Akinbiyi goal earns Stoke battling win
Ipswich Town were replaced at the top of the table by Stoke City following a dramatic contest at the Britannia Stadium, in which Stoke came from behind twice despite being reduced to 10 men.
Four consecutive league victories had done wonders for Ipswich's confidence and they played some excellent football for more than an hour. However, Stoke have become a very determined outfit under Tony Pulis and they simply refused to yield, even after John Halls was sent off when the scores were level at 2-2.
A splendid first half came to the boil four minutes before half-time, when Jason de Vos headed home his first goal since arriving from Wigan on a free transfer during the summer. Within three minutes Stoke were level, when Wayne Thomas headed in from Clive Clarke's right wing corner.
Ipswich regained the lead with the move of the match, in the 62nd minute, Tommy Miller sending Darren Bent away on the left and Bent crossing for Ian Westlake to sidefoot home.
Stoke drew level in the 75th minute, when Thomas headed his second goal of the game.
When Halls was sent off in the 82nd minute, after two yellow cards in three minutes, a draw looked to be Stoke's best option.
However, they continued to press forward and with five minutes remaining Ade Akinbiyi seized on confusion between Kelvin Davis and Drissa Diallo to slot home the winner.
"I'd have been disappointed with a point, but we're going home with nothing," Joe Royle, the Ipswich manager, said. "I was disappointed with our performance in the second half, we just didn't keep the ball and we were poor at the back. We don't keep the ball well enough for a side which is supposed to be a passing side."
Ron Gubba (Daily Telegraph)