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Rock-bottom Ipswich battle back to hold promotion hopefuls West Brom

Ipswich dented West Brom’s promotion bid as Jon Nolan’s second-half equaliser earned the Sky Bet Championship’s bottom side a 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns.

Ipswich had been staring down the barrel of defeat after on-loan Fulham midfielder Stefan Johansen had given Albion a fourth-minute lead with a deflected free-kick.

But Nolan headed home a 48th-minute leveller to deal a fresh blow to Albion’s automatic promotion hopes as their problems in front of their own fans continued.

Albion have not won at home in the league since Boxing Day and have now only collected one victory in their last nine Championship matches in front of their own fans.

The point for Ipswich made it four 1-1 draws from their last five games and they look to be headed for almost certain relegation.

Albion made a flying start to the clash, albeit in somewhat fortuitous circumstances.

Ipswich defender Myles Kenlock put Town in trouble with a misplaced header that let Albion striker Dwight Gayle head towards goal.

Gayle was upended on the edge of the area by Jonas Knudsen and from the resulting free-kick, Johansen’s shot struck Knudsen before flying into the bottom of the net with goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski left flat-footed.

It would have been easy for struggling Ipswich to fold after that early setback, but they quickly regrouped and had two chances to equalise before 10 minutes had passed with Gwion Edwards having a shot blocked and skipper Luke Chambers firing over the bar.

Bialkowski produced a stunning one-handed save to tip away a low drive from Jacob Murphy in the 21st minute before Ipswich suffered further frustration in front of goal.

First Chambers stabbed wide from a corner and then striker Collin Quaner was picked out in the area by Nolan only to see his fierce shot beaten out by goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

Bialkowski then ensured the visitors stayed in the match with two more stunning saves three minutes before half-time.

He denied Murphy by tipping his shot behind for a corner and from the resulting cross he kept out a header from Tosin Adarabioyo.

Ipswich made the most of those heroics from Bialkowski at the start of the second-half when they drew level.

Alan Judge fed the ball back to James Bree and his floated cross was met by Nolan whose header from 14 yards dropped just inside Johnstone’s near post.

Bialkowski continued to keep Albion at bay with a one-handed close-range save from Gayle in the 65th minute before a rapid Ipswich break 60 seconds later saw Johnstone block a shot from substitute Kayden Jackson.

Jackson saw another effort saved by Johnstone after 79 minutes as Ipswich pressed for a shock win, but the points were shared in the end.

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