Date: 17th September 2016 at 5:17pm
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Tom Lawrence made his home debut at Portman Road this afternoon and it was good to see Freddie Sears back in the side as he attempted to find the net for the first time in 33 attempts!

Villa had to make four changes from the side which drew 1-1 at home to Brentford and were without forward Ross McCormack due a knee problem, whilst his strike partner Rudy Gestede was also missing.

Winning goalscorer from the game against Derby County in midweek Luke Varney was on the bench again; along with Leon Best, Teddy Bishop, Conor Grant and perhaps surprisingly Kevin Bru.

It turned out to be a poor first half with few chances for either side but injury-plagued Aston Villa were forced into another change on 28 minutes when Nathan Baker was forced off through injury and was replaced by former City defender Micah Richards.

The second half began as another dull affair with both sides finding it difficult to make any significant goal scoring opportunities.

Although the game lacked invention from both sides, in terms of possession it was relegated Premier League side Aston Villa who had the bulk of the possession but getting anything on target to trouble Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski was proving the ultimate challenge for the away side.

But it was in extra time that the action really began! Ipswich started to push forward with a renewed sense of determination and with 8 minutes overtime to be played, there was still every hope that the Tractor Boys could find the net and take all 3 points.

As the game went into its final three minutes of injury time, Luke Varney replaced Brett Pitman and Leon Best was handed his Town home debut, in place of Teddy Bishop who had been injured moments earlier to the dismay of the home faithful.

Then, after another Town corner, Leon Best heading purposefully towards goal only for Kodjia to head the ball off the line.

The chances continued to fall to Town in the dying embers of the game and Freddie Sears was desperately unlucky to see his low shot come off the post with the Villa keeper beaten.

It was all hands to the pump for The Villans in the final few moments and both Skuse and Best – who had a header cleared off the line from Cissokho came closest to giving Town all three points.

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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