IPSWICH Town staged a grandstand finish to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in tonight’s explosive League One clash against AFC Wimbledon.

The Blues looked on course for a shock home defeat after a woeful first-half performance at Portman Road.

But thanks to a much-improved second period, James Norwood came up trumps with a headed leveller nine minutes from time.

And Kayden Jackson thumped home a dramatic stoppage-time winner to spark scenes of wild celebration among the 18,000 crowd.

It was the second time in successive games that Town had notched a vital last-gasp goal, with Luke Chambers having grabbed an equaliser at Peterborough on Saturday.

Four days on and the mood at half-time and full-time could barely have been more contrasting.

In fact, the two halves of football could not have been more different.

On a personal note and from a home perspective, the first was as dreary as I can remember.

Town were awful – flat, sloppy and disjointed.

There were too many hopeful balls forward and the quality levels were disturbingly low.

In two decades covering Town, barely can I remember making so few notes.

Genuine chances were at an absolute premium and the hosts’ only proper effort fell to Norwood, after racing onto an exquisite through ball from Andre Dozzell.

The striker dashed through on goal but his dinked, near-post effort was deflected wide by keeper Nathan Trott.

Town then suffered a bodyblow four minutes before the break.

A quick break down the right led to Michael Folivi laying the ball into the path of Nesta Guinness-Walker.

With right-back Janoi Donacien pulled horribly out of position, the Dons wing-back had time and space to smash past Tomas Holy.

Town had switched their formation to 4-3-3, with James Wilson dislodging skipper Chambers in the heart of the defence and Dozzell and Idris El Mizouni replacing Gwion Edwards and Kayden Jackson.

But it didn’t pay off and it was no surprise when new Tottenham Hotspur loanee Anthony Georgiou came on for El Mizouni.

The half-time substitute was quickly into the action and produced a spark that had previously been sorely missing.

It rubbed off on his team-mates and Flynn Downes, with the bit between his teeth, shrugged aside his marker before driving a long-range effort just over Trott’s goal.

Jackson was pitched into the action on the hour, replacing Dozzell, and the second half was an enormous improvement. That’s not saying much, though.

At last, Town played with more urgency and impetus and there were a sprinkling of half-chances prior to Norwood’s goal.

The striker then pulled his side level nine minutes from time with a far-post header from Alan Judge’s corner.

He did brilliantly to muscle his way through a pack of players and send the ball spinning into the net.

With gaps starting to appear, you sensed a winner – something that earlier seemed so unlikely - might be on the cards and it duly arrived in stoppage time.

The ball was hooked into the area, bounced and Jackson pounced to hook an unstoppable angled volley past Trott.

It was an extraordinary, rousing end to what had had earlier felt more like a turgid pre-season friendly.

Now, after registering their second win of the season, Town will hope to use it as a springboard for more success – starting at Bolton on Saturday.