The long wait for that elusive first win of the Championship campaign goes on for Roy Keane and Ipswich Town after they let slip a two-goal lead in a draw at Sheffield United.
Seven weeks after a traumatic season for the Suffolk club began, they stood on the cusp of victory, holding a 3-2 advantage entering stoppage time. Instead goalkeeper Richard Wright dropped a Glen Little corner and home captain Chris Morgan drove the ball in off a blue shirt on the goal line.
Those dropped points sent Ipswich, now winless in 10 matches, to the foot of the table and left their manager ruing the failings of a side who have shipped 14 goals in five games.
"At 3-1 up we should have seen the game out," Keane said . "They were bad goals. In the build-up we were giving the ball away cheaply. We should have seen the game through but we didn't."
Ipswich had looked home and dry when they fought back from conceding an early Darius Henderson goal to lead 3-1 through strikes from Jon Walters, Grant Leadbitter and Gareth McAuley. But after Henderson had lifted a Little cross over Wright, the visitors were unable to resist United's late rally.
It was hard not to feel sympathy for Keane. The home fans began the match chanting "You're getting sacked in the morning" but were soon groaning at the contrast between their side's limited approach and Ipswich's more measured style. "We played some decent stuff," said Keane, who felt United's opener should have been disallowed.
When Ched Evans' shot ballooned up off McAuley, Wright looked sure to smother the falling ball but missed it under pressure from Henderson. As it bounced back up, the striker nodded in, referee Eddie Ilderton ignoring Ipswich's claims of an infringement.
After Wright had stuck out a leg to deny Henderson a second, the visitors took control. Carlos Edwards created their equaliser, skipping around Stephen Quinn and driving in a low cross that Walters flicked through a crowd of legs and into the far corner.
Leadbitter struck Ipswich's second when he advanced unchecked and beat goalkeeper Mark Bunn with a low drive from 20 yards. McAuley made it three, rising to head Leadbitter's corner into the turf and back up past Bunn. It looked like Ipswich's trip home would be a happy one but their defence caved in again.
Sam Ellis, United's assistant manager, said: "To be second-best and 3-1 down and come back to draw shows our character."
Sheffield United: (4-4-2) Bunn; Walker, Morgan, Kilgallon (Davies, 34), Taylor (Cresswell, 76); Cotterill (Little, 63), Montgomery, Harper, S Quinn; Henderson, Evans. Substitutes not used: Bennett (gk), France, Reid, Stewart.
Ipswich Town: (4-4-2) Wright; Rosenior, McAuley, Smith, Peters; Edwards, Trotter, Leadbitter, A Quinn (Martin, 71); Walters (Counago, 86), Priskin (Stead, 58). Substitutes not used: Lee-Barrett (gk), Wright, Balkestein, Colback.
Referee: E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).Reuse content