After draws with Cambridge and Sheffield Wednesday, Kieran McKenna’s men headed to Memorial Stadium knowing three points were required but, in reality, never really looking capable of getting them.
Ipswich’s build-up game was slow and sometimes predictable against a Rovers side happy to protect their box and attack with a bite between their teeth when given the chance, allowing them to cause the Blues problems in several occasions.
Joey Barton’s side played heavily fouled through the Town ranks, on a night when Luke Woolfenden had to snag a ball off the line in the second half to keep the score level.
MORE: How Town’s goalless draw with Bristol Rovers played out
The point was not what was required, however, as Ipswich lost more ground in the top two.
Wins for Plymouth and Sheffield Wednesday leave them 10 and eight points ahead of Ipswich, who drop to fourth in the table after Bolton’s emphatic win over MK Dons.
The Forest Green cellar boys come to Portman Road on Saturday.
McKenna made four changes to the squad that started Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, with Janoi Donacien replacing Harry Clarke at right-back, while Sone Aluko, Marcus Harness and Freddie Ladapo came into the front row in place of Conor Chaplin, Nathan Broadhead. and George Hirst.
Wes Burns kept his place on the right, with Sam Morsy and Cameron Humphreys in midfield, while Woolfenden, Cameron Burgess and Leif Davis completed the defense in front of goalkeeper Christian Walton.
Town got their foot on the gas early, attacking down the left and earning a corner which ended with Davis sending a clever corner grind to Humphreys on the edge of the box, with the Town midfielder forcing a save from home goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe.
Another corner proved to be the source of chance two, which ended with Burgess nodding to Balcombe’s arms following a deep ball from Davis, before the Blues’ quick start faded and the hosts began to apply their own pressure.
With Walton lying on the ground inside his box and appealing a foul, Jarell Quansah nodded over the bar before play settled into a pattern with both teams looking to get the ball into each other’s box, without causing the damage. necessary.
Another Town corner saw Burgess reach a Davis delivery first and turn wide, before a clever ball into the Woolfenden danger ended with Humphreys heading wide as he found it on the run.
Ipswich hearts were in the mouth as Collins slipped behind the Ipswich defence, but luckily he was only able to deliver a tame shot which Walton held off with ease, before the Gas shooter found himself in space inside the Town box. again, where he lifted up James Gibbons. ‘ cross over.
Town returned for the second half unchanged and soon created a chance for Ladapo, who fired over a Harness drop, before the latter headed a chance of his own over the bar when he found a Davis cross.
Walton was required to push in a wide Collins shot, before McKenna turned to his bench to replace Aluko and Burns with Nathan Broadhead and Kyle Edwards.
However, Rovers kept pressing, with Scott Sinclair forcing a save from Walton after breaking through the middle, before the Town keeper got away with spilling a ball inside the box and was lucky enough to spot Woolfenden. nearly hooked him before he crossed. the line.
McKenna rolled the dice three more times with a triple change, introducing Harry Clarke, George Hirst and Conor Chaplin in place of Davis, Ladapo and Harness, and Ipswich’s changes did not make the instant impact his manager would have hoped for.
The Blues created chances, with Broadhead, Clarke and Hirst blocking their efforts at the near post, but the winner never came as Ipswich headed in an unsatisfactory point.
Bristol Rovers: Balcombe, Connolly, Gordon, Quansah, Sinclair, Ward, Collins, Anderson (Hoole, 76), Evans, Bogarde (Coburn, 76), Gibbons
Substitutes: Jaakkola, McCormick, Marquis, Lawrence, MacDonald
Ipswich Town: Walton; Donacien, Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis (Clarke, 75); Morsy, Humphreys; Burns (Edwards, 58), Aluko (Broadhead, 58), Harness (Chaplin, 75); Ladapo (Hirst, 75)
substitutes: Hladky, Jackson