Ipswich 1-1 Brentford: Spoils shared at Portman Road
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 04/03/17 6:17pm
Ipswich stretched their unbeaten run to six matches - but a rather drab 1-1 draw with fellow mid-table Brentford will not live long in the memory.
Emyr Huws gave the home side the lead in the 26th minute finishing a fine patient move with a controlled finished, but that was cancelled out just before the break by Nico Yennaris.
Brentford shaded the second half with Sergi Canos having a shot cleared off the line by Myles Kenlock while Cole Skuse almost capped a rare flowing move by Ipswich, but his shot was saved by Daniel Bentley.
The opening 25 minutes saw little of note in either area - Canos going closest with a deflected shot which narrowly missed the near post in the opening few minutes.
It was Ipswich who opened the scoring on 26 minutes when a fine period of patient possession ended with the deadlock being broken. Tom Lawrence's cross in the area was brilliantly controlled by Huws and his low shot from 10 yards out gave Bentley no chance.
Brentford almost equalised 10 minutes before half-time when Lasse Vibe latched onto a mistake by Luke Chambers but his goalbound shot was brilliantly blocked by Christophe Berra before the rebound fell to Romanie Sawyers who fired a 20-yarder just wide.
And the visitors grabbed an equaliser just before half-time after a great move was matched by a fine finish from Yennaris. The midfielder was part of an intricate build-up involving Jota and Sawyers before meeting a chip over the Ipswich defence to grab the equaliser.
The second half started like the first with Canos going close, once again Chambers guilty of giving away possession cheaply, before the Brentford winger fired a volley over from the edge of the area.
It was a largely drab encounter, although Canos continued to pose the greatest threat and he went within a whisker of scoring in the 68th minute when his shot was partially blocked by Bartosz Bialkowski and Kenlock hooked the ball off the line.
Ipswich almost grabbed a late winner after a fantastic move not in keeping with most of the match. Skuse, Kevin Bru and Kieffer Moore combined for the midfielder to slide in a shot that just lacked the power to beat Bentley.
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy:
"Brentford were very good while we weren't particularly good with the ball. They deserved the point and probably deserved to win it. I don't know why that was, probably because they are a good side. We have played a lot better in the last five matches and we probably deserved more points than we have got.
"But we scrapped and fought and eight weeks ago, we probably would have lost that 3-1 and I would have had a face like thunder. I know it has been five draws but it is another point after a tough old time. It is a measure of the lads that they stuck at it when in the past we would probably have been beaten."
Brentford boss Dean Smith:
"We started quite well but then they took over and got the goal. We got back into it and scored a well-worked equaliser and then I thought we were the better team in the second half and looked most likely to win the game.
"It was a scrappy game but the pitch was slow and bobbly and doesn't help with any flowing football. Neither goalkeeper was worked as much as they should have done. We had a lot of pressure and ball, but perhaps we didn't have the quality in the final third."