Ipswich 1 Blackburn Rovers 1


Ben Marshall’s stoppage-time free-kick rescued a point for 10-man Blackburn and denied in-form Ipswich.

Marshall perfectly placed a curling effort to cancel out a similarly brilliant dead-ball finish from Ipswich’s David McGoldrick.

That goal came after a foul on Conor Sammon, for which Matthew Kilgallon was shown a second yellow card.

Ipswich remain unbeaten in eight games and stay sixth in the Championship, while Blackburn slip to 13th.

However, Mick McCarthy’s men may feel they have wasted the chance to end a run of what is now three successive draws, both through their profligacy in front of goal and the inability to hold off the 10 men of Rovers.

McGoldrick had two chances to make the points safe, only for a volley to smack against the post and a breakaway to be denied by visiting goalkeeper Jason Steele.

Prior to that, Ipswich’s Stephen Hunt had a header cleared off the line by Shane Duffy as Blackburn reeled from the double blow of going behind and losing Kilgallon.

The former Sheffield United man was fortunate to only be cautioned in a first clash with Sammon, then received a red card for a second.

Ben Marshall
Ben Marshall

With 11 men on the pitch in the first half, Blackburn had enjoyed the better of the chances, with Jordan Rhodes, Rudy Gestede and Lee Williamson all going close.

Ipswich improved after the break with McGoldrick coming to the fore but it was Marshall who had the final say.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy: “We had enough chances and really should have put the game to bed. We kept them interested. The first half was pretty ordinary with not too many chances, but we were the dominant team with or without 10 men.

“Blackburn stuck at it, but we let them off the hook. Still, it’s another point and if we end up in the play-offs by a point, it won’t matter.”

Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer: “I would rather talk about our spirit and never-say-die attitude in such a young group. Their energy and work-rate was great and it was a good lesson in how to play with 10 men.

“This group of men have the potential to be really special for this football club.”

E. coli guidance updated

The Food Standards Agency says it is revising its guidance on the consumption of sprouted seeds in light of an outbreak of E. coli in France.

The FSA is advising that seeds such as alfalfa, beansprouts and fenugreek should be cooked thoroughly and not eaten raw.

Officials are continuing to investigate a possible link between seeds sold by a UK firm and the French cases.

News agency AFP said 10 people have been affected by E. coli in Bordeaux.

It is thought a number of those had eaten rocket and mustard vegetable sprouts, believed to have been grown from seeds sold by Thompson and Morgan.

The Ipswich-based company told the BBC it had no evidence of a link. The FSA said no E. coli cases had been reported in the UK.

An FSA spokesman told the BBC: “No cases of food poisoning have been reported in the UK linked with the outbreak in France but we are in close contact with the Health Protection Agency.

“We have asked for further information from the French authorities with regard to the three named type of seeds to help us carry out investigations in the UK.”

E. coli bacteria
E. coli bacteria

Hugh Pennington, a microbiologist from Aberdeen University, said contaminated sprouted seeds tended to cause an outbreak of E. coli every year.

“The seeds, the beans are contaminated when they’re being grown – perhaps they get some animal urine on them,” he said.

“When you do the sprouting basically you incubate the seeds in the warm, in the moist and those are brilliant conditions for the bacteria to grow.

“So you only have to have a very small number of bacteria on the seeds and after they’re sprouting a day or two the bacteria have grown thousands and thousands of times.”

A spokeswoman for Thompson and Morgan said the company sold “hundreds of thousands of packets of these seeds” throughout France, the UK and other parts of Europe every year.

“We are very confident the problem is not with our seeds. People can still grow these seeds and use these seeds with absolute confidence,” she said.

“For such a small number of people to have been affected, it does suggest that the problem is perhaps in the local area, how the seeds have been handled or how they have been grown, rather than the actual seeds themselves.”

The company was co-operating fully with investigations, she added.

The firm says it bought its seeds in bulk from suppliers around the world, and that the affected seeds may have been sourced from Italy.

Seven of those affected by the French E. coli outbreak, who ate the sprouts at a country fair at Begres near Bordeaux, needed hospital treatment.

There is no suggestion of a link to the German E. coli outbreak, which came from bean sprouts grown on an organic farm, but two people are said to be infected with a similar strain.

The sale of the three seed types – mustard, rocket and fenugreek – has been halted in France.

Thompson and Morgan have provided samples of these seeds to investigators in the UK.

Richard Howitt, a Labour MEP for the East of England, said the French would face compensation claims if their allegations over the source of the bacteria proved to be groundless.

“If the French have got this wrong and… they have pre-emptively come out into the public sphere and the link is not proven, then they must be held responsible for what could be hundreds of thousands pounds of further damage to the vegetable and to the salad market from East Anglia and Britain.”