Norwich City 1 Ipswich Town 1
PUBLISHED: 13:59 26 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:01 26 February 2017
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Jacob Murphy's hammer strike beat inspired Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski to stretch Norwich City's unbeaten run in the East Anglian derby to eight games.
Jonas Knudsen had sneaked the other side of the young starlet to head Ipswich in front in the 63rd minute but Murphy levelled six minutes later.
Bialkowski produced a string of fine stops to earn Mick McCarthy’s men a point and frustrate the Canaries’ bid to close the gap on the promotion-chasing pack above them.
Alex Neil made three changes from the line up that lost 2-1 in the Championship at Burton. Key fit-again duo Ivo Pinto and Steven Naismith returned from injury with Steven Whittaker and Alex Pritchard dropping to the bench. Wes Hoolahan was also included from the start in his ninth East Anglian derby with deadline night signing Yanic Wildshut making way.
City worked a clever free kick in the fifth minute when Jacob Murphy picked out the unmarked Jonny Howson lurking at the far post but the midfielder’s second bite was deflected behind before Ipswich cleared the danger.
Cameron Jerome then screwed Mitchell Dijks’ low cross past Bartosz Bialkowski’s near post seven yards out.
Dijks was then embroiled in a strong Ipswich penalty shout when David McGoldrick appeared to be upended by the Dutchman in a meaty aerial challenge involving Russell Martin at a Town corner. Referee Langford, however, waved play on.
Dijks combined again with Jerome in the 15th with Dijks’ threaded ball setting Jerome free but Christophe Berra was across on the cover.
The marauding Dijks broke free again to whip in a vicious low cross Bialkowski brilliantly clawed over his bar after it reared up off Jonas Knudsen inside the Town six yard box.
Town enjoyed more parity in terms of possession, after the early surge, with McGoldrick prominent for the Blues, although John Ruddy remained well-protected. Hoolahan skied over from the edge of the Ipswich penalty area in the 33rd minute following a prolonged lull in the goalmouth action.
Bialkowski raced his line to deal with a long Norwich clearance but the back-tracking Berra headed past his on-rushing keeper only for Jerome to hook it wide from the byline.
Dijks’ celebrations three minutes after the interval were cut short when he guided Hoolahan’s corner in with his right arm after wrestling his way past Jordan Spence.
Bialkowski then produced an even better stop than his first-half effort to fling himself low to his right and push away Naismith’s goalbound headed flick.
Pinto’s superb burst from his own box brought a free kick when Freddie Sears hacked him down but the unmarked Jerome could only glance Hoolahan’s delivery at Bialkowski.
Town broke through in the 63rd minute when Knudsen ran off the back of Jacob Murphy to crash a close range header past Ruddy from Spence’s flighted cross.
Bialkowski kept his side in front when he parried Naismith’s angled strike but the inspired Town stopper was unable to keep out Jacob Murphy’s venomous low strike at his near post to draw Neil’s men level.
But the Town stopper was at it again in the 76th minute when he tipped over Alex Tettey’s thunderous smack from 16 yards.
Josh Murphy joined his brother on the pitch with Naismith making way before Pritchard replaced Hoolahan for the final push. Pritchard tested Bialkowski with a low strike pushed around his near post.
• Norwich: Ruddy, Pinto, Martin, Klose, Dijks, Tettey, Howson, Jacob Murphy, Hoolahan (Pritchard 78), Naismith (Josh Murphy 76), Jerome. Subs: (not used): McGovern (GK), Whittaker, Wildschut, Lafferty, Bennett.
• Goal: Jacob Murphy (69)
• Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers, Berra, Skuse, Spence, Ward, Huws (Diagouraga 81), Kenlock (Smith 56), McGoldrick, Sears (Moore 74). Subs (not used): Gerken (GK), Pitman, Bru, Emmanuel.
• Goal: Knudsen (63)
• Bookings: Sears (foul on Pinto, 59); Spence (foul on Josh Murphy, 87)
• Time added on: 1 minute / 5 minutes
• Referee: Oliver Langford (West Mids)
• Attendance: 27,107