Report: Jackson earns a point as Blues turn it around in second half on night legend Beattie is honoured
PUBLISHED: 21:40 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 00:51 19 September 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town produced a second-half turnaround as they battled back to secure a 1-1 draw against Brentford on the night the club paid tribute to the late Kevin Beattie.
After a minute’s applause in memory of the legendary defender prior to kick-off, the Blues struggled throughout a poor first-half in which they struggled to keep hold of the ball.
It was a shambolic passage of play which presented the visitors with the chance to open the scoring, with a host of Ipswich players giving away possession before Romaine Sawyers’ cross was flicked up in the air from Ollie Watkins’ miss-kick to allow Neal Maupay to loop a header home.
But it was a different story in the second period as they emerged with a new desire and drive, forcing their visitors onto the back foot and threatening before Kayden Jackson’s headed equaliser salvaged a point.
Paul Hurst remains unbeaten at Portman Road following four successive draws on home turf, but the elusive wait for a first victory in charge goes on.
Next up is Bolton on Saturday.
Beattie was at the forefront of the minds of those inside Portman Road this evening, with tributes around the ground and on the pitch prior to kick-off following his death on Sunday.
Many of his former team-mates, including George Burley, Terry Butcher, Allan Hunter, John Wark and Mick Mills, were in attendance on an emotional night at Portman Road as a minute’s applause was held prior to kick-off in memory of the club’s greatest ever player.
The Blues were on the back foot from the off, though, with manager Paul Hurst making give changes to his side for the game with Brentford.
Three centre backs were flanked by wing backs Janoi Donacien and Jordan Spence, with Grant Ward operating behind Kayden Jackson and Ellis Harrison in attack.
It was Brentford who made the early running, though, playing neat triangles in midfield, stretching play and testing the Town defence.
There was a nervy moment in the opening minutes as Maupay went down under Dean Gerken’s challenge, but referee Darren Bond showed the Frenchman a yellow card, rather than pointing to the spot.
Ipswich were struggling to keep the ball and work it forward, although Matthew Pennington did manager a header straight at Brentford keeper Dan Bentley.
Possession was lost time and time again before Brentford’s opener, with the Blues struggling to get things together in the minute’s after Maupay’s headed goal as they continued to play lose passes into tough areas.
Strikers Harrison and Jackson did begin to connect prior to the interval, but the boos rang out around Portman Road as the players trudged back to the dressing room at the interval.
But the Blues came out after the break a completely different side. There was desire, crisp passing and strong running, with Grant Ward the pick of the bunch.
Jackson rattled the bar with an overhead kick from one of the former Tottenham man’s corners, before Luke Chambers’ follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Chris Mepham.
But Brentford still remained a threat and they served a reminder of that fact just after the hour mark when Yoann Barbet’s thunderous free-kick rattled the crossbar and led to a scramble in the Ipswich box.
But the Blues kept on pushing and got the reward their much-improved display probably deserved as Ward fed Trevoh Chalobah down the right, with the Chelsea loanee’s cross being met by the head of Jackson to level matters.
They weren’t content to settle for as draw, though, and the Blues pushed on in search of victory with Jackson testing Daniel Bentley and Ward and substitutes Jon Nolan and Gwion Edwards getting into good positions in the final third
Jackson was slipped through by Flynn Downes in stoppage time but could only rifle wide as Portman Road rose in anticpation, but that was the final chance as the Blues had to settle for a point.
Ipswich Town: Gerken; Spence (Nolan 46), Chambers, Pennington, Knudsen, Donacien; Chalobah (Downes 83), Skuse, Ward; Jackson, Harrison (Edwards 46)
Subs: Bialkowski, Kenlock, Edun, Downes, Graham
Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Mepham, Konsa, Barbet; McEachran (Yennaris 69), Mokotjo, Sawyers. Benrahma (Canos 60), Watkins, Maupay (Judge 79)
Subs: Daniels, Macleod, Judge, Clarke, Jeanvier
Championship, Portman Road, 7.45pm
Att: 14,897 (453 away fans)