Championship: Nottingham Forest's winless run continues after 1-1 draw at Ipswich
Play-off rivals Ipswich and Nottingham Forest had to settle for a point apiece after a 1-1 draw at Portman Road.
Last Updated: 29/03/14 6:00pm
Play-off rivals Ipswich and Nottingham Forest had to settle for a point apiece after a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Portman Road.
Forest got off to a flyer, taking the lead after just four minutes, after ex-Ipswich loanee Danny Collins met Daniel Fox's corner to expertly find the corner to open the scoring.
But Ipswich controlled the majority of the second half and their persistence paid off 12 minutes from time when Daryl Murphy emphatically headed home Frank Nouble's cross to ensure a draw.
Ipswich were caught cold by an early goal for the second consecutive match, thanks to Forest skipper Collins, but they fought back with Stephen Hunt's searching low cross well held by Karl Darlow and Paul Anderson just missing the far post with a speculative volley.
The home side continued to look more dangerous with Jonny Williams flicking Cole Skuse's through ball over with a neat header.
A fantastic counter attack from the visitors almost caught Ipswich cold, but Jamie Paterson's fine 50-yard run was thwarted by Luke Chambers.
And Forest went close to doubling their advantage in the 24th minute when Paterson worked space in the Ipswich area but his shot was deflected just wide of the far post.
Ipswich were guilty of some poor defending at times and they were almost made to pay when Paterson robbed Skuse and fed Jamie Mackie but his low shot was saved by the feet of Dean Gerken.
Forest had shaded the first half but Ipswich were almost level within minutes of the restart. Aaron Cresswell's free kick was met by sub Sylvan Ebanks-Blake but his header eight yards out was superbly saved by Darlow with Murphy fluffing the rebound.
Backed by a vociferous home crowd, Town continued to be on the front-foot and Collins' clearing header narrowly missed his own goal.
Shortly after the hour mark, Tommy Smith headed over Williams' corner with Darlow flapping and the home side continued to have the best of the chances - Darlow atoning for his earlier indecision by smartly holding Skuse's lone-range volley.
The Forest keeper again came to the rescue with 20 minutes left when Murphy latched onto some tenacious play by Williams, but his deft curling effort was superbly tipped round the post by the flying Darlow.
Cresswell and Murphy spurned half chances before Ipswich's pressure finally paid off.
The left-back's short corner found Nouble whose cross was gleefully headed home by Murphy with 13 minutes left on the clock.
Matt Derbyshire almost scored with virtually his first touch - the Forest substitute nodding a corner just wide of the far post - before Murphy had a golden opportunity but chose to shoot rather than pass and the chance was wasted.
Fittingly, the final action of the game saw man-of-the-match Darlow produce another flying save to deny Nouble's 20-yard effort that was heading for the far corner.