Healy's late penalty earns Leeds share of the spoils
The Leeds manager, Kevin Blackwell, took exception to the suggestion that his team were lucky to earn a point that keeps them securely inside the Championship play-off zone and he was right.
But the 87th-minute penalty with which Leeds' substitute David Healy equalised an opening goal from the frail but precociously talented teenager, Danny Haynes, was at least questionable as Ipswich's defender Jason De Vos - ruled to have handballed- seemed to have been pushed by Leeds' Rob Hulse.
Ipswich's manager, Joe Royle, who is normally restrained, earned a touchline lecture from the referee, Phil Crossley, after making his point to the linesman and De Vos also remonstrated with the official after the final whistle.
"The ball hit my hand, no question about that," De Vos said. "But it was a foul. I got shoved in the back and I thought the referee had blown for a free-kick."
Royle shared his player's view - and also disputed that the corner, which led to the equaliser, had been valid. "It was terrible to lose two points like that after playing outstandingly well. I told the referee he would be embarrassed when he saw the foul on the replay. I've seen it three times now."
Television evidence was not conclusive. But what was indisputable was that in Haynes, an 18-year-old full-back released two years ago by Charlton, they have discovered a player in the same exhilarating mode as his forward predecessor, Darren Bent.
Having weathered periods of extended pressure from a Leeds side whose form - five wins in their previous six games - was superior even to runaway leaders Reading, Ipswich gave the 25,425 crowd reason to be genuinely cheerful. Reward arrived in the 48th minute as Haynes, all pace and enterprise, peeled away from Leeds' dreadnought central defenders and ran on to Matt Richards' smart early pass before drawing the keeper and rolling the ball inside the post for his second goal in three starts.
Seven minutes later the teenager almost doubled his tally as he outpaced Paul Butler before smashing a shot against the bar. But as excitement turned into over-commitment, the slight figure picked up a couple of knocks and had to limp off in the 67th minute. His return will be awaited with genuine excitement.
Mike Rowbottom (Independent)