A 90TH-MINUTE substitution by manager Garry Kimble rescued Witham Town a deserved 2-2 draw only minutes after Ipswich Wanderers seemed to have snatched a shock win, writes JIM PURTILL.

Ryan Dear made a brief but memorable debut for Town with a goal in added time just after coming off the bench.

A draw was a fair reflection of play between the sides.

Witham were without a number of first team regulars and were forced to play some players in unfamiliar positions, so they will be glad to have gained a point in the circumstances.

Ipswich settled into the match earlier than Witham and attacked more in the early stages.

In the 14th minute former Witham player Jamahl Godward provided a good cross from the right and Charley Barker’s shot was headed away for a corner.

Despite Ipswich’s early midfield control, Witham took the lead after 20 minutes.

A Witham corner on the left was cleared from the penalty area but only to Freddie King and his deflected shot beat goalkeeper Danny Cullum.

Witam’s Olly Bell showed his pace four minutes later with a run on the right wing.

He passed to Jeffrey Cobblah whose cross from just inside the penalty area was hit too hard for the onrushing King to reach.

Ipswich played some attractive controlled football when moving forward but they were ruffled by Witham’s more direct style.

After 34 minutes the visitors went close when a good shot from Rash Salau was well saved by Harry McKie.

They should have equalised shortly afterwards when Ipswich striker Matt Blake was put through on goal and he rounded McKie but failed to finish.

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Witham had a good end to the first half; Archie McFadden delivered a dangerous cross from the right and King's powerful run through the middle ended with a weak shot that did not trouble Cullum.

Luke Ige's shot over the bar soon after the break and King nearly scored when a Cullum clearance cannoned off him and the ball went just wide.

Witham looked likely to score but a defensive error in the 60th minute was punished with a goal from Salau.

The goal energised Ipswich and they began to dominate as the weather conditions worsened.

A prolonged goalmouth scramble in the Witham penalty area ended with the goal intact.

Minutes later, Ben Haddoch looked certain to score for the visitors but was guilty of a bad miss.

Ipswich went ahead in the 88th minute when a cross from the left found Blake whose header crept inside the far post.

Defeat would have been harsh for Witham and they hit back strongly and Ige's fierce effort was well saved by Cullum.

Blake was substituted for Ipswich in the 90th and it took a Witham substitution at the same time to salvage a point.

Garry Kimble had two strikers on the bench at his disposal but he introduced debutant defender Dear to the Witham attack.

It was an unorthodox decision but Dear’s height offered a different option and decision proved a masterstroke, after he equalised with a towering header.

Witham travel to play New Salamis on Saturday.