Morgan slows Ipswich's progress

Nottingham Forest 1 Ipswich Town 1
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The Independent Football

Joe Royle's side, up to fourth in the First Division, found themselves on the back foot for 75 per cent of the match at the City Ground but escaped with a point. Indeed, they might have taken home all three after soaking up the home side's pressure and going ahead. However, a scrambled equaliser by Wes Morgan ensured some measure of justice was done.

Forest dominated the opening phase but failed to secure the early breakthrough their play merited. The closest they came was after only three minutes when the Ipswich goalkeeper, Kelvin Davis, produced an exceptional save from the full-back Matthieu Louis-Jean's close-range volley.

The home side gave a first start to Marlon King, the £950,000 forward signed from Gillingham after the surprise departure of their top-scorer, Marlon Harewood, to West Ham. For a team that had won only twice in 13 matches, Forest did not look short of self-belief and Ipswich, unchanged from the line-up that won at Cardiff at the weekend, were allowed few opportunities to show the form that had seen them climb into the play-off places.

Well stretched at the back, they were again grateful to Davis for keeping them on level terms with a brave save at the feet of Gareth Taylor.

Forest were to rue their failure to make their possession count, however. Just past the hour-mark, with the home side continuing to attack without delivering a goal, it was Ipswich who went ahead, a swift counter-attack resulting in a left-foot shot by Jermaine Wright thumping against the crossbar, Darren Bent following up to score.

Having caved in when West Bromwich Albion took the lead at the City Ground last Saturday, Forest needed a quick response. This time, they found it, drawing level within six minutes. Davis again saved courageously from Taylor but when Andy Reid delivered a low cross from the left, Morgan bundled the ball over the line, untidily and with a degree of help from the Ipswich defender Richard Naylor, but to the home crowd's relief, successfully.

On the day that their troubled neighbours, Notts County, were saved from extinction, Forest would have made it a night of double celebration for the city of Nottingham had they just been able to ally finishing power to attacking intent against an upwardly mobile Ipswich.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Ward; Louis-Jean, Morgan, Walker, Robertson; Bopp, Jess (Sonner, 83), Williams, Reid; Taylor, King. Substitutes not used: Gunnarsson, Roche (gk), Doig, Thompson.

Ipswich Town (4-1-3-2): Davis; Wilnis (Miller, 86), Naylor, Santos, Richards; Bart-Williams; Wright, Magilton, Westlake; Bent, Kuqi. Substitutes not used: Price (gk), McGreal, Mahon, Armstrong.

Referee: C Webster (Shotley Bridge).