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04/01/2015: Saints 1-1 Ipswich

Saints were held to a 1-1 draw with Ipswich at St Marys. Ronald Koeman's men spent most of the game on the front-foot, but struggled to break down a well drilled opponent. The two sides will meet again on 14th January in a replay at Portman Road.

Saints looked a bit lethargic during the opening 30 minutes. Ipswich sat back and defended deep for the most part, but occasionally looked sharp on the break. Victor Wanyama had the first major effort, shooting just wide on 13. Stephen Hunt then had an opportunity at the other end. Ipswich took a deserved lead on 19. The impressive Tyrone Mings crossed for Darren Ambrose, who looped his header over Fraser Forster.

Saints were slightly slow to respond, and were struggling for fluency in the final third. Graziano Pelle did go close with a back-heel on 24. Saints did improve slightly during the last quarter of the first half, and were rewarded with an equalising goal on 33. Pelle flicked a long forward ball into the penalty area towards Morgan Schneiderlin. The Frenchman hooked the ball over Christophe Berra and keeper Dean Gerken for 1-1. Saints remained in the ascendency until half-time. Steven Davis and Pelle had efforts blocked. Ryan Bertrand missed with a low drive. Ipswich had one final opportunity just before the break with Luke Hyam hitting a powerful effort wide.

Ipswich spent the entire second-half defending, barely breaking out of their own half. Saints had all the possession, but struggled to find a way through a penalty area packed full of Ipswich players. Shane Long and Ryan Bertrand both had good penalty shouts turned down. Pelle had a shot saved, but as the minutes ticked away the chances started to dry up. Substitute Lloyd Isgrove did brighten things up slightly. Ipswich were well organised and worked hard throughout. Saints showed a bit more urgency towards the end of the game, but never really looked like getting a second goal.

A fairly forgettable performance. It's never easy to play against a team who defend in numbers. For all the possession, the final ball was mostly poor from Saints. Ipswich looked tidy in spells going forward, but completely reined it in after the break. The draw means a replay, and an unwanted mid-week fixture. Three away trips in different parts of the country obviously doesn't make for ideal preparation.

Player Ratings

Forster: 6. Didn't have a lot to do

Ward-Prowse: 6. Never really at ease playing at right-back

Fonte: 6. One mistake in the first half, but generally looked comfortable. Broke forward quite often

Gardos: 6. A few well timed challenges. Fairly decent

Bertrand: 6. Made some good forward runs down the left flank

Wanyama: 7. A bit sloppy early on, but strong in other periods

Schneiderlin: 7. Not quite at his best, but did some things really well and got the all-important goal

Davis: 6. Quick feet in the middle of the park started off a few attacks

Tadic: 5. A couple of decent bits of play, but fairly quiet on the whole

Long: 5. Won a few lost causes with his positive running, but mostly disappointing in and around goal

Pelle: 6. Involved in a few goal-scoring opportunities, but a bit disappointing overall

Substitutes

Isgrove: 6. Made a bit of a difference with his positive direct running

Match Details

Saints - Schneiderlin (33)

Ipswich - Ambrose (19)

Attendance - 31,201 (5,536 Ipswich fans)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Line-ups

Saints: Forster, Ward-Prowse, Fonte, Gardos, Bertrand, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Davis, Tadic (Isgrove 65), Long, Pelle

Subs not used: K Davis, Targett, McCarthy, Alderweireld, Seager

Ipswich: Gerken, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Mings, Hyam, Bru (Sammon 86), Ambrose (Skuse 69), Hunt (Stewart 62), McGoldrick, Murphy

Subs not used: Bialkowski, Parr, Bajner, Clarke

Previous Match Reports

01/01/2015: Saints 2-0 Arsenal
28/12/2014: Saints 1-1 Chelsea
26/12/2014: Crystal Palace 1-3 Saints
20/12/2014: Saints 3-0 Everton
16/12/2014: Sheffield United 1-0 Saints
13/12/2014: Burnley 1-0 Saints
09/12/2014: Saints U18s 2-1 West Ham
08/12/2014: Saints 1-2 Man United
03/12/2014: Arsenal 1-0 Saints
01/12/2014: Saints U21s 1-0 Man United U21s
30/11/2014: Saints 0-3 Man City
24/11/2014: Aston Villa 1-1 Saints
08/11/2014: Saints 2-0 Leicester
01/11/2014: Hull 0-1 Saints
29/10/2014: Stoke 2-3 Saints
25/10/2014: Saints 1-0 Stoke
18/10/2014: Saints 8-0 Sunderland
05/10/2014: Tottenham 1-0 Saints
29/09/2014: Saints U21s 2-0 Norwich U21s
27/09/2014: Saints 2-1 QPR
23/09/2014: Arsenal 1-2 Saints
20/09/2014: Swansea 0-1 Saints
13/09/2014: Saints 4-0 Newcastle
12/09/2014: Tottenham U21s 3-2 Saints U21s
30/08/2014: West Ham 1-3 Saints
26/08/2014: Millwall 0-2 Saints
23/08/2014: Saints 0-0 West Brom
22/08/2014: West Ham U21s 1-2 Saints U21s
17/08/2014: Liverpool 2-1 Saints
09/08/2014: Saints 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
31/07/2014: Brighton 1-3 Saints
25/07/2014: Bournemouth 0-1 Saints
21/07/2014: Swindon 0-1 Saints