaten Championship run to eight matches when they gained a well deserved point against Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

The Blues created several first half chances but failed to take them, and Danny Haynes struck both posts for the home team early in the second period.

Grant Leadbitter hit the post near the end and substitute Pablo Counago missed a gilt-edged chance from the rebound.

Ipswich were enterprising and for most of the game the better side with Arran Lee-Barrett making his full debut in goal giving a good impression.

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It was match where Ipswich had enough chances to have won, but they looked a sound unit apart from Haynes' two efforts that struck the woodwork.

Town made three changes from the side that won their first away game of the season at Cardiff City last Sunday with Lee-Barrett coming in for the injured Richard Wright. As expected Stead took over from Priskin up front, but it was somewhat of a shock that Edwards was omitted and replaced by Quinn.

Eighteen-year-old rookie McLoughlin was named one of the substitutes with striker Counago also on the bench and back in favour at the expense of Martin.

Haynes was in the City starting line-up having been bought by the Robins last summer from the Blues. Williams, another ex-Tractor Boy, was on the bench for a home side.

It was a gloomy day in the west country with rain starting to come down an hour before kick-off In the sixth minute, a slick Town move ended with Gerken half-stopping a 20-yard Leadbitter low shot. Town were not following up as the ball ran loose, and Fontaine was able to clear for a corner. When this was slung over, McAuley leapt high to send a close range header a yard over the bar.

It was mainly Ipswich and three minutes later, Stead fired wide from a neat effort after a right-wing cross by Walters.. Soon afterwards Stead did well to wriggle free and he had a free run on goal from just inside the City half.

Garvan, playing on the left of midfield, was free to his left, but Stead tried an 18-yard curling shot that former Colchester keeper Gerken dived full length to his right to push away.

A great through pass by Delaney set up a really good 18th minute Ipswich chance. Stead was set clear and from his right wing cross, the ball fell to an unmarked Garvan, who blasted a yard over the angle of bar and post from 16 yards.

Ipswich were playing some of their best football of the season, and in the 21st minute Walters put the busy Stead through. Gerken came out at an angle and made a block with John showing signs of frustration standing in front of goal and awaiting a cross.

Apart from collecting one Hartley free-kick, Lee-Barrett had had little to do and he was looking assured behind a solid looking back four.

Hartley shot six inches over the Town bar from 20 yards a minute before the break following a neat home move, with Ipswich still having plenty of possession in an opening and enterprising game.

In the 50th minute, Quinn played a neat one-two with John and went into space to test Gerken with a 20 yard shot that the keeper pushed away diving to his left.

Two minutes later, City went close to a goal when Haynes' low shot beat Lee-Barrett and struck the foot of the keeper's left hand post.

Haynes was given time to get in a free shot, with Town now coming under some pressure.

Haynes was not having the best of luck, and in the 62nd minute he was put clear by Sno down the right. His low shot beat Lee-Barrett but came back off the foot of the far post to roll away to safety.

In the 68th minute Town went close when Haynes cleared the ball off the line after a flick-on by Counago following a 15 yard shot Leadbitter into a packed penalty area.

Counago set up Garvan for a 84th minute shot that was saved, and within seconds Lee-Barrett was clutching a Hartley effort to hit chest when the home player was well place.

When Leadbitter tried his luck from 25-yards Town should have taken the lead. His low effort was mis-judged by Gerken and came back off the post and the keeper to roll out to Counago. The Spaniard only had the keeper to beat but bundled into Gerken leaving manager Keane to show his frustration in the dug out area.

Teams

Bristol City: Gerken; Skuse, Fontaine, Nyatanga, McAllister; Hartley, Elliott (sub Sproule 72), Johnson, Sno (Saborio 79); Haynes (Clarkson 79), Maynard. Substitutes: Orr, McCombe, Williams, Henderson.

Ipswich Town: Lee-Barrett; Rosenior, McAuley, Delaney, D Wright; Walters, Leadbitter, Quinn (cOlback 78), Garvan; John (Counago 56), Stead (Edwards 67). Substitutes: McLoughlin, Peters, Smith, Colback, Priskin.

Referee: Mr A Bates (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 14,287 (927 Ipswich)

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