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Sky Bet Championship

St. Mary's Stadium (ATT 14,916) 17th September 2008 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: P Crossley

So'ton Southampton vs Ipswich Town Ipswich

So'ton 2

ft

Pekhart saves Saints

On-loan Czech sub claims late equaliser

Last Updated: 17/09/08 10:34pm

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Pekhart: Claimed equaliser

Pekhart: Claimed equaliser

Southampton dragged themselves off the bottom of the Championship as Tomas Pekhart's equaliser gave them a 2-2 draw at home to Ipswich.

Andrew Surman claimed a 12th-minute opener for the hosts before Owen Garvan and Alan Quinn put Ipswich in front.

Pekhart came off the bench in the 53rd minute and the on-loan Tottenham forward struck his first goal for the club in the 68th minute to salvage a valuable point.

There were three changes for Saints following their 4-1 defeat to QPR, with veteran defender Chris Perry added to the backline and Stern John selected to partner David McGoldrick up front. Nathan Dyer was also recalled.

Norris and Pim Balkestein replaced Gareth McAuley and Pablo Counago for the visitors.

Surman tried his luck with less then three minutes on the clock, firing wide with a left-footed strike from long range.

Simon Gillett followed suit by missing the target from even further out after 11 minutes but just a minute later Surman found the target emphatically.

Opener

The 22-year-old drilled the ball past Ipswich goalkeeper Richard Wright from 25 yards to put his side in the lead and claim his first goal of the season.

That seemed to spur the Tractor Boys into action and they soon launched a sustained attack on the home goal.

Jon Stead had his shot charged down by Jack Cork, while Kelvin Davis was called into action to save twice from long-range hits by Alan Quinn.

Then, in the 20th minute, Davis could only parry Norris' left-footed shot, leaving Garvan to convert from six yards.

Saints continued to come under pressure, with Davis on the frontline as he looked to maintain parity.

In the 24th minute he was able to turn Stead's shot round the post for a corner but within seconds he was in action again, beating away Norris' header from six yards.

John had an opportunity to snatch the initiative for Jan Poortvliet's men but missed the target from close range when he met Gillett's corner.

Jonathan Walters began brightly when the second half got under way, taking aim with a hopeful shot just a minute after the restart, then forcing John into defensive duties with a teasing cross soon after.

Southampton had yet to get a foothold by the time they fell 2-1 down, full-back Moritz Volz breaking down the right and crossing for Quinn to nod beyond Davis.

Poortvliet reacted immediately, sending on Morgan Schneiderlin and Pekhart for Gillett and John.

The alterations had a galvanising effect on Southampton, with Schneiderlin popping up in the right place to deflect Balkestein's 12-yard strike away from goal.

Equaliser
But it was Czech forward Pekhart who stole the limelight, collecting the ball on the edge of the area and firing an angled shot beyond Wright to equalise.

Kevin Lisbie and Counago came on as Ipswich attempted to emulate their opponents' with a flash of inspiration from the bench.

Although Ipswich had chances to win it, with Counago one of a handful of their players to chance his arm with an opportunistic effort, the score remained unchanged.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

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