MICK NICKS POINT FROM OLD FRIENDS
Lawrence nets with game’s last kick
TOM Lawrence rescued the most dramatic of points for the Tractor Boys as he pounced with almost the last kick of the game.
Lawrence charged in to convert substitute Brett Pitman’s far-post cross as the visitors snatched a sixth straight Championship draw.
The stunning climax left Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy – back at the ground where he made almost 300 appearances as a player between 1977 and 1983 – admitting his side were fortunate, to say the least.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever stolen anything from here,” McCarthy quipped.
“I was at this club a long time, but I burgled a point.
“It is part of the game, you do have to keep on it right until the very end.
“We were poor admittedly, but the game has to go on until the referee blows that final whistle.
“Did we deserve a point? Did we hell, but I’m more than happy to take it.
“It’s a very good away point for us. Barnsley are a good side and we knew we’d been in for a difficult afternoon.
“The Barnsley lads will feel as though they’ve been robbed, but for us it’s a decent result.”
The Tykes shaded a rather dull opening half at Oakwell.
They created the clearer-cut chances, with Adam Armstrong seeing a crisp early shot well beaten away by Bartosz Bialkowski.
Armstrong again went close when he headed over inexplicably from just four yards after Matty James’ intended shot was heading wide.
At the other end, Adam Davies produced a superb double stop in the 18th minute, thwarting David McGoldrick and Cole Skuse.
The deadlock was broken just before the hour with a straight-forward strike from attacking midfielder Marley Watkins. He raced on to James’ precise through ball before slotting his eighth goal of an impressive campaign past a floored Bialkowski.
When McGoldrick flashed a strike high, wide and handsome with time running out, it was looking as though Ipswich’s game was up.
Adam Hammill then came close to doubling the Tykes’ lead.
However, up popped Lawrence right at the death to send the noisy travelling support into raptures.
Tykes boss Paul Heckingbot- tom remained positive despite the late loss of two potentially crucial points.
His side have largely impressed this season following promotion via the play-offs, but the Championship’s top six now appear to be out of reach thanks to yielding just two points from their last five games.
Heckingbottom said: “We didn’t get what we deserved, everybody will acknowledge that. But that’s just what can happen if you don’t kill teams off.
“We had enough chances throughout the 90 minutes. Ipswich have hung in there, though, and in the end they grabbed a goal at a bad time for us.
“I can’t criticise the performance of the team overall.
“We prepared as well as we could and in terms of what I expect from a performance, I think we delivered.
“We should have been out of sight by the time they scored in the 93rd minute.
“We can look back on that negatively, but we won’t.
“We’ll put in the hard work and go again next weekend.”
MARLEY AND ME: Midfielder Marley Watkins edges Barnsley in front
LEVELLER: Tom Lawrence nets