Football: Mowbray gifts Palace a point

Crystal Palace 2 Ipswich Town 2
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The Independent Online
CRYSTAL PALACE'S very survival has been threatened ever since the extent of their pounds 20m debts became known, and their ability to still come through with their heads above water was tested to the full in this First Division match. But they came from 2-1 down to finish with a point, thanks in part to great determination, but mostly to an extraordinary own goal by the Ipswich centre-back Tony Mowbray, who lobbed his goalkeeper Richard Wright from 25 yards with half an hour remaining.

That strike would presumably have put some sort of a smile back on the face of the former Palace chairman Mark Goldberg, who heard the bad news this week, during a holiday in Spain, that he has been officially declared bankrupt. Yet Palace have thrived in adversity this year and it only took Matt Svensson five minutes to put them ahead as he barged the ball in from a hanging cross by his strike partner Leon McKenzie, a start as dazzling as Ipswich's day-glo, fluorescent orange kit.

Yet once they had recovered from that early setback, the visitors then set about imposing themselves on Palace, mainly through David Johnson. With 11 minutes gone, Johnson beat Andrew Frampton to the ball and crossed with such accuracy that Matt Holland's close-range header was a formality.

After 34 minutes Ipswich took a deserved lead. This time Johnson latched on to Fan Zhiyi's woeful back-pass and finished with aplomb from 15 yards, shooting high past Digby.

But Palace, who had gone close through a Svensson overhead kick and McKenzie, who had a goal disallowed, deservedly drew level after 62 minutes when Mowbray attempted to clear Svensson's flick-on only to send the ball arcing over Wright. As the Palace manager, Steve Coppell, said: "It was important to get something from this game."

Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Digby; Linighan, Zhiyi, Frampton (Rizzo, 80), Austin; Mullins, Foster, Martin (Woozley, 30) Rodger; Svensson, McKenzie. Substitutes not used: Mautone, Kabba, Evans.

Ipswich: (3-5-2): Wright; Mowbray, McGreal, Brown; Clapham, Stockwell (Wright, 70) Magilton, Holland, Croft; Scowcroft, Johnson (Axeldal, 52). Substitutes not used: Wilnis, Venus, Salmon.

Referee: S Baines (Chesterfield).

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