Sereni's saves earn Town a point
Ipswich Town 0 Aston Villa 0: MATTEO Sereni was a last minute hero for Ipswich as two fingertip saves in the dying seconds of Town's crucial Premiership clash with Aston Villa rescued a point for the Blues.
Ipswich Town 0 Aston Villa 0
MATTEO Sereni was a last minute hero for Ipswich as two fingertip saves in the dying seconds of Town's crucial Premiership clash with Aston Villa rescued a point for the Blues.
But even this hard-earned point was not enough to keep Town out of the bottom three after wins for Bolton and Everton plunged Ipswich deeper into the relegation quicksand.
Ipswich started brightly and in determined fashion but an injury to Chris Makin after nine minutes disrupted Town's rhythm.
The match was always an open encounter with Ipswich enjoying most of the possession but Villa always threatening on the break.
Finidi George tested Villa keeper Peter Schmeichel after 13 minutes with a dipping 25 yard volley and Schmeichel was in action again in the 20th minute when Marcus Bent met a Mark Venus corner with a volley only to be denied by another good save.
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England starlet Darias Vassell was Villa's main threat but too often wasted good positions.
In the second half Ipswich maintained their positive approach in search of a vital goal with the final pass often failing to reach it's target.
Marcus Stewart had an effort cleared off the Villa goalline but Ipswich came closest to scoring when a Jamie Clapham cross found Jim Magilton in the box. His first shot was blocked and from the rebound he hit the post.
But in the closing stages of the match it was Villa who nearly snatched the win when Thomas Hitzlsperger finished off a good move with a fierce drive which forced Sereni to make the save.
From the resulting corner the ball flicked off Magilton's head and went goalwards but Sereni was again alert to tip the ball away as it fell under the Ipswich bar.
The Town players cannot be faltered for effort in this determined performance. But it is points that count now and in that respect Ipswich have fallen further away from safety.