Ipswich 1 Bristol City 1: Smith's stunning strike brightens drab draw
17:27 GMT, 22 December 2012
17:27 GMT, 22 December 2012
Ipswich came from behind to earn a point against fellow strugglers Bristol City at Portman Road, a draw which keeps the Tractor Boys five points clear of their opponents.
Derek McInnes' visitors took an early lead through a fine strike from Neil Danns before Tommy Smith acrobatically drew the home side level.
Great strike: Tommy Smith hooks home Ipswich's goal
IPSWICH: Henderson, Orr, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, N'Daw, Drury, Martin, Murphy (Emmanuel-Thomas 71), Campbell (Chopra 57). Subs not used: Loach, Hewitt, Higginbotham, Hyam, Reo-Coker.
Goals: Smith 32
BRISTOL CITY: Heaton, Foster, Fontaine, McManus, Bates, Cunningham, Adomah, Skuse (Elliott 84), Danns, Anderson (Baldock 84), Stead. Subs not used: Gerken, Wilson, Kilkenny, Davies, Bryan.
Goals: Danns 11
Referee: M Haywood
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Neither team could find a crucial winner to shake things up at the foot of the npower Championship in a low-key second half.
A much-changed City side were by far
the brighter team in the opening exchanges as they looked to make it
back-to-back away wins.
Paul Anderson, making his first start
for the club, had an opportunity after just four minutes but his
right-footed shot was blocked by Smith.
And they took a deserved lead in the
11th minute, when the Tractor Boys failed to clear the lines and Danns
took advantage with a fine low left-footed finish into the bottom corner
from the edge of the box.
Five minutes later Tom Heaton made a fantastic save to keep their lead intact.
The former Cardiff keeper denied DJ
Campbell his ninth goal of the season before Liam Fontaine's vital
tackle blocked the QPR loanee's second effort.
Albert Adomah was the late hero at
Sheffield Wednesday in City's last away win but he wasted a great chance
in the 25th minute, firing wide after being found by Jon Stead.
The visitors had not kept a clean
sheet all season coming into this match so it was no surprise to their
240 travelling supporters when Ipswich drew level, Smith hooking Lee
Martin's corner into the top of the net in the 32nd minute.
City started the second half as they
had the first with Adomah forcing Stephen Henderson into a smart stop 30
seconds after the restart.
Adomah then turned provider when he set up Danns but the Leicester loanee's curling effort took a deflection and flew wide.
Town boss Mick McCarthy then
introduced Michael Chopra, who has a fantastic goalscoring record
against the Robins, for Campbell just before the hour mark as they
looked for their fourth win in their last five games.
But the next chance fell to the
visitors, Greg Cunningham, back in the side after a long-term injury,
heading Danns' cross wide when well placed.
At the other end the Championship's
leakiest defence came close to conceding yet again, Chopra's drilled
effort being kept out by Heaton after the former Newcastle man showed
good feet inside the box.
Neither side could carve out a real chance in the final minutes of a forgettable second half.