Championship - 1st Leg
IpswichIpswich Town1NorwichNorwich City1

Ipswich Town 1-1 Norwich City

By Phil ShepkaBBC Sport at Portman Road
Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson equalised for Ipswich before half-time

Substitute Paul Anderson's equaliser ensured Ipswich go into the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final against local rivals Norwich level after a draw at Portman Road.

In the 98th East Anglian derby, Jonny Howson slotted the visitors in front from Cameron Jerome's delivery.

But Anderson, on for the injured Luke Varney, turned home the equaliser after Freddie Sears' initial shot was saved.

The tie is in the balance ahead of next Saturday's return leg at Carrow Road.

Eight points separated the two sides at the end of the season, as the Canaries just missed out on an immediate return to the Premier League automatically, despite winning 15 of their 22 games since former Hamilton boss Alex Neil took charge in January.

Ipswich, who scraped into the play-offs for the first time in 10 years despite a final-day defeat by Blackburn, are hoping to end a 13-year stay in the second tier.

Championship play-off semi-finals
Friday: Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough
Saturday: Ipswich Town 1-1 Norwich City
Friday, 15 May: Middlesbrough v Brentford
Saturday, 16 May: Norwich City v Ipswich Town

They had the first real chance of a match Neil billed as one of the biggest East Anglian derbies ever, when Canaries keeper John Ruddy did brilliantly to deny Sears, before recovering quickly to keep out Varney's headed rebound.

Norwich, though, grew into the game and came within inches of the lead when Alex Tettey curled just past the post from outside the area.

Play had to be halted for an extended period when Varney was stretchered off with what looked to be a nasty ankle injury, but Ipswich regrouped and both Anderson and Murphy missed headed chances as Town pressed.

However, Jerome was too strong for Tommy Smith and he played in a pinpoint left-wing ball for the onrushing Howson to sidefoot home into the corner past Bartosz Bialkowski and give the visitors the lead.

Town would not be deterred, and in the six minutes added on for Varney's injury, they levelled when Ruddy parried Sears' shot into the path of Murphy, and although he was kept out, midfielder Anderson found a gap to slot past two defenders on the line.

The second half struggled to live up to the pace of the first, but Canaries midfielder Bradley Johnson saw a fizzing shot deflected wide by Luke Chambers.

Murphy, Town's top scorer with 27 goals this season, then broke through on goal but his shot was blocked by a Norwich defender and the two sides had to settle for a draw in a hotly contested game.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy: "I would say it was a terrific, hard-fought football match. When two teams are competing for a big prize it will never be expansive football.

"I thought it was a good game, for us we'd like to be in front but there's no away goals that count.

"I've always been proud of my team, and to go behind when we were on top and come back shows everything that my team's about."

McCarthy on Luke Varney's injury: "We think he's snapped his Achilles. He's in bits, the poor lad. For a lad who's come on loan, he's been great, so we'll have to look after him."

Norwich manager Alex Neil: "I thought the first half was as we expected - 100 miles per hour and fighting for second balls.

"I thought in the second half we controlled the ball, but couldn't create chances. Did we do enough to win the game? Probably not.

"I thought the goal we conceded was sloppy for our point of view. It was a straight punt up the park, we switched off and it led to a goal."

Ipswich fans
More than 29,000 fans were inside Portman Road to watch the 98th East Anglian derby
Mick McCarthy
Ipswich's Mick McCarthy is the only one of the four managers involved in this season's Championship play-offs to have won promotion from the second tier before
Alex Neil
Alex Neil guided Norwich to third in the Championship after replacing Neil Adams as manager in January
Jonny Howson
Jonny Howson (centre) has scored nine goals from midfield for Norwich this season
Martin Olsson
Paul Anderson levelled for Ipswich, despite Martin Olsson's best efforts to clear

Line-ups

Ipswich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 33Bialkowski
  • 4Chambers
  • 5Smith
  • 6Berra
  • 3Mings
  • 17BruSubstituted forTabbat 71'minutes
  • 8Skuse
  • 15VarneySubstituted forAndersonat 31'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 27BishopSubstituted forParrat 77'minutes
  • 20Sears
  • 9Murphy

Substitutes

  • 1Gerken
  • 2Parr
  • 10McGoldrick
  • 11Anderson
  • 12Hunt
  • 16Hunt
  • 18Tabb

Norwich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Ruddy
  • 2Whittaker
  • 5Martin
  • 30Bassong
  • 23Olsson
  • 27Tettey
  • 41DorransBooked at 47minsSubstituted forHoolahanat 69'minutes
  • 22Redmond
  • 8Howson
  • 4Johnson
  • 10JeromeBooked at 58minsSubstituted forHooperat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Hooper
  • 14Hoolahan
  • 17Bennett
  • 24Bennett
  • 26Rudd
  • 28O'Neil
  • 39Odjidja-Ofoe
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
29,166

Match Stats

Home TeamIpswichAway TeamNorwich
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home17
Away13
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ipswich Town 1, Norwich City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ipswich Town 1, Norwich City 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Bartosz Bialkowski.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan with a cross.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Ipswich Town. Jay Tabb tries a through ball, but Daryl Murphy is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Dangerous play by Alexander Tettey (Norwich City).

  7. Post update

    Paul Anderson (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Gary Hooper replaces Cameron Jerome.

  9. Booking

    Paul Anderson (Ipswich Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Russell Martin (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Paul Anderson (Ipswich Town).

  12. Post update

    Foul by Bradley Johnson (Norwich City).

  13. Post update

    Paul Anderson (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cole Skuse.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Nathan Redmond with a cross following a corner.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Tommy Smith.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jay Tabb.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Ipswich Town. Jonathan Parr replaces Teddy Bishop.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Bradley Johnson (Norwich City).

  20. Post update

    Jay Tabb (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bournemouth462612898455390
2Watford462781191504189
3Norwich4625111088484086
4Middlesbrough4625101168373185
5Brentford462391478591978
6Ipswich4622121272541878
7Wolves4622121270561478
8Derby4621141185562977
9Blackburn461716136659767
10Birmingham461615155464-1063
11Cardiff461614165761-462
12Charlton461418145460-660
13Sheff Wed461418144349-660
14Nottm Forest461514177169259
15Leeds461511205061-1156
16Huddersfield451315175875-1754
17Fulham461410226283-2152
18Bolton461312215467-1351
19Reading461311224869-2150
20Brighton461017194454-1047
21Rotherham461116194667-2146
22Millwall46914234276-3441
23Wigan46912253964-2539
24Blackpool45413283691-5525
View full Championship table

Top Stories