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Ipswich Town 0-1 Sheffield United - Match Report
Saturday, 6th Jan 2018 16:59

Town continue to wait for an FA Cup victory as Sheffield United progressed to round four via a 1-0 victory at Portman Road, Nathan Thomas smashing the winner in the 25th minute. The Blues, who last won a match in the competition in January 2010, never looked like getting back into the game, failing to register a shot on target, and the Blades might have added to their lead in the second half.

Defender Tommy Smith, who is set to join the Colorado Rapids as revealed by TWTD earlier this afternoon, wasn’t included in a Town side featuring six changes from the one which lost 4-1 at Fulham in midweek.

Jonas Knudsen came in at centre-half alongside skipper Luke Chambers with Myles Kenlock at left-back and Dominic Iorfa at right-back as Town started in a 4-3-3 system.

Luke Hyam made his first start for 19 months in midfield alongside Callum Connolly and Kevin Bru

Up front, Freddie Sears was on the right and Bersant Celina on the left of central striker David McGoldrick.

New signing Aaron Drinan was on the bench alongside young defender Pat Webber and midfielder or striker Shane McLoughlin, whose only senior appearances for the Blues came at Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup earlier in the season.

The Blades made eight changes with former Town academy striker Caolan Lavery up front with skipper Billy Sharp, a regular Blues target over the years.

Town claimed an early penalty when Chambers headed the ball towards goal from a Celina corner from the right and it appeared to strike Daniel Lafferty on the arm. The Blues captain was adamant that the Blues should have been awarded a spot-kick but referee Mike Jones waved away the protests.

The home side had started the brighter of the two teams and in the seventh minute Celina brought the ball in a long way from the left before hitting a shot which deflected behind.

Town continued to look the better side with Iorfa proving a danger down the right, but on 15 Nathan Thomas hit the Blades’ first effort of the game wide from the edge of the box.

On 24 a corner on the right was played to Hyam on the edge of the area by Celina and the returning midfielder shot over. As the Blades prepared to take their goalkick, Chambers was booked for dissent claiming it had taken a deflection and ought to have been a corner.

A minute later, the visitors took the lead. Thomas, making only his second start for the South Yorkshiremen, was played the ball by Lavery 25 yards out and lashed a superb strike into the top corner of the net, Bartosz Bialkowski only managing to help it on with his right hand.

Town hadn’t threatened to get back on terms before the Blades went close to a second, Chris Basham cutting in from the left and shooting just wide in the 38th minute.

The Blues continued to having the lion’s share possession as half-time approached but without being able to carve out a chance. In the final scheduled minute Kenlock was played in on the left of the box but his low ball was cut out.

Just before the break Basham was booked for catching Bru in the head with a high boot, the Mauritius international subsequently requiring lengthy treatment.

Town had had plenty of the ball in a not overly enthralling first half but without creating anything of note, while the visitors had similarly carved out little at the other end. Thomas’s excellent goal had been rather out of place in the half as a whole.

The Blades swapped their goalscorer for Regan Slater ahead of the second half and the visitors had the first opportunity in the 48th minute when Bialkowski came out of his area to the right but was beaten to the ball by Sharp, who fed Slater as the Blues keeper ran back towards his goal but the sub shot over.

Two minutes later the Blades had an even better chance after Chambers played a weak pass back to Bialkowski. Sharp was quickly on to it and fed Lavery on the right of the box but the Town skipper got back to divert it off the line and wide.

The visitors continued to look the most likely scorers of the game’s second goal and on 54 Sharp flicked a header towards goal which Bialkowski reacted quickly to save, although the linesman’s flag had already been raised.

Town hadn’t appeared likely to get back on terms and it was little surprise that in the 61st minute 10-goal top scorer Martyn Waghorn was introduced for Hyam, who had put in his usual combative display on his return to the team.

Connolly wasn’t too far away from netting his fourth goal of his loan spell from Everton in the 68th minute but was unable to keep his header from Celina’s cross from the right down.

Two minutes later, the Blades went somewhat nearer to doubling their lead, Samir Carruthers exchanging passes with Sharp before shooting from a tight angle on the left and Bialkowski saving well to his left. Moments later, Sam Baldock forced Bialkowski to save down to his right.

Lavery, who had put in a lively display against his old club, was replaced by Clayton Donaldson in the 73rd minute.

As the game moved into its final 10 minutes Jake Wright was booked for timewasting as the visitors prepared to take a freekick.

Town had had long spells on the ball but had failed to create a single chance to level.

On 83 Slater shot over for the Blades, then with two minutes remaining - and a frustrated Sir Bobby Robson Stand singing ‘We want a shot’ - Sharp was switched for John Fleck, who immediately shot over from distance.

The Blades looked the more likely scorers in injury time with sections of the Town support berating manager Mick McCarthy and singing ‘What a load of rubbish’.

Cameron Carter-Vickers was booked for a foul on McGoldrick just before the end and Chambers headed Celina’s freekick wide, before Knudsen blocked a Donaldson strike. Moments later, loud boos greeted the final whistle.

While the second half was more entertaining than the first, the Blades - who fielded a much less senior team than the Blues - had been the better side and ought to have won more comfortably.

The result and the dismal performance on top of the disappointing Christmas spell saw fans loudly express their frustration with manager McCarthy for the first time in a few months.

Town, now without a win in their last five, four of them defeats, rarely created anything throughout and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 FA Cup win will pass without a run in the competition.

Town: Bialkowski, Iorfa, Chambers (c), Knudsen, Kenlock, Connolly, Hyam (Waghorn 61), Bru, Celina, Sears, McGoldrick. Unused: M Crowe, Skuse, Garner, Drinan, Webber, McLoughlin.

Sheffield United: Blackman, Baldock, Basham, Thomas (Slater 46), Sharp (c) (Fleck 88), Wright, Carter-Vickers, Stearman, Lavery (Donaldson 73), Lafferty, Carruthers. Unused: Moore, Stevens, O’Connell, Norrington-Davies. Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire). Att:12,057 (Blades: 1,110).

Photo: TWTD

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StringerBell added 17:01 - Jan 6
Insipid. Just like our awful manager.

19781981twtd added 17:02 - Jan 6

tractorboybig added 17:03 - Jan 6
Mick will be encouraged so many turned up. Shows just where we are going.

smithy0981 added 17:03 - Jan 6
Fcuk mick and take iorfa with you

martin587 added 17:04 - Jan 6
Not one shot on target,just about sums up a dire performance.Nothing else to add.

blue added 17:04 - Jan 6
Concentrate on the league only best thing out of todays result .

blue75 added 17:04 - Jan 6
Would’ve been different with a team of Tommy Smith’s well at least one of them!!! Glad I didn’t go I did walk past the ground about 4.15 if the lights hadn’t been on I wouldn’t have realised anyone was in there a very sad day in the history of ITFC in more ways than one!!! #mccarthyout

blueboy1981 added 17:05 - Jan 6
........... another fine performance at Poundland Road. Laughable - if it wasn't so serious.

Swn98, Gcon, etc; etc; - get your thinking caps on for even more excuses. Must get more difficult by the game for you.

OsmansCleanSheet added 17:05 - Jan 6
‘Failed to register a shot on target’. Different competition, same old sh**e!

WaffleMan added 17:05 - Jan 6
Poor manager, poor players, and a poor chairman. Recipe for disaster really. I’m really worried about our clubs future with not a penny invested.

TimmyH added 17:06 - Jan 6
Some consistency from Mick at last - you can guarantee lose lose lose lose in Cup competitions with him, but I've got a plan Mick might want to know about upping Anchor and sailing far far away from Suffolk on your yacht loaded with your 'excessive earnings' without a compass preferably.

blueboy1981 added 17:06 - Jan 6
....... I feel sorry for the people who went and endured such garbage.

iaintaylorx added 17:06 - Jan 6
What an awful game. No atmosphere, down to poor management and a club is such decline. I have no words. Complete disrespect to Tommy Smith over how Mick has treated such a long serving player! Very sad times ahead.

Please use the money from Moore to pay Mick off!

blueboy1981 added 17:07 - Jan 6
........ great idea TimmyH. Can't happen soon enough - NOW please.

fifeblue added 17:07 - Jan 6
What a poor performance, result, and prospect for the rest of the season.

Come back George Burley. Please. Come back.

cat added 17:08 - Jan 6
Typically a predictable result, although not registering a shot on target against a well under strength UTD, shambolic, just like our Dino manager. With results like these and the injury crisis we’d better get some players in, otherwise entertainment & excitment might be on its way back in the shape of a relegation battle.

yungblue added 17:08 - Jan 6
A totally inept performance. Looked like a non-league team at best, no ability on the ball. You can see even clearer MM philosophy of negativity and turgid football even more when you play against a ball playing side.
Not one shot on target in 90 minutes of football in the cup is disgusting.
Would anyone take Mark Warburton right now?

Blue_Moses added 17:09 - Jan 6
I've got a work's party at Portman Road tonight, reckon the players will be joining us for the end of season party.
Let's get rid of him now and start planning for next season.

Rensham added 17:09 - Jan 6
Closing Down SALE!! Everything must go. Including Big Mick and Tiny Terry.

jas0999 added 17:09 - Jan 6
I decided not to go today. Long journey and after the recent poor showings I simply couldn’t face it.

To be fair I’m disillusioned by the whole thing. We still await a permanent replacement for Berra, yet we look set to get rid of Smith. An outstanding player? No. But one which we actually own. Added to that we face the real prospect of a further three permanent ITFC players leaving. The plan? Loans. How on earth is that a long term plan? Unless the strategy includes having a handful of players left in the summer when contracts expire and loanees return to their parent clubs. Perhaps Evans will see that as a win as he won’t have to pay out on wages all Summer. Yet, we will start all over again in August with more loans and cheap frees.

We are going nowhere under Evans. Where is the ambition? What is the plan? Do they even know what’s happening with MM? For me, he should be sacked tonight. How on earth anyone can defend no shots at home to Sheffield Reserves is beyond me. ST sales will dip further with him at the club.we also need to sign quality players, which Evans doesn’t seem keen to do.

This once proud club, full of tradition and playing the right way is dead. Dead. Evans and McCarthy should be ashamed. How depressing.

Granthamblue62 added 17:09 - Jan 6
Club is in complete freefall, and our fate as the next Coventry City awaits. No investment, no ambition, no direction. Crook, Dinosaur, Puppet out. Thanks for destroying our club Evans you complete waste of space.

toxtethblue added 17:10 - Jan 6
MM is spectacularly s.h.i.t.e in the cup. It really is remarkable Jeff how bad he is...

vanmunt added 17:10 - Jan 6
go on then you guys, let's hear the excuses for this one.

Chondzoresk added 17:11 - Jan 6
This is utterly dire now, no win in the FA since god was a boy. A team devoid of any idea, a manager who needs a rocket up his backside out of PR and a faceless owner who doesn’t care, players leaving left, right and centre. It’s absolutely soul destroying. No one apart from the fans seem to care.

prebsa added 17:11 - Jan 6
0 shots on target against what is basically Sheffield Uniteds reserve team.

Mick out Marcus out Milne out.

All we will get is some frees and some more trash from clubs in the 72nd league in Ireland in January. We will be going down if we keep going on like this!

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