DEBUTANT Kenwyne Jones scored a late equaliser to rescue a draw for Bournemouth at Portman Road and deny fellow promotion chasers Ipswich victory.
The substitute – on loan from Cardiff – headed home Matt Ritchie’s corner with seven minutes to go to earn the Cherries a point which keeps them second in the Championship despite Watford’s draw at Derby later in the evening.
Freddie Sears had swept home top scorer Daryl Murphy’s deflected cross to give the Tractor Boys a sixth-minute lead.
Bournemouth dominated for long periods but squandered several opportunities with Ryan Fraser and Harry Arter denied in the first half by Ipswich goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski, who also kept out substitute Yann Kermorgant in stoppage time.
Ipswich – who had given their play-off hopes a boost with back-to-back wins over Bolton and Watford before the international break – move into the top six only on goal difference after letting their slender lead slip as their automatic promotion aspirations were dealt a blow.
Eddie Howe’s Cherries, who were deposed at the top by Middlesbrough earlier in the day, undoubtedly deserved a share of the spoils as they avoided a first defeat in seven league outings and kept alive their chances of a top-two finish.
Tractor Boys boss Mick McCarthy had demanded a fast start from his team and was granted his wish as Sears netted his fifth goal since joining on loan from Colchester on his 200th career appearance.
Bournemouth were largely frustrated by Ipswich’s high-tempo pressing yet spurned numerous openings as Fraser, Brett Pitman, Arter, top scorer Callum Wilson and Andrew Surman all came close in the opening 45 minutes.
The Cherries lacked the same cutting edge after the break which encouraged Ipswich to push forward as Luke Varney was denied by the alert Artur Boruc following slack defending by Tommy Elphick.
But they earned a share of the spoils in Suffolk when Jones made an instant impact within three minutes of coming on and Kermorgant was thwarted at the death, however, the Dorset visitors have won just one of their last five on the road.
Substitutes: Chaplow (on for Bishop 57′), Wood (on for Sears 79′), Clarke (on for Varney 90′).
Not used: Gerken (GK), Williams, Anderson, McGoldrick.
Booked: Chambers (23′)
Goals: Sears (6′)
Substitutes: Kermorgant (on for Pitman 65′), Smith (on for Fraser 78′), Jones (on for Cook 79′).
Not used: Camp (GK), Ward, Gosling, MacDonald.
Booked: Arter (38′)
Goals: Jones (83′)
Referee: Bobby Madley (West Yorkshire) – 8/10
All pictures courtesy of Sky Sports footage