Sam Morsy’s twice deflected stoppage-time equaliser earned second-placed Ipswich a 1-1 draw at home to Championship leaders Leicester.

Morsy’s effort from the edge of the penalty area struck Ricardo Pereira and then the head of Jannik Vestergaard to leave Foxes goalkeeper Mads Hermansen helpless.

Leicester had taken the lead in the 24th minute with a strike from just inside the penalty area by Stephy Mavididi.

The result left Town still six points adrift of their opponents and five points ahead of third placed Southampton, who moved up a place to become the Tractor Boys’ nearest challengers for an automatic promotion spot following their 5-0 victory over Swansea.

Ipswich bounced back from Saturday’s chastening 4-0 loss against Leeds and even stretched their advantage over the Whites to eight points after they were beaten 2-1 by Preston and dropped down to fourth earlier on Boxing Day.

A cross from Wes Burns into the penalty area, aimed for raiding full-back Leif Davis, was headed away for an Ipswich corner by Abdul Fatawu as the hosts made a proactive start.

But they were dealt an injury blow in the 20th minute when George Hirst suffered what appeared to be a hamstring injury and he was forced off.

There were handball appeals by Ipswich players in the 21st minute when the ball appeared to go close to the outstretched hand of Conor Coady but three minutes later the Foxes took the lead through Mavididi.

He found acres of space on the left and curled a shot beyond the reach of Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky into the corner of the net.

Referee Sam Barrott turned away penalty appeals from City following a challenge by Cameron Burgess on Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Patson Daka was denied by Hladky.

Just before the half-time break a sweeping cross into the Leicester penalty area from Davis was cleared by a stretching Wout Faes to prevent substitute Kayden Jackson meeting the ball at the far post.

Vestergaard grazed the roof of the Ipswich net with his header following a free-kick by Dewsbury-Hall and Conor Chaplin just failed to catch Leicester goalkeeper Mads Hermansen off his line with a shot from just inside the Foxes’ half.

Hermansen then had to dive full length to tip a stunning shot from Chaplin round the post and the Ipswich striker fired over the bar from just inside the penalty area.

Dewsbury-Hall then went down in the penalty area following a challenge by Davis but the referee waved play on and Ipswich grabbed a deserved equaliser in the final moments.