Date: 25th February 2010 at 12:29am
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Loanee David Healy came off the bench and scored within five minutes of coming on to rescue a point for Ipswich who had fell behind to Cliff Bynre’s 70th minute header. It was Healy’s first goal for Ipswich since joining on loan from Sunderland at the start of the month.

Roy Keane couldn’t have been feeling well after naming an unchanged side, something of a rarity this season. In fact, it’s only the second time he has named the same team for two successive matches.

Anyhow, Brian Murphy made his second start in goal with David Wright and youngster Shane O’Connor at right and left back respectively, Damien Delaney and Gareth McAuley in the centre as per usual. The midfield from right to left was Carlos Edwards, Grant Leadbitter, David Norris and Jack Colback with skipper Jon Walters and in-form Daryl Murphy up front.

Town were the better side in the first half, and they started well with Walters hitting the bar with just three minutes on the clock. The keeper, Joe Murphy, was well beaten – to save confusion between both goalkeepers Brian and Joe Murphy, I think I’ll just call them by their first names. Just minutes later and Walters was involved in another attack, working the ball to Daryl Murphy who forced the Scunny stopper into action. Grant Leadbitter then saw his header loop over from the resulting corner.

After a clever turn inside the penalty area, Norris failed to test Joe while Walters should really have scored when he capitalised on a communication breakdown between Joe and a Scunthorpe defender – he could only hit the bar for the second time in the match, although Ipswich got another chance to test the Iron stopper with play brought back following a foul on a Blues midfielder. Leadbitter however, shot weakly from that free kick. The snow was falling heavy, it was getting even colder and the pitch was deteriorating slowly.

Joe had to be alert following Delaney’s cross-shot, which was set up well by Carlos Edwards, who was also provider for a Jack Colback header, also saved by the keeper.

The half then petered out into a fairly dull ending, with Town the better of the two sides that were fighting relegation – Brian was definitely the less busy of the two Murphy’s in goal. It wasn’t the best game in the world, but it wasn’t helped by the surface. The pitch I play (or try to play) football on on a Sunday morning is better than that one at Glanford Park.

Just like in so many matches this season, the Blues started the second half much slower and Scunthorpe’s Gary Hooper was denied by Brian in the Town goal, his first real save of the match. Martyn Woolford’s overhead kick was a more comfortable save to make however, as the game became a bit more end to end.

Daryl Murphy’s charge towards the Scunny goal was blocked by a couple of defenders, while David Norris had his effort saved and Jack Colback missed the rebound. Norris was taken off along with Daryl Murphy midway through the second period, David Healy coming on along with Connor Wickham. They both went up front, with Walters moving to the left of midfield and Colback in the centre.

Keano obviously brought his subs on to change the game in Ipswich’s favour, but on 70 minutes, they fell behind.

Woolford put the ball back in the box after Town cleared a corner and Iron captain Cliff Byrne rose highest to nod home his second of the season. Brian couldn’t get to the ball as he looked to have been impeded by one of the Ipswich defenders. Hooper nearly made it 2-0 and game over just seconds later as his volley flew wide.

Healy then nearly scored an instant reply but shot wide, while Byrne then went from hero to villain on 75 minutes. Jon Walters hustled and bustled in the box, and Byrne was unable to get the ball out of his feet. The poacher that is David Healy said thank you very much and sidefooted the ball past Joe from just a couple of yards. That made it 1-1, with both teams having 15 minutes to find a winner.

Connor Wickham then got a bit of rough treatment from Joe, as he stood in front of the home side’s keeper when he wanted to kick the ball out of his hands. Joe got him by the neck, but then probably thought twice about doing anything else to the 16-year-old given the sheer size of him.

Not much to say for the final ten minutes as neither side wanted to lose a potentially precious point, meaning Ipswich stay in 19th place but four points above the drop zone, although many teams around us have a game in hand. Still, I think we’ll have enough to get out of danger… *touches wood*.



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