Simon Grayson on Blackpool's draw with Ipswich Town, the two penalties and Joe Nuttall's first league goal

Simon Grayson felt his Blackpool side were fully deserving of their point in today's 2-2 draw against high-flying Ipswich Town.

Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 5:52 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 5:53 pm
Simon Grayson applauds the Blackpool fans at the final whistle

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The Gazette's match report from Blackpool's 2-2 draw with high-flying Ipswich To...

The Seasiders extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven games with a spirited display at a ground where they've never won and against a side that currently sit in second place in League One.

Gwion Edwards gave Ipswich the perfect start when he opened the scoring after just eight minutes, but Pool deservedly got back on level terms thanks to Joe Nuttall's opportunistic strike - with what was his first league goal for the club.

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Pool's second-half lead, courtesy of Jay Spearing's penalty, didn't last long as Ipswich levelled the game up for a second time thanks to Luke Garbutt's spot kick.

Grayson's men had to hold on at times to see out the result, yet still had chances on the break to snatch all three points.

“You come here against a side that were in the top two at the start of the game and have a good record of not being beaten too often," Grayson said.

“We gave a good account of ourselves and it was a good game to watch for the neutral.

“We got in front in the second half but we’ll certainly take a point away from home at a difficult place to go with a good team with good players.

“We talked and I did a presentation just before we left the hotel and I told the players Ipswich start games very quickly - I think they’ve scored seven or eight goals in the first 15 minutes.

“We had to be alert to things and withstand the pressure but we didn’t deal with the ball that came in from the cross and the lad had a simple tap-in.

“But I thought we responded well, got the ball down and passed it which was tricky because the crowd here really get behind their team.

“We got a foothold back in the game and it was nice for Joe to get his first league goal.

“It was a quick counter-attack and we knew there would be space for us to break quickly because they throw bodies forward.

“When we got into those positions we had to make sure we were clinical and ruthless and it was great play from James Husband, who broke quickly with the rest of the team, and Joe got a good header which was blocked and it was a good reaction for him to follow it in.

“The equaliser was what we deserved because we had got back on top at that period in time."

The second half was a case of two penalties, one for either side.

Pool edged their noses in front after 53 minutes when Jay Spearing dispatched his spot kick after Sullay Kaikai had been tripped by Luke Chambers.

The lead lasted just five minutes though, with Luke Garbutt equalising with a penalty of his own after Joe Nuttall had harshly been adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

“I thought ours was, their penalty wasn’t - slightly biased I suppose," Grayson said with a wry smile.

“I spoke to Sullay and he said he got clipped, he’s gone down and Jay has stuck it away.

“Their penalty is certainly more debatable because it’s a ball that is coming out of the sky, Joe has gone to head it and as it’s come down, he’s facing the other way and it hits him on the hand.

“It wasn’t as if it was hand to ball, it was ball to hand. Would VAR have given it at this level? Who knows, probably not!

“It was disappointing to concede that but again, the reaction was good because they had the momentum and the crowd was behind them and we showed good characteristics to see the game out.

“We still had a threat going forwards and we had some opportunities late on, so it was certainly a point well deserved and I’m sure they will say that as well.”