Stoke City 2 Ipswich Town 2

Last updated : 02 January 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Stoke ended a run of three defeats during a miserable Christmas with their first draw since the opening day of the season in a cracking contest at the Britannia Stadium.

Ipswich, forced into six changes because of injuries and a suspension, were brilliant in the opening 20 minutes, as they cut Stoke to ribbons with some vibrant attacking football.

Ian Westlake had already gone close at the end of a sweeping move before the visitors took the lead in the seventh minute.

Jim Magilton floated over a right wing corner and Jason De Vos rose superbly to bury a firm downward header from a charge.

Magilton and Darren Currie continued to outsmart their Stoke counterparts in midfield and it was no surprise when Fabian Wilnis added a second in the 18th minute.

Currie beat Marlon Broomes to cross from the left and Wilnis, whose first shot was brilliantly saved by Steve Simonsen made no mistake from the rebound.

That was the signal for Stoke to spark into life as Mamady Sidibe and Sambegou Bangoura began to cause problems for the Ipswich defence.

And it was Bangoura who benefited from a mistake by Aidan Collins before advancing towards goal and setting up Darel Russell for a far post tap-in.

Ipswich found a second wind after the interval and began the second half as they did the first, although with less potency.

Stoke struggled to regain their momentum before Bangoura, racing onto Paul Gallagher's pass, was denied by Shane Supple's reflexes in the 69th minute.

But Supple was at fault four minutes later when Dave Brammer swung over a left wing corner and Sidibe headed in from underneath the crossbar.

Stoke looked big favourites at that stage, but Ipswich came back again and it took a fine stop by Simonsen to deny Gavin Williams.

City did recover to go desperately close to a winner in the closing stages through Bangoura, but the visitors were well worth a share of the spoils.