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17:43 21st November 2015

A Point After Double Comeback

Ipswich Town 2 (Douglas 16, Murphy 54)

Wolves 2 (Henry 38, Afobe 75)

It finished honours even at Portman Road as Wolves twice came from behind to take a point from the Tractor Boys.

There were two changes to the Wolves line-up with Carl Ikeme replacing the injured Emi Martinez and Jordan Graham made his debut in place of Sheyi Ojo who was named as a substitute.

Before the start a minute’s silence was held in memory of former Town keeper Marton Fulop, a victim at 32 of cancer, and for those who lost their lives in the Paris atrocities.

The afternoon was bitterly cold but dry as Wolves kicked-off with the first attempt going the way of Town with Cole Skuse lifting a long-range effort high over the bar.

There was a half chance for Benik Afobe as he chased a deep cross into the home box but the ball didn’t bounce kindly for the striker and keeper Dean Gerken dived forwards to claim it.

Dominic Iorfa ventured upfield but as he prepared to shoot a defender got across and put a foot in. The ball deflected to Graham who beat his man as he worked a shooting position and his low shot hit a Town player but was still heading for the net until Gerkin made a smart, diving save.

James Henry went into the book after clipping Jonas Knudsen wide on the left. Knudsen’s free-kick was cleared with no due concern.

Graham was showing no sign of nerves and after a confident run down the left he delivered a low cross that was booted clear by Luke Chambers as Jack Price closed in.

It was against the run of play that Ipswich took a 15th minute lead. Knudsen’s low cross was allowed to run through to Jonathan Douglas who took a touch before firing home from eight-yards out.

Dave Edward was high and wide with a volley and then Henry was also off target with another volley after Scott Golbourne’s cross had been headed out to him near the right-hand corner of the box.

Ipswich should have had a second in the 25th minute when Pitman was afforded a free header from Skuse’s cross but, to the relief of the 900 fans that had made the long trek to East Anglia, he put the ball wide.

Brett Pitman looped a cross onto the top of the bar and then, in Town’s next attack, he fed Freddie Sears who drilled a low cross virtually along the goalline before the ball went to the far side and was eventually cleared.

Two well delivered corners from Graham led to Wolves pulling level in the 38th minute. The first was only cleared with some difficulty by the home defence and that was at the expense of a second.

This time Graham’s flag-kick fell to Mike Williamson at the back post and he steered it into the heart of the goalmouth were Henry was waiting to turn the ball over the line.

Shortly before the break, from a Kevin Bru corner, Tommy Smith headed straight into the arms of Ikeme.

Half-Time: Town 1 Wolves 1

Ipswich regained the advantage in the 54th minute after Pitman’s cross from the right ran through to Daryl Murphy who headed over the line from virtually point-blank range.

In doing so, Murphy collided with Ikeme who lay in the back of the net whilst the home celebrations went on and the keeper was only able to continue after lengthy treatment.

Henry provided an opening for Graham with a neat chipped pass for the youngster to run onto but his attempt to find the far corner of the net from a tight angle was too high.

Both sides made changes in the minutes that followed – Adam Le Fondre taking the place of Edwards and, for Ipswich, Ainsley Maitland-Niles for Kevin Bru.

Wolves equalised for a second time in the 75th minute as Afobe powerfully headed home Le Fondre’s excellent cross from the right.

Just a minute later, from Henry’s cross, Le Fondre’s shot hit a defender and bounced to Kevin McDonald who appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty when his drive bounced clear off the body of another member of the Ipswich lack line.

Ojo replaced Graham for the closing stages as both teams slugged it out in search of a winner and after Maitland-Niles headed wide from a Skuse centre, Henry’s 20-yard drive went straight to Gerkin.

McDonald was too high with a first time effort after a Henry cross and the four minutes of added time failed to provide a winning goal although there were bookings for Smith and Le Fondre both following foul tackles.

Town Gerkin, Knudsen, Chambers (capt), Smith, Berra, Skuse, Murphy, Pitman, Bru (Maitland-Niles 69), Sears, Douglas.

Unused subs: Bialkowski, Parr, Oar, Coke, Malarczyk, Toure.

Booking: Smith (90+3).

Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Golbourne, Edwards (Le Fondre 65), Batth (capt), Williamson, Henry, Price, Afobe, McDonald, Graham (Ojo 77).

Unused subs: Flatt, Doherty, Coady, Byrne, Holt.

Bookings: Henry (11 – foul), Le Fondre (90+4 – foul).

Referee: G. Ward.

Attendance: 19,227.


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.