Date: 17th January 2016 at 2:52pm
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Free-scoring Sheffield Wednesday have taken the last remaining play-off place, after beating Yorkshire rivals Leeds United and Brighton are up to fifth, with their first goals and first points for some weeks, when they defeated Blackburn 1-0 away from home.

As for the blues well we have to be content with seventh place for now but with the top two both losing, Town even managed to get a bit closer to automatic promotion – mad as this sounds!

This was the fifth home game in succession that Town have gone behind and this time it was Daniel Johnson who put the visitors in front, when the blues defiant rearguard action failed to clear the danger.

Our manager could not put his finger on just why we keep giving the away side a head start, just as he did not have a clue why our away form was so good because it had nothing to do with any grand scheme of his he admitted.

The equalizer, when it came, was a gem from Daryl Murphy who had been rather quiet until he picked up the ball and went on a marauding run before unleashing a thunderbolt from 25 yards that nestled into the bottom corner of the net.

In fairness though, a draw was probably the right result and manager Mick McCarthy was in agreement afterwards. ‘ You can’t win them all and if we can’t win matches, then the most important thing is we don’t lose them.’

Town had their chances but so too did Preston North End who felt aggrieved when they had a goal disallowed for offside when the video evidence suggested the player was probably level.

The Tractor Boys piled on the pressure in the latter stages however and for some inexplicable reason were denied what appeared to be a stone-wall penalty when a Preston player appeared to control the ball with his hand whilst on the ground.

All things considered then and this result was no disgrace. Preston are a team in form having won their last three previous games so this was never going to be easy and so it was to prove.

On a positive note, it was good to see Daryl Murphy back on the score sheet and there are only four points between Ipswich and third placed so the league is still very tight.

Now it is back to the cup at Portsmouth on Tuesday and it will be interesting to see who Mick McCarthy picks?

I suspect that it will be a liberal sprinkling of youth and experience and Bartosz Bialkowski will start in goal again.


Frank Weston – editor of Vital Ipswich

 

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