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Tractor Boys Still In Second Gear

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20 Apr 2010 13:24:46

Tractor Boys Still In Second Gear

Ipswich have huffed and puffed all season. Their current form ... IPSWICH TOWN - CURRENT FORM Ipswich 1 Doncaster 1APRIL 17: Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road.    Nottingham Forest 3 Ipswich 0APRIL 10: Coca-Cola Championship at the City Ground.    Derby 1 Ipswich 3APRIL 5: Coca-Cola Championship at Pride Park.  Ipswich 2 Reading 1APRIL 3: Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road.    Swansea 0 Ipswich 0MARCH 27: Coca-Cola Championship at the Liberty Stadium.    Ipswich 0 Plymouth 2MARCH 23: Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road. IPSWICH'S LAST GAME ... IPSWICH 1 DONCASTER 1 Brian Murphy, David Wright, McAuley, Smith, O'Connor, Walters, Leadbitter, Norris (Peters 77), Colback, Wickham (Clarke 90), Daryl Murphy (Garvan 57). Subs Not Used: Richard Wright, Brown, Eastman, Hyam. Ipswich and Doncaster took a share of the spoils in a low-key end-of-season encounter in the Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road. It was a drab affair that seemed destined for a goalless draw for much of the game until Connor Wickham capitalised on some poor Doncaster defending to put Ipswich ahead with 18 minutes remaining. But the home side's lead did not last long as Doncaster earned a point when Dean Shiels converted a penalty he had earned in the final 10 minutes. The draw sees Roy Keane's extend their impressive home form which now reads at just one defeat in their last 17 games, though it is a result that typifies Ipswich's season as they register their 11th draw on home soil this term. Doncaster's point sees them end a run of three successive defeats and although a play-off push has fallen by the way side in recent weeks, the prospect of a top-half finish will serve as motivation for Sean O'Driscoll's side in the remaining matches. With both sides facing the prospect of a mid-table finish in this dead rubber, a classic was never on the cards and it was a quiet start with little in the way of goalmouth action in the opening 15 minutes. It was perhaps Doncaster that looked the more threatening with Arsenal loanee Jay Emmanuel-Thomas looking dangerous, though they were restricted to long-range efforts, with Gareth Roberts seeing his low effort well held by Brian Murphy. O'Driscoll's men could not build on their momentum, though, and although they controlled possession they failed to test Murphy again. Ipswich offered very little as an attacking force in a stale first-half showing, with Wickham's turn and shot that went over the bar the only moment of note for them. The half-time whistle could not come soon enough for the supporters at a sun-drenched Portman Road but the start of the second period was not much better viewing as both sides again were off the pace. Eventually Ipswich stirred, beginning to play with purpose and Wickham missed a golden chance break the deadlock, but he headed wide from six yards out, though his blushes were spared by the linesman, who raised his flag in any case. But the Ipswich momentum continued and they took the lead in the 72nd minute through Wickham with what was a real opportunist's finish. The Doncaster defence dawdled on the ball, wasting the opportunity to clear and Wickham sneaked in to take possession before finishing coolly past Neil Sullivan. It was a goal Wickham had deserved for his endeavour and was his fifth of the season. But Ipswich's lead lasted just 11 minutes as Rovers equalised from the penalty spot after O'Connor had shoved Shiels and the Doncaster striker sent Murphy the wrong way from the spot. Neither side had enough in them to go on and find a winner as Ipswich registered a club record 19th league draw of the season.  


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