Ipswich go top of Championship despite draw with Boro



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Ipswich moved a point clear at the top of the Championship after a thrilling 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough at Portman Road.

Town went into the game looking to take advantage after seeing automatic promotion rivals Leicester and Leeds lose to Plymouth and Blackburn respectively.

In a breathless first half the visitors took the lead through a header from Emmanuel Latte Lath but Town struck back 10 minutes later when Massimo Luongo crashed home a corner by Leif Davis.

Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky produced two wonderful saves, firstly from Isaiah Jones and then Matt Clarke, to keep the scores level deep into the second period.

Ipswich were on the front foot from the start but Middlesbrough were carving out their own chances and they got their noses in front after 20 minutes when a cross from Leeds loanee Luke Ayling found Ivorian striker Latte Lath, who headed home.

There were strong shouts for handball after Boro defender Clarke blocked a cross from Axel Tuanzebe but referee Sam Allison ruled it out and awarded a corner from which Town equalised as Luongo came rushing in at the far post and fired the ball home via the underside of the bar.

Town almost immediately took the lead when Jeremy Sarmiento was played through by Conor Chaplin and chipped Seny Dieng as he rushed off his line.

It looked like it was going into the net but it clipped a post. Ali Al-Hamadi tried for the rebound with a back-heel flick but it was blocked.

Boro wasted a great chance to take the lead just before half-time when they countered down the left through Sammy Silvera.

Latte Lath’s first shot was deflected, with a handball shout from the visitors, before the second went out for a corner from which former Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson headed wide.

A dazzling run by Omari Hutchinson saw him leave Middlesbrough defenders in his wake and as he closed in on goal his shot was deflected over the bar by Danish defender Lukas Engel.

As both teams pushed Hladky had to dive to his right to deny Boro substitute Sam Greenwood after Town skipper Sam Morsy lost possession while at the other end Dieng parried away a shot from Hutchinson.

Hladky produced two wonderful saves to keep the game level. First he stopped Jones from point-blank range and then stretched to palm over a header from Clarke as the game drew to a nail-biting close.

The managers

Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna:

To follow…

Middlesbrough’s Michael Carrick:

To follow…



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