since 1878

Plymouth Argyle (1) 1 - 1 (0) Ipswich Town

Coca-Cola Championship 2009-10

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Referee: S Hooper

Manager: Paul Sturrock

Home Park 15:00

Attendance: 10,875

Manager: Roy Keane

Match Number: 3324

Goals

Home
 Carl Fletcher (22)
Away
 Jon Stead (68)

Substitutions

Home
Rory FallonCillian Sheridan (38)
Jim PatersonChris Clark (51)
David GrayDarcy Blake (62)

Cards

Home
 Shane Lowry (82)
 Darcy Blake (84)
Away
 Gareth McAuley (2)

Teams

Home

Romain Larrieu

Gary Sawyer

Shane Lowry

David Gray

Karl Duguid

Jim Paterson

Carl Fletcher

Kari Arnason

Alan Judge

Jamie Mackie

Rory Fallon

Substitutes

Home

Kyle Letheren

Krisztian Timar

Chris Clark

Darcy Blake

Cillian Sheridan

Ashley Barnes

Alan Gow

Match Report

Plymouth Argyle 1 Ipswich Town 1

When you’ve made as many enemies over the course of your career as Roy Keane has, you need some powerful friends.

In his attempt to prise Ipswich off the foot of the Championship table, Keane has admitted appealing to divine inspiration, and in a scruffy affair on the Devon coast, his prayers were finally answered in the form of a slice of outrageous good fortune. While not exactly a stairway to heaven, Jon Stead’s second-half equaliser has probably prevented a far worse plague from visiting Keane’s house.

Ipswich have now gone winless for 14 games, the only team in England yet to record a victory. The fans and the players are still behind Keane. More importantly, so are the board, who rallied to the Irishman’s defence this week. But once a slide has been identified, discontent can foment exponentially. At what point does a drama become a crisis? Keane is about to find out.

If the Irishman felt like a man reprieved, though, he was not showing it. Castigating his strikers for not putting away their chances, he admitted he was embroiled in a fight for survival. “We’re in the bottom three and we’ve got a battle ahead,” he said. “But we’re creating chances, we just have to learn to grind out results.”

In fairness, Ipswich were good value for their point. As has happened so often this season, though, they were pummelled by a soft goal. Rory Fallon’s hopeful pull-back found Carl Fletcher, who shot low and left-footed from 20 yards. It was a nothing goal, but one that meant everything.

Plymouth, with former Portman Road cherub Paul Mariner as their new head coach, were making the telling passes and the surging runs, Ipswich looking short on ideas. And yet. Out of nowhere, Gary Sawyer left a routine back pass unacceptably short and Stead gleefully dribbled the ball around Romain Larrieu to equalise. Mysterious ways indeed.

Second from bottom and carrying his own almighty burden, Plymouth manager Paul Sturrock was vexed further by the late dismissal of Darcy Blake for a feisty lunge on Jon Walters. “I thought it was very soft,” he said. “We’re considering an appeal.”

Jonathan Liew (Telegraph.co.uk)

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