Date: 26th February 2017 at 2:56pm
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Manager Mick McCarthy has often said that a point away from home is always a good point and against arch rivals Norwich City few people would be inclined to disagree.

In fact, Ipswich may feel aggrieved that they did not get more from this one. David McGoldrick was hauled to the floor in the penalty area by Dutch defender Dykes but referee Oliver Langford bizarrely gave instead a free kick to the home side!

There has rarely been a more obvious penalty than this and I was a bit surprised that the players did not protest more vociferously about this decision because if they had, then Langford may have gone over to his officials and debated further about it.

Perhaps manager McCarthy has told his players not to go in the book for verbal dissent, after what happened recently to Tom Lawrence, who missed this game because of it.

But although Town were finding it hard to create any clear cut chances, their closing down was impressive, as of course was their collective desire to get something from the game.

Amazingly, it was Jonas Knudsen who became an instant hero again when he nodded down a delightful cross from Jordan Spence into the net giving Norwich keeper Ruddy no chance after 63 minutes.

Knudsen’s only other goal this season was also against Norwich in the reverse fixture in August and he said prior to the match, that the attention he received from his first goal in a local derby was incentive enough for him to try for another one today.

Man of the Match was Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski who pulled off a series of fabulous saves before and after the one that evaded him and led to the Canaries equalizer, when he was beaten at the near post by a stunning strike from Jacob Murphy – just 6 minutes after the Blues had gone in front.

Referee Oliver Langford had been the centre of attention before the two goals however, when he refused to give Ipswich a clear penalty in the first half and then disallowed a goal from Norwich full-back Mitchell Dijks for handball.

Video footage later showed that the Dutchman had put the ball in the net with his elbow but he was not booked which should have been the case, when the goal was disallowed.

All in all, Town will be happy with this point. It is four draws out of five now, against sides who were expected to fight for a Premier League berth and this draw means that Norwich will probably have to win 10 of their last 12 games to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Next week Norwich are at Sheffield Wednesday and if they lose that, then it will be over even before it began and they won’t thank Ipswich for making their task all the more difficult.

Frank Weston – editor of Vital Ipswich


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