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Match Report: Ipswich 1-1 Middlesbrough

Friday 30th March 2012
A 25 yard Grant Leadbitter strike held Boro to a third draw on the bounce against a recently resurgent Ipswich side.

Boro made four changes to the side that were held against Bristol city at the weekend, with Richard Smallwood, Julio Arca, Barry Robson and Marvin Emnes returning to the side, as the visitors started with a 4-1-2-1-2 formation.

Paul Jewell meanwhile made only one change, with Grant Leadbitter coming back from suspension to replace Andy Drury in midfield.

It was Leadbitter that had the first chance of the game but the former Sunderland man's 25 yard effort was tipped over by Boro keeper Steele.

In the 17th minute Mowbray's side were dealt a terrible blow when skipper Matthew Bates went down under the somewhat innocuous challenge of Chopra, with what seemed lika a serious knee injury and the Teesiders were forced in to an early change.

Chopra then fired over from just inside the box in what was one of the few chances dor either side in an uneventful first half.

The visitors' other first choice centre half Seb Hines was also forced off at half time; following a clash of heads leaving Boro with a make-shift centre back pairing of Tony McMahon and Nicky Bailey for the second half.

Hines' replacement Jutkiewicz was guilty of a terrible miss within minutes of the second half starting.

The former Coventry striker found himself unmarked in the six-yard box with only the keeper to beat after Adam Hammill's shot was parried by McCarthy, but he blazed his effort over.

Ipswich were handed a chance to break the deadlock soon after, when referee Keith Stroud awarded the hosts a penalty after Arca was adjudged to have tripped Jay Emmanuel-Thomas in the box.

Leadbitter stepped up to take the spot-kick but was thwarted by England U21 international keeper Steele who saved away to his right hand side.

The penalty save seemed to galvanise Boro and they were ahead within five minutes.

Boro left back Bennett crossed for Justin Hoyte at the back post, who nodded across the six yard box for Lukas Jutkiewicz to stab home from close range.

The Teessider's lead only lasted a little over 10 minutes however and it was Leadbitter who had the last laugh after his earlier penalty miss.

Midfielder Leadbitter picked the ball up on 25 yards and rifled home past the despairing Steele to deny Boro all three points.

Middlesbrough remain fifth in the table, while Ipswich stay 15th.
Matthew Nixon

Total articles: 28

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