Ipswich held by QPR as promotion gap cut again29 December 2023
Promotion-chasing Ipswich lost the chance to pull away from the pack in the Championship as they were held to a 0-0 draw by struggling QPR.
The match saw both sides have a number of chances to win it, with the visitors coming closest when Steve Cook's header hit the post and ran across the goal line.
The result saw Ipswich fall eight points behind leaders Leicester, with the gap to third-placed Southampton just three points, while QPR stayed in the drop zone.
Sinclair Armstrong made his presence felt in the second minute when he muscled his way past Luke Woolfenden but Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky parried the shot behind for a corner.
Three minutes later, Freddie Ladapo had only Asmir Begovic to beat when Conor Chaplin played him in but he delayed his shot which was cleared by the Rangers' defence.
Begovic came to the visitors' rescue when he deflected the ball over the bar with his legs from another Ladapo effort, while Ilias Chair and Armstrong combined down the left with the latter's shot coming off Hladky for a QPR corner.
Ipswich had a narrow escape in the 31st minute when Cook's header struck the base of the post following a QPR corner and rolled across the goal line, with a combination of Hladky and Cameron Burgess clearing the ball away.
At the other end, Begovic tipped a shot from Omari Hutchinson over the bar and an inswinging corner by the Chelsea loanee that was creeping inside the near post was headed behind by Reggie Cannon.
Ladapo had the QPR shot-stopper stretching across his goal line following a cross from Cameron Humphreys which the Ipswich striker headed narrowly wide, and a slick exchange of passes between Marcus Harness and Humphreys resulted in the midfielder's shot being blocked by Begovic.
Paul Smyth came close to giving the Hoops the lead when he almost beat Hladky to the ball and referee David Webb turned away penalty appeals for QPR when Smyth went down in the box following a challenge from Woolfenden.
The match was held up at half time after a medical emergency in the crowd.
Ipswich's Kieran McKenna:
"I didn't think it was a very good match or general performance or general atmosphere.
"It was a really difficult build up to the match right up to the two minutes before kick off when Nathan Broadhead is vomiting in the dressing room and there's a few players with the vomiting bug and probably a couple more to come.
"So difficult build up, it wasn't a great game and of course there's a lot of factors behind that. It's the third game in six days after a massive effort, the players are humans.
"I thought that the effort levels, especially in the second half, were excellent and we tried really, really hard and had some chances to win the game.
"Didn't give up any chances in open play, gave nothing away, had a couple of chances to win it but didn't do quite enough in the performance to win the game."
QPR's Marti Cifuentes:
"It was a good answer from my guys after a disappointing performance on Boxing Day against a very good side.
"I like Ipswich the most in the league, the way that they play they have been really, really strong so far this season, especially playing at home: scoring a lot of goals creating a lot of goals, creating a lot of chances and I think today we did a good job.
"Sometimes football is a little bit more than just the tactics and the training - the togetherness and the capacity to build as a team some kind of identity and I think that today we did that.
"I think that the answer from the guys in the terms of how committed they were against a very good team was excellent and I have a feeling that we competed at a very good level during the whole game and we had some marginal situations.
"We hit the post with the most clear chance of the game, probably."
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This news item was provided by the SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/ipswich-town-vs-queens-park-rangers/report/484995