Kirk puts Crewe in front but substitute Aaron Drinnan comes off the bench to equalise.
Crewe Alexandra were held to their fifth draw in the last seven games as Ipswich Town fought back from 1-0 down to claim a share of the spoils at the Alexandra Stadium.
Crewe had taken the lead in the second half through a finely taken finish from Charlie Kirk after a strong burst from midfield by Ryan Wintle.
Ipswich equalised on 75 minutes with their substitute, Aaron Drinnan, scoring with only his second touch. He capitalised on a defensive mistake by Olly Lancashire to force the ball home. The Alex defender, who had impressed throughout had managed to intercept a cross from Alan Judge and then didn’t deal with the clearance close to the post and Drinnan’s challenge forced it home.
Crewe will be disappointed not to have gone on and won the game after Ipswich were reduced to ten-men with 10 minutes to go with another of the Town subs Teddy Bishop seeing red for two bookable offences.
Following the mid-week defeat to Gillingham, David Artell, made five changes to his starting line-up for the visit of Ipswich Town.
Harry Pickering returned from his back spasm to return as captain with young Rio Adebisi displaced. Billy Jones returned as right-back in place of Tuesday’s goalscorer, Chris Porter, dropping down to the bench. The on-loan, Stephen Walker, started in place of Owen Dale after making an impression as a substitute against AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham. Daniel Powell also returned to take his place in the squad of 18.
Luke Murphy also earned a recall in the Alex midfield in place of Tom Lowery as the Alex boss looked to freshen things up.
Loanee Antony Evans was named on the substitutes’ bench following his cameo against Gillingham in mid-week.
With a blustery wind in their favour, Ipswich made the brighter start to the game and tried to hit the front as quickly as possible and make us turn. The Tractor Boys certainly enjoyed the early pressure and Dave Richards was called upon to punch two testing crosses out of the box. Omar Beckles was also in the right place as well to hook a dangerous looking cross from Myles Kenlock.
Ipswich Town’s first real attempt on the Crewe goal came after a smart turn and turn from Gwion Edwards, forcing Richards to push it out.
Crewe’s first move of real quality came after 20 minutes. The likes of Pickering, Finney and Kirk combined down the left hand and after Kirk had found Mandron on the edge of the six-yard box, after a spin, his shot was blocked for a corner. The set-piece came to nothing with Tomas Holy’s collecting with ease.
The Alex grew into the half and despite being against the wind, Pickering twice had low crossed blocked instead the Ipswich six yard box and after good work from Walker, Billy Jones’ cross was cut out by Mark McGuinness for another Alex corner.
Kirk did have the ball in the net but it was rightly chalked off for offside after a shot from distance by Murphy deflected into his path. It actually hit Mandron to place him offside.
The first half ended with a flurry of bookings. Kenlock and Sears for the visitors and Beckles for the Alex for a trip on Sears.
Early in the second half, Freddie Sears, was denied a free shot at goal by the immaculate Beckles before Luke Murphy having a shot blocked.
Crewe made a change on 52 minutes with Walker replaced by Owen Dale. Seven minutes later, the Alex took the lead after a strong break from midfield by Wintle. The referee allowed a good advantage and slipped Kirk in and without breaking his stride, he guided his shot beyond Holy.
That quickly prompted Paul Lambert into a double change with Bishop and Norwood introduced.
Kirk needed a period of treatment but was able to continue before Ipswich so nearly drew level on 68 minutes. Norwood looked destined to score with one of his first touches at the far post, but Beckles made a superb clearance to prevent a certain goal. It was a fantastic piece of defending but there had been an offside in the build up.
Kirk was booked before Aaron Drinnan came on to change the game with his second touch. He forced the ball home past Richards to draw the game level and with 15 minutes left, it was anyone’s for the taking.
Perhaps the game should have taken advantage of the extra man when Bishop was booked for a second time after fouling Murphy as he threatened to get away.
Ipswich had to see the rest of the game out with ten men and to their credit, they defended their box well. Artell introduced Ant Evans and Powell to offer some fresh legs but our final ball and decision making was lacking in the final third.
Before making way, Finney fired over and Billy Jones headed over the bar after he had lifted the ball back into the box. They were the only genuine chances for us to snatch all three points with a draw a fair reflection.