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Reds Match Report: Ipswich 1 Barnsley 1

Stephen Dawson goes down early in the 1st half and is stretchered off.

Stephen Dawson goes down early in the 1st half and is stretchered off.

  • by Neil Goulding
 

THE ‘Flitcroft factor’ is working at Barnsley.

Two wins and a draw have given Reds’ fans every reason to believe their side can avoid relegation.

But it was teen star Danny Rose who spared Flitcroft’s blushes in his first game as permanent boss.

The young striker came off the bench to rescue a point in the dying minutes after the visitors had wasted a host of chances against the Tractor Boys.

That lack of cutting-edge is an ongoing worry for Flitcroft as he continues to scour the transfer market for a striker.

“Recruitment is about finding, searching and attention to detail,” said Flitcroft.

“We won’t be making permanent signings, still after the window closes we have the loan window so there’s plenty of time.

“We’ve got to win games and the players want to win games, for that you’ve got to score goals. I just want to reassure the fans because it’s a difficult time to recruit, certainly a striker that’s currently scoring goals.

“We’re going to need all this squad involved for the duration of the season.”

The Reds shouldn’t have needed to leave it so late to claim something but suffered from the same problems that have dogged them all season.

Good work in possession was ruined by a failure to find the back of the net – Marlon Harewood one of the main culprits – and a weakness at set pieces threatened to be their undoing.

Ipswich had created few chances of note from open play before Luke Chambers slammed home from an Aaron Cresswell free-kick.

But there was still plenty for Flitcroft to reflect on positively as his side extended their unbeaten run to three games.

Injuries to Jimmy McNulty and Jim O’Brien had thrown a spanner in the works following the derby win over Leeds United, Flitcroft shuffled his pack, recalling Stephen Foster and Jacob Mellis.

But the Reds suffered a further blow when midfielder Stephen Dawson fell to the turf in agony, bringing his afternoon to an end inside 15 minutes. However the visitors created the better of the first-half opportunities.

Harewood was thwarted after a powerful run down the left flank, beating Cresswell only to see his shot deflected behind by Chambers.

The striker had an even better opening when Mellis threaded a through ball into his path. One-on-one with the keeper, Harewood couldn’t be blamed for having a go himself but a square ball would’ve given the supporting Chris Dagnall a near-open net.

Although Chambers eventually made amends to put Ipswich ahead, the centre-half missed a sitter in almost identical circumstances. A Cresswell free-kick fell to him six yards out and he lashed a poor shot high over the bar.

Both sides had chances to take the lead in the minutes leading up to the break.

Harewood went first, striking his shot against the foot of the post after linking up well with Mellis for a second time.

David McGoldrick also hit the woodwork, Luke Steele tipping his header onto the bar in the last meaningful action before the break.

Ipswich improved after half-time but were still barely value for their opener. A Cresswell free-kick bobbled around in the area as Barnsley failed to clear, allowing Chambers to rifle past Steele.

McGoldrick then came close to adding a second but his 18-yarder flashed narrowly wide of the post.

A switch from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2 and the introduction of Matty Done for Scott Golbourne gave Reds an added impetus in their search for an equaliser. Both Harewood and Mellis wasted chances and Dagnall glanced a header wide from an excellent Tom Kennedy delivery.

It all seemed to be set up for another frustrating afternoon until Rose entered the fray and quickly made his presence felt.

Winning two corners in quick succession, Reds saw Harewood’s header tipped over by Loach.

But the third corner produced the desired result, Rose somehow beating a whole host of taller players to head into the corner.

“To have our leader, our inspiration carried off so early, we showed great resourcefulness,” added Flitcroft.

“We’re hoping and praying it’s just slight ankle ligament damage.”

 

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