Mowbray gifts Palace a point

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The Independent Online

The corresponding fixture between these two teams last season was a 3-2 thriller won by the Londoners, and although there was no winner this time, the two sides produced an equally enthralling match, with the game finishing level thanks to an extraordinary own goal by Ipswich's Tony Mowbray, his outstretched leg sending the ball over Richard Wright from fully 25 yards. In the process, Ipswich dropped crucial promotion points and missed the opportunity to go third in the league.

The corresponding fixture between these two teams last season was a 3-2 thriller won by the Londoners, and although there was no winner this time, the two sides produced an equally enthralling match, with the game finishing level thanks to an extraordinary own goal by Ipswich's Tony Mowbray, his outstretched leg sending the ball over Richard Wright from fully 25 yards. In the process, Ipswich dropped crucial promotion points and missed the opportunity to go third in the league.

Palace, their former chairman Mark Goldberg officially declared bankrupt this week, will be the happier with the point especially as they were outplayed in the first half. However, it was they who took the lead after just five minutes. In their first attack of note, Leon McKenzie served up a hanging cross for his strike partner, Matt Svensson, to barge into the net.

Ipswich appeared as dazzled by that early setback as by their own fluorescent, all-orange kit, but recovered their composure and struck back six minutes later. A Gary Croft pass saw David Johnson beat Andrew Frampton to the ball and the striker's cross was headed past Fraser Digby by Matt Holland.

Johnson, who had an influential game, then gave Ipswich the lead after 34 minutes. He seized on Fan Zhiyi's underhit back-pass, and thrashed a left-footed shot high into the net.

Despite dominating Palace in the first half, Ipswich sat back after the interval and twice, within five minutes of the restart, the Eagles came close. Svensson headed on to the bar and from the rebound McKenzie forced the ball in, only for the goal to be disallowed for a foul. Moments later, Svensson's overhead kick forced an acrobatic save from Wright.

But for a club £20m in debt, Palace finally got some luck when Mowbray inadvertently volleyed their equaliser.

Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Digby; Linighan, Zhiyi, Frampton, Austin; Mullins, Foster, Martin, Rodger; Svensson, McKenzie. Substitutes: Woozley, Rizzo, Mautone, Kabba, Evans.

Ipswich: (3-5-2): Wright; Mowbray, McGreal, Brown; Clapham, Stockwell, Magilton, Holland, Croft; Scowcroft, Johnson. Substitutes: Wilnis, Venus, Salmon, Wright, Axeldal.

Referee: S Baines (Chesterfield).

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