Town still search for elusive first win
IPSWICH Town are still searching for that elusive first league victory of the season after coming from behind to earn Coca-Cola Championship point at Portman Road this afternoon.The bottom-of-the-table Blues showed glimpses that better times are round the corner against a slick-passing visiting side.
By ELVIN KING
Ipswich Town 1 Swansea City 1
IPSWICH Town are still searching for that elusive first league victory of the season after coming from behind to earn Coca-Cola Championship point at Portman Road this afternoon The bottom-of-the-table Blues showed glimpses that better times are round the corner against a slick-passing visiting side.
They were much better than in their previous home game against Newcastle, but it was Swansea who showed the most cohesion.
Ipswich did create chances and after conceding an early goal debut-making Asmir Begovic did not have a serious shot to save in goal.
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Craig Beattie gave the visitors the lead in the seventh minute after a run from near the half-way line with Pablo Counago equalising in the 15th minute Ipswich made three changes from the side that lost 2-1 at Barnsley in their previous game - before the two-week international break.
As expected new loan signing Begovic made his debut in goal with David Wright coming in for his first senior outing since the Carling Cup defeat at Peterborough on August 25 and Counago brought back to partner skipper Walters up front.
Out went Richard Wright; the first time he has been left out of a league match since his return to Portman Road in the summer of 2008. Also Edwards, who had played for Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday and only arrived back in Suffolk yesterday afternoon, and Priskin, who was on the bench after playing for Hungary in midweek.
Swansea began knocking the ball around confidently after Town fans had given their players a roaring reception.
But Town went close in the fifth minute when Leadbitter found Quinn, and from his left wing cross De Vries just managed to clear off the head of Walters. The ball dropped loose on the edge of the six-yard box with no home player close enough to convert.
Two minutes later Swansea went ahead after yet more hesitant Town defensive play. Beattie ran clear after a pass by Rangel with Smith and McAuley in pursuit. The Town pair appeared to have squeezed Beattie into a cul-de-sac but the visiting number nine managed to get in a low shot that escaped their attentions and left Begovic sitting on his back side as it entered the net.
Rosenior appealed strongly for offside on Beattie, but the goal stood.
It was just what Ipswich didn't need after a fortnight of preparation, and would have done nothing for their confidence. And when Gower wriggled clear down the left in acres of space a second goal looked likely with Beattie meeting the cross but under pressure only able to deflect the ball into the hands of Begovic.
There were signs of discontent from Town fans, but the day took a brighter look in the 15th minute Counago and Peters interchanged passes close to goal down the right channel with the former having the space to roll a left-foot side-foot effort across the keeper and low inside the far post.
It was the Spaniard's first goal of the season - and a very welcome one that brought the Blues back into the game, and only the second goal Swansea have conceded in their last seven games.
Swansea were knocking the ball about like a home team with Ipswich looking edgy and poorly organised at the back.
Begovic was untroubled however, and in the 45th minute, Rosenior and the lively Peters combined down the right with Counago sending a close range header from the cross just over the bar.
Ipswich started the second period in lively fashion and Counago looked yards on side when he ran clear in the 49th minute only to be stopped in his tracks by a raised linesman's flag.
De Vries dived to his right to save from first Leadbitter (55 mins) and then Counago (57 mins) as Town continued to hold the upper hand as they attacked the Sir Bobby Robson Stand goal.
Quinn did well to break down the left in the 58th minute, and Walters flashed a two-yard shot wide at the near post from a low cross.
Wickham came on to partner Counago up front with Walters dropping back to the left of midfield. In the 66th minute a brave block by Rosenior denied Beattie a second goal after a Swansea move of many passes had left Town exposed at the back.
Wickham stunned home fans with a throw-in that would have reached the far side of the six-yard box if De Vries had not punched clear from off head of McAuley.
Wickham went clear from a Trotter pass in the 84th minute with De Vries making a save from the angled shot.
Referee Wright then had a stern word with the Ipswich bench before calling it a day to be replaced by fourth official Mr G Hambling.
Swansea were finishing a pale shadow of their selves, but could Ipswich snatch that elusive first victory in the final few minutes?
Trotter signed fired over from a late chance, but a draw was a fair result.
Ipswich Town: Begovic; Rosenior, McAuley, Smith, D Wright; Peters (sub Martin 72 mins), Leadbitter, Trotter (Colback 90), Quinn (Wickham 60); Walters, Counago. Substitutes: Lee-Barrett, Balkestein, Bruce, Priskin.
Swansea City: De Vries; Rangel, Tate, Williams, Bessone; Dyer (Butler 73), Britton, Orlandi (Lopez 62), Pratley, Gower (Richards 90); Beattie. Subs: Cornell, van der Gun, Trundle, Idrizaj.
Referee: Mr K Wright (Cambridgeshire)