Ipswich relegated after draw with Birmingham

Ipswich’s long reign in the Championship is over after their 1-1 draw with Birmingham meant an end to 17 consecutive seasons in the second tier.

Goals came just after the start of both halves with Lukas Jutkiewicz putting the visitors ahead in the seventh minute only for Gwion Edwards to reply in the 46th minute.

Relegation to League One – a level the club has not played at since 1957 – had long looked a matter of inevitability for a team that has won just four games all season.

Birmingham took the lead when full back Maxime Colin skipped past tackles from Myles Kenlock and Teddy Bishop to cross for Jutkiewicz to calmly slot home with his left foot from inside the six-yard box.

And the Blues striker was close to adding a second four minutes later when he just failed to get a toe to a cross from Che Adams following good build up by Jota.

Then a surging run forward by Ipswich full back Kenlock in the 16th minute saw him shoot just over the bar following neat interchange between Huddersfield loanee Collin Quaner.

Ipswich goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski went down to his right to parry a shot from Jota round the post a minute later and the Birmingham winger was close to adding a second with half an hour played when his shot was cleared by the under pressure Ipswich defence.

Town midfielder Alan Judge conceded a foul just outside the penalty area in the 37th minute but Jutkiewicz shot high and wide following the set piece with Kerim Mrabti.

But Judge’s free kick from a similar position two minutes later fared better as the City keeper Lee Camp palmed the ball over the bar.

Ipswich half-time substitute Kayden Jackson made an immediate impact when, just after the restart, his perfect left-wing cross found Edwards who fired home from just inside the six-yard box.

Then a fine run down the right by Josh Emmanuel in the 48th minute led to him crossing to the far post only for Judge to hit the post and the ball was scrambled clear for a corner as the home side started to exert pressure on their opponents.

Jutkiewicz’s diving header in the 78th minute following a corner just cleared Bialkowski’s bar then Camp produced a great save from Judge nine minutes later to keep the scores level.

And at the final whistle the Ipswich players sunk to the ground knowing their fate but the Town fans’ backing was not diminished as they sung out their support for the Tractor Boys.

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