Giovani salvages point
Late penalty denies Robins victory
Last Updated: 13/04/09 5:45pm
Giovani: Late penalty
A stoppage-time penalty from Giovani Dos Santos rescued a point for Ipswich Town at Ashton Gate.
Hosts Bristol City took the lead shortly after half-time when Marvin Elliot slotted home from close range but they were pegged back at the death as Ivan Campo was felled in the area and Giovani converted.
Robins boss Gary Johnson had to contend with a defensive injury crisis as Jamie McAllister, Liam Fontaine and Louis Carey were all ruled out.
And their cause was not helped when goalkeeper Adriano Basso was forced to withdraw from the action after just six minutes with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.
The Brazilian landed awkwardly following a routine catch, meaning Johnson had to give back-up keeper Stephen Henderson his first appearance of the season.
The opening period was played at a slow pace with little goalmouth action to excite the home crowd.
City striker Nicky Maynard's effort from 12 yards was the closest either side came to opening the scoring in the first 25 minutes.
The visitors rarely displayed any attacking impetus but midfielders David Norris and Jonathan Walters did try their luck from distance, although their efforts failed to trouble Henderson.
It took until the 35th before Richard Wright was really tested when Robins midfielder Johnson turned his man before unleashing a drive from long-range that the former England goalkeeper tipped over the bar.
Within three minutes of the re-start, the home side snatched the lead and injected some life into what had been a drab encounter.
Michael McIndoe picked up the ball on the left and threaded an incisive through-ball to Elliott who planted a shot into the bottom right-hand corner from six yards out.
The home side gathered momentum and almost doubled their advantage in the 55th minute when former Crewe striker Maynard lashed in a shot, forcing Wright to claw the ball away at his near post.
Maynard went close again shortly afterwards as he span before unleashing a ferocious drive which had Wright scrambling to tip the ball over.
Ipswich boss Jim Magilton introduced on-loan Tottenham player Giovani in a bid to add an attacking dimension to his side's lacklustre performance.
The switch almost paid off immediately dividends but a fantastic back-pedalling save from Henderson denied the Mexican's thunderous 20-yard drive.
Giovani's introduction seemed to inspire his team-mates too as midfielder Norris scorched a shot from distance which once substitute keeper Henderson did brilliantly to turn wide.
Just as it seemed the home side had resisted the late surge of pressure, former Real Madrid and Bolton midfielder Campo was clipped by Peter Styvar in the area and referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot.
Giovani stepped up to slot home from the 12 yards, earning his side a share of the spoils and also end any faint play-off ambitions the Robins still harboured.
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