Brett Pitman’s controversial penalty gave Ipswich Town a 1-1 home draw against Birmingham City as both sides missed the chance to steal a march on their Championship promotion rivals on Friday.
The home side could have gone second with a victory, while the visitors would have gone third if they had picked up all three points. Instead, they now sit fourth and sixth respectively before the rest of the league plays in the days ahead.
David Cotterill opened the scoring for Birmingham in the 22nd minute when he shot home after Andrew Shinnie had taken advantage of a mistake from defender Christophe Berra.
Ipswich replied 10 minutes later when Pittman converted from 12 yards after Jonathan Spector was adjudged to have fouled Ainsley Maitland-Niles as he collided with the on-loan Arsenal man after making a sliding block, much to the visitors’ frustration.
Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich looked the more likely to go on to win it after the break and Freddie Sears, who already has four goals to his name this season, had an effort blocked on the goal-line by Stephen Gleeson.
Substitute Daryl Murphy should have done better with a close-range free header inside the final 10 minutes as Birmingham held on for a share of the spoils.