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2-2
04 August 2018 Venue Portman Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Report: Ipswich Town 2 Rovers 2

Late Tayo Edun goal earns Ipswich a point at Portman Road, but Rovers deserved more for their efforts

4 August 2018

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Rovers suffered late heartbreak on the opening day of the season as substitute Tayo Edun scored a late, late equaliser to conclude an entertaining affair at Portman Road.

The visitors were hit with an early setback at Ipswich when Gwion Edwards nodded home after only five minutes into the game to hand the hosts the lead.

But Rovers showed fantastic character and got back level and then ahead midway through he half thanks to Danny Graham and Bradley Dack strike.

And after it looked like it would be a solid start to life back in the Championship, Edun fluked a ball in and it finished in the back of the net to earn the hosts an undeserved point on home soil.

Tony Mowbray named one change from the side that defeated Everton in our final pre-season clash at Ewood Park, with Derrick Williams coming back into the team in place of Amari'i Bell.

Edwards and Ellis Harrison, who both played against Rovers last term for Peterborough and Bristol Rovers respectively, made competitive debuts for the Tractor Boys.

Just five minutes into the encounter and the hosts took the lead. A floated, teasing ball in from the left from Freddie Sears evaded Harrison and Cole Skuse, but not Edwards, who planted a firm header beyond David Raya and into the Spaniard’s top right-hand corner to give the home side a dream start to life under new boss Paul Hurst.

Rovers were struggling to find their usual rhythm, but Graham was on hand to pounce 20 minutes in to equalise.

It all came from a training ground routine, as Richie Smallwood’s deep free kick was headed back across goal by Darragh Lenihan, and after Bialkowski spilled the ball, Graham was there to snaffle up the opportunity and fire a close-range volley into the bottom corner.

Rovers settled after the goal, and nine minutes after Graham grabbed Rovers' first, Dack made it two, and it came in superb style.

Graham was involved again, this time holding the ball up excellently, and after Derrick Williams latched onto the ball after going for the overlap, the Irishman picked out Dack, who smashed home from a couple of yards out to hand Rovers the lead.

The Tractor Boys made a few more forays forward as the half drew to a close and the experienced Skuse headed tamely wide just a minute before the half time whistle was sounded by referee Andy Davies.

The advantage was probably just about deserved for Rovers, who recovered well after going a goal down so early.

Both sides were restricting each other in the opening stages of the second half, and new boy Kasey Palmer came on for Dominic Samuel just after the hour mark, to allow Rovers fans to get their first glimpse of the on loan Chelsea man.

Joe Nuttall replaced the impressive Graham with 22 minutes remaining to add fresh legs in the attacking third, and Nuttall’s nearly played a part in a Rovers third goal but Corry Evans eventually blazed over.

Skipper Charlie Mulgrew was next to try his luck as the time ticked down, but his free kick whistled past Bialkowski’s left-hand post before Palmer had a glorious chance to put the game to bed, but after Nuttall’s effort cannoned into his path, the young winger couldn’t connect well enough and Bialkowski claimed.

As the clock ticked to 85, the lively Edwards gave Mulgrew twisted blood, but the Scot was thankful to Lenihan for racing across to help out and block the Welsh winger’s attempt at goal.

But just as it looked as if Rovers would return to East Lancashire with all three points, substitute Edun whipped a ball in and it flew past everyone, clipped the post and nestled into the back of the net to earn Ipswich an undeserved point in the final minute of the game.

Tickets are available for next week's battle at Ewood against Millwall and you can back the lads by purchasing your tickets here.

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Spence (Woolfenden, 38) , Donacien, Chambers (c), Knudsen, Chalobah, Skuse, Downes (Edun, 60), Edwards, Sears (Morris, 77), Harrison.

Unused substitutes: Gerken, Kenlock, Roberts, Dozzell.

Goal: Edwards, 5, Edun, 90

Booked: Harrison, 35, Chambers, 71

Rovers: Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan, Mulgrew (c), Williams, Smallwood, Evans, Bennett, Dack (Conway, 82), Samuel (Palmer, 62), Graham (Nuttall, 68).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Rothwell, Bell, Travis.

Goal: Graham, 20, Dack, 29.

Booked: Bennett, 53, Lenihan 87, Smallwood 89

Attendance: 18,940 (1,070)

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