Birmingham 2-2 Ipswich: Lukas Jutkiewicz denies Tractor Boys first win
Ipswich let two-goal lead slip as Paul Hurst remains winless
Last Updated: 30/09/18 4:47pm
Lukas Jutkiewicz demonstrated the growing confidence at Birmingham with two face-saving goals to earn a 2-2 draw at home to struggling Ipswich.
The striker displayed a fighting spirit after Ipswich shook Birmingham to the core by scoring twice in the first half through Jon Nolan and Matt Pennington.
Birmingham, still seeking their first home win of the season, began their fightback two minutes into the second half when Jutkiewicz netted his first goal, which was followed by a 68th-minute equaliser to set up a pulsating finish.
It was a commendable Ipswich performance, only marred by the 87th-minute sending-off of Pennington.
Birmingham, previously with the third best defensive record in the division, played with attacking flair. Jota and Jacques Maghoma provided the launchpad for most of their attacks but it was Jutkiewicz who produced the finishing touch.
Sterling work by Aristote Nsiala and Luke Chambers proved a stumbling block to Birmingham's aspirations, with Che Adams accorded few opportunities to repeat his double in their victory over Leeds.
Blues survived the increasing pressure but they fell behind in the 26th minute when Ipswich scored with only their second away goal of the season.
Town's attacking moves appeared to lack conviction but they shocked their opponents on the counter-attack as Kayden Jackson collected a Pennington pass and set up Jon Nolan to score with a right wing cross-shot into the roof of the net.
Only a goal-line clearance by Jonas Knudsen prevented Michael Morrison equalising and in the 42nd minute Ipswich increased their lead when Pennington was on hand to lash home Grant Ward's corner.
It was a shock to the system for Birmingham and they hit back strongly in the 47th minute when Jota sent Jutkiewicz clear to jab his shot past the advancing Dean Gerken.
The Ipswich goalkeeper then produced a superb save to keep out an effort from Adams as Birmingham strove for the equaliser.
But in the 68th minute the determined Jutkiewicz, roared on by a passionate crowd, forced the ball home from close range following a general melee.
Garry Monk: At half-time I would have taken off all 11 players but I did not have 11 substitutes! We were exceptional in the second half but you cannot afford to give away a period of the game, particularly at home, which we did in the first half when Ipswich scored their two goals.
"So far as I am concerned it is two points dropped and we are still seeking our first win at home."
Paul Hurst: "We knew that Birmingham would come at us in the second half but to concede in the first two minutes was disappointing. We didn't settle for a point but after the sending off we had ride out the game. There were a lot of positives to take from the game and leading 2-0 at the break it was very promising.
"But Birmingham's first goal gave them a vital lift. My lads can take credit to the way we remained strong and picked up another good point for the second successive week and moved up another place. There are some players who are deflated but they did well to survive a late bombardment with some last ditch defending."