Paul Gallagher came off the bench to score and then go in goal as ten-man North End made it six games unbeaten with a battling point at Portman Road.
One of the home side’s only two shots on goal gave them the lead on the stroke of half-time when Freddie Sears converted a controversial penalty, but Gally scored from a direct free kick with his first touch of the ball.
Chris Maxwell was then sent off, leaving the goalscorer to go in goal, making one fine save in a game where – even with one man down – the yellow had the better chance to win the game.
Manager Alex Neil made two changes, one of them enforced, with Andrew Hughes injured, Josh Earl returning to the starting line-up for the first time since the trip to Elland Road in September, whilst Sean Maguire started in attack, with Lukas Nmecha on the bench.
After a slow start to the game, on the quarter-hour mark, a quick throw in from the returning Earl down the left freed Callum Robinson to cut inside to the left corner of the box, before curling a right-footed shot that forced Bartosz Bialkowski in the home goal to dive at full-stretch to push the ball away, with Jonas Knudsen completing the clearance.
A Daniel Johnson corner in the 25th minute was met at the near post by Earl, whose effort took a deflection putting it into the path of skipper Tom Clarke, who seemed to be held down as he tried to attack the ball, but referee Andy Woolmer saw nothing wrong.
But with 90 seconds left in the first half, there was a controversial moment when Maxwell was adjudged to have brought down Jordan Roberts in the right-hand corner of the penalty area, with Woolmer pointing to the spot, Sears firing hard and low into the bottom left hand corner of the goal to give the Blues the lead with their first effort on target!
Just after the hour mark and North End made a change with Louis Moult on for Daniel Johnson, with Sean Maguire dropping into the No.10 role behind the substitute. This was followed with 20 minutes to go by Lukas Nmecha and Gallagher replacing Barkhuizen and Browne.
And Gallagher’s first involvement was a free kick right in the centre of the ‘D’ after Maguire had been fouled and he did superbly, curling it beautifully under the wall and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal to level matters on 73 minutes.
But two minutes later Maxwell was adjudged to have fouled Kayden Jackson, who had just come on, on the left touchline and was sent off.
This meant that an outfield player would have to go in goal, with all the changes already made and goalscorer Gallagher took the responsibility, putting on the shirt and the gloves.
And Gally made a stunning stop with 90 seconds to go, keeping out Sears’ effort on the volley, pushing it away and a free kick following for offside.
Seven minutes of stoppage time was added, but it was North End who almost took the points, Earl and Clarke going close as they pushed looking to win it, even with a man light, but they took a point and made it six games unbeaten.
Ipswich Town line-up: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers (c), Pennington, Chalobah, Edwards (Rowe, 77), Skuse, Spence, Roberts (Jackson, 74), Sears, Downes (Dozzell, 84). Subs not used: Gerken, Donacien, Edun, Lankester.
PNE line-up: Maxwell, Clarke (c), Earl, Pearson, Huntington, Davies, Barkhuizen (Nmecha, 71), Johnson (Moult, 61), Maguire, Browne (Gallagher, 71), Robinson. Subs not used: Rudd, Fisher, Storey, Barker.
Attendance: 15,129 (404 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr A Woolmer
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