Ipswich manager Paul Lambert was left to bemoan “one lapse” that cost his side what would have been a crucial three points at fellow Championship strugglers Wigan.
Despite playing for 65 minutes with 10 men following the sending-off of Jonas Knudsen for a foul on Leon Clarke, Town took the lead just after the half-hour mark from the penalty spot.
Colin Quaner was felled in the box by Chey Dunkley, and Will Keane – a former Wigan loanee – beat Jamie Jones from 12 yards.
But as the game entered into six minutes of stoppage-time, substitute Joe Garner popped up to convert Reece James’ excellent delivery, to deny the side he left to join Wigan last summer.
“I thought we played very well with 10 men. I thought we were excellent,” Lambsert said.
“We started the game brightly, we could have been a goal or two up. Then comes the red card and the goal, and we regroup at half-time.
“We defended really strongly in the second half, and one lapse at the end costs us.
“We should have done better, we should have stopped the cross, but we’ll learn.”
The result leaves Ipswich nine points adrift of safety with only 12 games remaining, but Lambert says it is still all to play for.
When asked whether it was now ‘mission impossible’, he replied: “No, not at all.”
He also backed referee lee Probert’s decision to dismiss Knudsen for pulling back Leon Clarke, who was through on goal.
“I think the referee had a good game,” Lambert added. “If he’s the last man, the rules say he has to go. I don’t really have too many complaints.
“He’s obviously pulled the guy, and if that’s a red card, he has to go. It should never happened because we were so comfortable in the game.
“He got caught under the ball, tried to retrieve it, and has to tug the striker.”
For Wigan boss Paul Cook, it was certainly a case of one point gained rather than two lost.
“You’d have to say it’s a feeling of relief, from the situation we found ourselves in,” Cook said.
“I thought Ipswich started the game well, they came with quite an attacking intent.
“The sending-off has a large bearing on the game, and you think the likelihood is we should go on and win it.
“Ipswich then get a goal pretty quickly, and it’s set up then where they defend very deep and narrow – and rightly so.
“They frustrated us for long periods, and I didn’t feel we really looked like scoring, to be truthful.
“At the end of the day it’s a point, it’s not what we wanted, but the relief at the end was there for all to see.
“It would have been lovely for us to have pinched a winner at the death, which we wouldn’t have deserved, but sometimes when things go for you, they go for you. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”
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