Date: 5th March 2016 at 5:25pm
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If any one was in any doubt about who is our best goalkeeper then surely this game decided it once and for all.

Once again Bartosz Bialkowski kept Town in the game with a series of important saves against a very lively Nottingham Forest attack.

Town lined up without Daryl Murphy who failed a fitness test but the good news was that local lad Luke Hyam was back after he passed his!

Jonathan Douglas was also missing through injury whilst Andre Dozzell, aged 16 years and 308 days, was on the bench for the first time in his young career!

As predicted, Freddie Sears and Brett Pitman started up front in a 4-4-2 formation and Forest had to make do without striker Jamie Ward who was taken off early in his last game against Bristol City and failed his fitness test this morning.

Dexter Blackstock picked up the game`s first yellow card in the seventh minute for catching Christophe Berra with an arm although the Forest player protested vehemently that it was nothing more than an accidental clash.

In the 18th minute Bialkowski made another fantastic save when Pitman lost possession midway inside the Blues half with only Berra and Tommy Smith back. The Pole somehow managed to get across superbly and push the ball around the post when it looked like a certain goal.

This was turning out to be a very entertaining encounter as play continued to flow from one end to the other and any thoughts that Forest were not interested in this one were clearly misconstrued.

After a fairly even first half in which Forest may have edged it the goal when it came changed everything.

Amazingly for someone who averages a goal in every ten matches it was loanee Ben Pringle who scored his second goal in two games and won the points for the blues!

Foley capitalized on a headed clearance and then took it into the area on the left before finding Brett Pitman. The striker returned it to the midfielder, who played a low ball across to Pringle, who slotted the ball past Forest keeper De Vries and into the net off via the post to claim his second goal for the blues and his first at Portman Road.

After the goal Forest wilted somewhat and keeper Bartosz Bialkowski was not troubled for the remainder of the game.

As I suggested before hand, this was a must-win game for Town and now the Tractor Boys can see the play-off’s once again on the horizon as Sheffield Wednesday lost today to Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United 0-1 at home.

This leaves Town just one point behind the sixth placed side with a game in hand and if we can win at bottom club Bolton on Tuesday then we are back in the hunt once again!

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Luke Chambers (c), Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Foley, Hyam, Bru (Maitland-Niles 46), Pringle (Digby, 90), Pitman (Varney 90), Sears. Unused: Gerken, Tabb, Dozzell, Touré.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Mancienne, Mills (c), Jokic (Cohen 77), Mendes (Petravicius 77), Gardner, Vaughan, Osborn, Oliveira (Grant 77), Blackstock. Unused: Evtimov, Wilson, O’Grady, Tesche. Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire).

The Attendance was : 20,658 of which the Forest support was estimated to be :1,088).

Frank Weston – editor of Vital Ipswich

 

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