Reds FT: Barnsley 2 Ipswich Town 2

Barnsley celebrate Chris O'Grady's goal
Barnsley celebrate Chris O'Grady's goal
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Barnsley, two up, were held 2-2 by Ipswich.

Barnsley were still going to be anchored in the drop zone no matter what the result today, so there was some apprehension at kick-off.

It was definitely a game that was going to be affected by the howling, swirling wind. Both sides tried a couple of hopeful long passes but this was a day for short, crisp passing.

The Reds fluffed a gilt-edged opportunity.Dawson battled hard 30 yards from the Ipswich goal to work a position, and as he threaded the neatly-through to O’Grady, the unmarked front-man and leading scorer side-footed a shot horribly wide.

Ipswich’s 15-goal striker McGoldrick was afforded far too much time and space on the edge of the Reds’ box, but fired a low drive straight at

The Reds broke the deadlock after 12 minutes courtesy of a superbly-taken solo effort from O’GRADY.

The big man latched on to a cross from Hunt, before twisting neatly past Smith and firing brilliantly past Gerken on the turn.

Ipswich were thwarted by the woodwork in the 18th minute. The Reds gave away a foul just outside their own box, and left-back Cresswell stepped up to take it, curling in a superb effort which struck the post and bounced away to safety.

Hunt swung in a low cross which somehow evaded the feet of Nouble and McGoldrick as they both dived in to get a final touch.

Jennings was looking particularly lively for the hosts, and he expertly teed up the recalled O’Brien, who saw a powerful shot bravely blocked by centre-back Berra.

The more direct approach was working for the Reds as the half-hour mark passed.

Ipswich were persevering with their close control and sometimes intricate passing, but the conditions weren’t always conducive to that type of play and passes were drifting away from their targets.

Dawson again superbly laid a pass off for O’Grady, who charged towards goal before seeing another effort blocked by Smith.

There was a scare in the 40th minute when former loan man Nouble did well to harry and rob O’Grady, before charging towards goal and firing in a shot which Steele was able to gather comfortably.

Again Ipswich threatened and Murphy somehow wriggled free of Hunt, but O’Brien nipped in in to pinch the ball off the striker’s toe just as he was about to pull the trigger.

Defender Smith was up from the back to plant a free header inches wide from wide-man Hunt’s in-swinging corner-kick.

Despite holding the advantage, it was Wilson who made the only change at the interval, with Cywka coming on for the largely ineffective Shea.

Ipswich boss McCarthy had also clearly had words with his players during the break, and they began the half purposefully.

A neat move down the right culminated with Tabb scooping a shot narrowly over, then Skuse’s daisy-cutter whizzed past Steele’s left-hand post.

Ipswich ought to have levelled in the 54th minute. Steele spilled Hunt’s latest teasing cross from the left, but as the ball spilled loose and into Skuse’s path, the midfielder contrived to screw a shot wide when it looked easier to score.

Fleet-footed O’Grady expertly teed up O’Brien, only for the hosts’ wide-man to wastefully blast a shot high over the top from 15 yards.

Ipswich came roaring back at the other end, with their latest effort seeing sub Anderson volleying inches wide from yet another Hunt cross.

It was beginning to look like the Tractor Boys were going to level it up pretty soon, as the Reds then had Steele to thank for a smart double save from McGoldrick and then Anderson.

It was against the run of play when the Reds thought they had wrapped up victory with 16 minutes to go.

After a clumsy foul on the edge of the box, sub CYWKA stepped up to fire home a free-kick past Gerken, though it was helped on its way by a deflection off the unfortunate McGoldrick.

However, the brave Reds were to be denied as BERRA volleyed home in the 81st minute, before McGOLDRICK’s deflected drive with just six minutes to go earned Ipswich what was probably a deserved share of the spoils.