Stoke City 0 Ipswich Town 0

Last updated : 30 January 2007 By Footymad Previewer
The pre-match presentation of season-long loan capture Lee Hendrie drew Stoke's biggest ovation as Ipswich held on for a share of the spoils.

The midfielder, signing on for his second stint at the promotion-chasing club, must have wondered what he had let himself in for as City failed to kill off tame opposition.

Ricardo Fuller and Mamady Sidibe's wastefulness was in abundance as the bout fizzled out to leave the Potters hanging on to the coat-tails of the play-off hunting pack.

Ipswich's task of breaching the Britannia Fortress was dealt an early blow as the Town team-sheet bore the glaring absence of top-scorer Alan Lee.

But in Jon Walters, Jim Magilton seems to have found a suitable deputy for his 11-goal front-man as the debutant almost opened his account in the third minute.

The newly acquired forward managed to squirt the ball goalwards after tangling with Danny Higginbotham only for Steve Simonsen to scramble across his line to collect.

But after that initial flurry City's reputation as the Championship's meanest defence looked secure as the visitors seemed to surrender their early advantage.

Fuller turned Dan Harding into the turf before smashing a point-blank effort at the well-placed Lewis Price when really he should have seen a bulging net.

The Jamaica international smashed his second effort of the evening at the score-board operator when the same attention to accuracy as to power would have snatched a lead.

The industrious Darel Russell fired an effort wide before Fuller completed a trio misses with a glancing header at the near post from Liam Lawrence's corner.

Sidibe should have continued his purple patch in front of goal but nodded wide of a gaping net after Price had abandoned his station to flap at Lawrence's centre.

After watching Stoke waste a hatful of chances the visitors would have been forgiven for plotting a smash and grab raid - a plot which almost came to fruition.

Gary Roberts' drive into enemy territory produced a swirling deep centre which was met by Walters' head prompting Simonsen into cat-like action to turn the effort around his post.

But if anyone was going to reap a bounty it would have been the hosts but again a lack of composure kept the scoreline unchanged - Sidibe the most culpable party.

The Mali international somehow managed to find the further reaches of the home stand from close in after getting on the end of Lee Martin's good work.

Higginbotham's late attempts at an appearance on the scoresheet were somehow foiled by the fortuitously placed Sito - who cleared a goal-bound header off the line.