Ipswich Town produced a fighting response to their mounting problems at Portman Road last night when, after a day overshadowed by the death of their best loved and most successful chairman, they twice came from behind to salvage a well-deserved point.
When you are struggling at the bottom of the league, the last team you want to meet is Wimbledon. Charitable they are not, whatever the season - and Christmas made no difference.
No sooner had the Ipswich faithful taken their seats, after a minute's silence in memory of Patrick Cobbold, their former long-serving chairman and president, who died yesterday, than Vinnie's boys were in front.
This was a goal made from the Wimbledon tradition. A fast direct attack, no fussing, a run to the line by Warren Barton, a perfect cut-back and an easy eight- yard finish for Dean Holdsworth.
After conceding three goals in the opening 27 minutes at Nottingham last Saturday, it was just the start Ipswich had hoped to avoid. Managerless, besieged by a train of misfortunes and lacking confidence in all quarters, a collapse of English cricketing proportions seemed imminent.
Instead, they equalised six minutes later. Not with a lucky goal or a gift, but with a crafted piece of team-work, Chris Kiwomya working Paul Mason into space on the right of the box and Simon Milton meeting his cross with a splendid volley.
John Lyall would have appreciated it. It was goal from his text book that the caretaker manager who has succeeded him, Paul Goddard, almost put a trademark on as a player.
Barton forced Craig Forrest to a good save, but Ipswich, with a drive from Milton and a forceful shot from the edge of the area by Neil Gregory, kept Hans Segers busier than expected.
In the circumstances, it was stirring to see Ipswich playing with so much of what Jones now calls hwyl , but sad that it did not last. Holdsworth, booked for a high 54th minute challenge on Sedgley, showed why.
Eight minutes later, the visitors were back in front, Jon Goodman heading in with the aid of a deflection from Warren Barton's corner. It was Goodman's first goal in only his third appearance for Wimbledon since moving from Millwall.
Milton was booked for a foul on Thorn before Sedgley rammed home Ipswich's second equaliser after a corner by the substitute Adrian Paz was flicked on with seven miutes remaining. In that time, Thorn, for fouling Paz, and Segers, for bowling the Uruguayan winger over, were also shown yellow cards in a tumultuous finale.
Ipswich Town (4-4-2): Forrest; Yallop, Whelan, Sedgley ,Vaughan; Mason, Williams, Milton, Thomsen; Kiwonya, N Gregory (Paz, 70). Substitutes not used: Johnson, Morgan (gk).
Wimbledon (4-4-2): Segers; Cunningham, Thorn, Fitzgerald, Kimble; Barton, Jones, Leonhardsen (Elkins, 72), Ekoku; Goodman, Holdsworth (Harford), 86). Substitute not used: Sullivan (gk).
Referee: D Elleray (Harrow).Reuse content