Sheffield United 3 Ipswich Town 3
Ipswich Town's hopes of a first league win of the season were dashed by Sheffield
United captain Chris Morgan in a dramatic finale at Bramall Lane on Tuesday
Roy Keane, the Ipswich manager, must have been relishing the prospect of
three points as his team secured a 3-1 lead on merit with 20 minutes remaining.
"I keep saying it's only a matter of time before things click into place,"
"We should have seen the game out, it was nothing to do with bad luck but
we can take positives. Does it feel like a defeat? Probably not, we played
well, desire has never been a problem and we have scored three goals and taken
a point away from home."
But a familiar defensive frailty allied to United’s enduring passion saw
his players concede an equaliser in stoppage time. Keane will not be sacked
in the morning as United fans predicted, but his departure from Portman Road
looms more likely than that elusive victory.
If United were a touch fortunate to seize an early initiative, it did not
take long for Ipswich to wrest it from their grasp to bring about a dramatic
Visiting goalkeeper Richard Wright appeared to have reasonable grounds for
complaint as Darius Henderson challenged him for a looping, deflected shot
in the six-yard area.
Wright could only parry the ball up and the United forward gratefully headed
his second goal of the season that counted despite Ipswich protests.
Ipswich, though, translated overwhelming possession into a deserved goal
when Carlos Edwards, one of three former Sunderland players recruited by Keane,
overlapped down the right and centred for Jon Walters, whose clever back-heel
crept through a crowded danger zone and beyond Mark Bunn, the United goalkeeper.
That buccaneering style was rewarded again in the 34th minute as Ipswich
took the lead.
Grant Leadbitter’s low 20-yard shot may not have carried much pace, but still
enough to defeat Bunn, who went to ground sluggishly.
United had their chances, mainly from goalmouth melees that Ipswich scrambled
to safety, but the game seemed beyond them when Gareth McAuley headed his
side into a 3-1 lead from Leadbitter’s right-wing corner with 20 minutes remaining.
Kevin Blackwell’s Sheffield side are renowned for their grandstand finishes,
though, and sure enough they produced one after Henderson’s quick feet and
control saw him convert substitute Glen Little’s cross in the 77th minute.
It was captain Morgan who dashed Ipswich hearts in time added on, sweeping
the ball over the line after Wright had dropped a left-wing corner at his
David McVay (telegraph.co.uk)