Football

Brunt snatches point for Baggies: Match Review

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Chris Brunt capped a superb performance with a stoppage-time equaliser as West Brom kept in the Coca-Cola Championship title race with a deserved point in a 1-1 draw at Ipswich.

Roy Keane's side were largely outplayed in an entertaining match but referee Stuart Attwell gave them a huge lift midway through the second half when he mysteriously awarded a penalty following a routine aerial challenge from Baggies defender Jonas Olsson.

Grant Leadbitter made no mistake to leave Roberto Di Matteo's men staring at a thoroughly unjust defeat but Brunt popped up in the 94th minute to salvage a draw.

Albion are now five points shy of leaders Newcastle - who play tomorrow - while Ipswich's run of improved form has seen them lose just once in 15 league games.

Ipswich were without captain Jon Walters after he injured his hamstring in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Southampton on Saturday and the Tractor Boys missed his energy up front in the opening stages as Albion dominated.

Jerome Thomas was causing Liam Rosenior all kinds of problems on the left, and after he won a corner with a jinking run Albion should have taken the lead.

Graham Dorrans' set-piece was flicked on at the near post by Olsson and Roman Bednar was presented with a simple chance inside the six-yard box but miscued horribly over.

Albion's patient passing game was leaving Keane's men chasing shadows and Bednar had another chance in the 14th minute.

Robert Koren and Youssouf Mulumbu were involved in a passing triangle in midfield before Brunt released Bednar with a sublime ball with the outside of his foot.

Bednar sent in a low shot from a narrow angle which Town goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett did well to parry to safety.

The keeper made another sharp save to deny Brunt but was then lucky to escape with a yellow card after he hacked down Bednar outside the penalty area.

Bednar was then denied by Lee-Barrett again before Koren saw a desperate block from Gareth McAuley stop him from opening the scoring from close range after a picture book passing move had carved Keane's side open.

McAuley was then made to head clear from under his own crossbar to clear a lob from the excellent Brunt but Jaime Peters could still have had the hosts ahead before the break but his strike lacked conviction and Scott Carson was able to save.

Albion started the second period on top again and the luckless Bednar was inches wide with a header from Marek Cech's floated cross as they turned the screw.

Damien Delaney had to clear from off the line to keep Brunt's cross-shot out as Albion enjoyed almost total possession before referee Attwell gave Ipswich a 66th-minute penalty.

Rosenior launched a long throw into the area and Olsson climbed clear of two attackers to head the ball away.

All appeared fine but Attwell - who came to prominence with his award of the 'ghost goal' at Watford last season - had seen an infringement of some kind and pointed to the spot to the bemusement of all inside Portman Road.

Leadbitter stepped up to send Carson the wrong way with a powerful low strike.

Di Matteo responded by sending on Ishmael Miller and Simon Cox and the pair were involved as Brunt salvaged a stoppage-time equaliser.

Gonzalo Jara played a deep cross into a packed penalty area toward Miller, Cox volleyed the loose ball goalward and after it struck a defender, Brunt was able to poke home from two yards.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Arran Lee-Barrett
Ipswich Town
West Bromwich Albion
Jerome Thomas
Grant Leadbitter
Watford
Football
Gonzalo Jara
Roman Bednar
Liam Rosenior
Chris Brunt
Graham Dorrans
Championship
Marek Cech
Youssouf Mulumbu
Southampton
Robert Koren
Scott Carson
Damien Delaney
Roberto Di Matteo
Roy Keane
Jonas Olsson
Gareth McAuley
Liam Rosenior
Jaime Peters
Simon Cox
Ishmael Miller
FA Cup
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