Barnsley’s teenage striker Danny Rose salvaged a point for his side with a late header in a 1-1 draw at Portman Road to deny Ipswich their first win of the year.
Rose, 19, a late substitute for Jacob Mellis, had only been on the pitch for four minutes when he headed home defender Tom Kennedy’s pinpoint cross for the first league goal of his career to cancel out Luke Chambers’ opener early in the second half.
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy must have thought his side were set for their third league win in seven, but they did not deserve to be in front against his hometown club as Barnsley squandered a hatful of chances, striker Marlon Harewood in particular, in David Flitcroft’s first game as permanent manager.
Ipswich were unchanged from the side that drew 0-0 at leaders Cardiff last week, while defender Stephen Foster and midfielder Mellis returned for Barnsley.
The Portman Road pitch passed an early morning inspection by referee Nigel Miller and was in good condition as the home side made a lively start.
Carlos Edwards forced Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele into a flying save with a 25-yard shot in the second minute and Ipswich midfielder Guirane N’Daw headed Lee Martin’s corner over the crossbar.
The visitors were dealt a blow in the 12th minute when midfielder Stephen Dawson landed awkwardly under Luke Hyam’s challenge and received lengthy treatment before being carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Kelvin Etuhu.
But the setback appeared to galvanise Barnsley. Foster headed Mellis’ corner over and Chris Dagnall twice went close, his angled shot blocked by Ipswich defender Chambers and then home goalkeeper Scott Loach parrying a goalbound effort.
Ipswich striker David McGoldrick’s 25-yard shot was blocked, but Mellis, from similar distance, and Harewood went close again - the latter dragging his shot wide when well placed on the left edge of the area.
Chambers’ brilliant tackle denied Dagnall a shot on goal when sent clear by Mellis’ superb through-ball as Barnsley continued to create chances.
The best of those fell again to Harewood in time added on at the end of the first half when he fired against the foot of the post after being played in by Mellis.
Ipswich took the lead against the run of play in the 56th minute. Defender Aaron Cresswell swung the ball into the area and when Barnsley failed to clear the danger, Chambers - who had blazed a similar chance over the crossbar in the first half - lashed the bouncing ball into the bottom corner.
Chances at either end dried up as temperatures began to drop before McGoldrick’s 25-yard effort drifted wide in the 66th minute.
Harewood wasted another chance when free inside the area 12 yards from goal soon after, pulling his low shot off target and Etuhu lofted a 30-yard shot over the crossbar.
Dagnall was next to pass up the opportunity of an equaliser for the visitors as he headed Tom Kennedy’s cross wide from six yards and Harewood fired off target again after the ball had ricocheted to him inside the box.
But with the clock ticking down, substitute Rose climbed highest at the far post to head home the visitors’ 89th-minute equaliser.
New Barnsley boss Flitcroft admitted it would have been “catastrophic” had they not snatched a late leveller at Ipswich.
Flitcroft, taking charge for the first time since being appointed full-time, said: “It was a hard-earned point. We can’t afford to do anything other than go all-out for victories.
“We’ve got to win games and gain momentum, by picking up three points.
“It would have been catastrophic if we’d come away with no points. We’re going to attack teams and put them under pressure.
“We’re going to fight them. These players want to do that - that’s what we’ve all signed up for.”
Flitcroft, who was assistant boss and took over as caretaker manager when Keith Hill was sacked just after Christmas, said he enjoyed being in the dug-out.
“I’m very flexible and adaptable and I’ll listen and learn to do anything to get better at this job,” he said.
“I enjoy it and I’m not going to fear the challenge, because I’ve got a group of players who are willing to fight for me, to fight for each other and fight for the football club.”