Ipswich 1-1 Lincoln City - Half-Time
Saturday, 7th Jan 2017 16:04
Theo Robinson gave Vanarama National League leaders Lincoln City a seventh-minute lead but Tom Lawrence hit back five minutes later with Town’s FA Cup third round tie against the Imps at Portman Road standing at 1-1 at half-time.
Boss Mick McCarthy made five changes with Dean Gerken, Jonas Knudsen, Andre Dozzell, Freddie Sears and Grant Ward all starting.
Skipper Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse dropped out of the squad having been doubts with knee problems, while Myles Kenlock also missed the game having suffered a calf injury at QPR.
Also not in the 18 was striker David McGoldrick, who is understood to have suffered a groin injury in training on Friday, while another frontman Leon Best was ill.
The Blues bench included 17-year-old left-back Pat Webber, who signed from Worthing at the end of last season, 19-year-old central defender or right-back George Fowler, who is from Ashfield near Debenham, Irish U19 international midfielder Adam McDonnell, 19, who made his league debut at Derby on the final day of last season, and strikers Shane McLoughlin, 19, an Irish U18 international, and England U18 international Ben Morris, 17.
Christophe Berra skippered in Chambers’s absence, while Lincoln named an unchanged team.
Town started brightly and won two early corners, but the 4,833 travelling Imps in the Cobbold Stand quickly had something to celebrate with their side taking the lead with their first chance of the game in the seventh minute.
Nathan Arnold sent over a teasing low cross from the right and former Derby striker Robinson got in between Adam Webster and Emmanuel to divert the ball past Gerken from close range.
But the Imps lead wasn’t to last for long. On 12 Tom Lawrence picked up the ball just inside the Town half and brought it forward to the edge of the area unchallenged before hitting a low shot which went under Lincoln keeper Paul Farman and into the net to level the scores and settle more than a few nerves around Portman Road.
While it was a great run from Lawrence, who has now scored four goals during his loan spell from Leicester, Lincoln will be disappointed not to have got in at least one challenge and Farman will feel he should have done much better.
Neither side threatened again until 25th minute when Pitman hit an effort from distance, which flew well over.
Lincoln had been having more of the ball but without creating an opportunity, while the Blues had been very wasteful in possession with Dozzell having been unable to get into the game.
Imps midfielder Arnold hit a low effort from the left of the area which Gerken saved comfortably on the half hour, then moments later, following a freekick, the Blues keeper grabbed a dangerous bouncing ball in the area ahead of Robinson. The former Ram claimed he had been fouled as he went after the ball but referee Lee Probert showed little interest.
On 33 Berra made an important interception from a Bradley Wood cross from the right after a quickly taken freekick not far inside the Town half.
The visitors continued to have most of the ball, however without Gerken being forced into further action, and on 35 an Alan Power shot from the edge of the box deflected over.
Town began to have more of the ball as half-time approached and in the 43rd minute Dozzell hit a low shot which deflected just wide from the edge of the box after good work on the right from Emmanuel.
The resultant corner on the left led to another flag-kick on the right from which Pitman tried to replicate his overhead kick against Bristol City but failed to get any power on it and Farman claimed.
Neither side created a further opportunity before the whistle was greeted by cheers from the visiting fans and a few boos from the home support.
Town had started brightly and then quickly got themselves back on terms after the potentially serious blow of the early Lincoln goal but subsequently struggled to impose their superiority on the Imps.
Lincoln had subsequently been on top but without being able to create a chance from which they might have regained their lead.
The Blues had started to press more towards the break with Dozzell getting more involved but overall the non-league side will have been much the happier going off at the break and Town will have to be better in the second half to avoid a replay at Sincil Bank or worse still a giantkilling.
Town: Gerken, Emmanuel, Webster, Berra (c), Knudsen, Bru, Ward, Dozzell, Sears, Pitman. Subs: Bialkowski, Fowler, Webber, McDonnell, Douglas, McLoughlin, Morris.
Lincoln: Farman, Wood, Habergham, Waterfall (c), Power, Rhead, Hawkridge, Raggett, Arnold, Woodyard, Robinson. Subs: Walker, Muldoon, Marriott, Long, Miles, Fixter, McCombe. Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).
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