Lincoln City 0-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Wednesday, 20th Nov 2019 22:00
Alan Judge’s first Town goal deep in injury time saw Town to a 1-0 FA Cup first-round replay victory at Lincoln, ending their 15-match winless run in the tournament and avenging the defeat to the Imps in January 2017. The tie appeared destined for extra-time when Judge swept home at the far post.
Brett McGavin, who made his senior debut at Colchester last week, was handed his second first-team start in the centre of midfield behind Emyr Huws and Andre Dozzell.
Tomas Holy was in goal with Janoi Donacien and Myles Kenlock the full-backs and Toto Nsiala and James Wilson, who wore the armband against his former club, at centre-back. Will Keane was the lone central striker with Judge on the right and Anthony Georgiou on the left.
On the first-team bench for the first time was young Wales U21s keeper Adam Przybek along with academy scholars Tyreece Simpson and Tommy Hughes, who made their debuts earlier in the season in the Leasing.com Trophy. For the Imps, ex-Blues loanee Callum Connolly was among the subs.
Neither side seriously threatened in the opening 10 minutes but on 11 Huws brought the ball in from the right following a sharp spell of Blues passing but scraped the ball wide of Josh Vickers’s left post.
There was a massive scare for Town in the 15th minute when the waters parted and Lincoln striker John Akinde suddenly found himself with a clear shot at Holy’s goal from just inside the area but wildly shot wide.
The former Barnet man may well have thought he was offside, as did the Blues’ centre-halves, who remonstrated with the linesman, but his flag remained lowered.
Widemen Judge and Georgiou swapped flanks moments before Town gifted the ball to Bruno Andrade not too far outside the area. However, the Portuguese forward allowed himself to be closed down and his shot deflected wide.
Lincoln threatened again on 22 when former Norwich man Harry Toffolo’s shot was deflected wide.
The Imps felt the Blues should have been reduced to 10 men three minutes later when Donacien and Andrade tangled as the Lincoln man looked to run onto a Jorge Grant pass which would have seen him in on goal.
Initially referee Andy Haines saw no foul but evidently took the advice of his assistant and eventually booked the St Lucian. Grant’s freekick was blocked, then Neal Eardley sent the loose ball back into the box but out for a goalkick.
The game was held up for a serious-looking injury to Andrade - who was eventually stretchered off and replaced by Jack Payne - as it reached the half-hour mark with the Imps having had the best of it and all the chances.
Town had passed the ball around at times but without showing any threat up front with Keane, Judge and Georgiou having seen little of the ball.
Once the game restarted, there was another scare for the Blues when the ball was played back to Holy only just in front of Jake Hesketh but fortunately the Czech keeper was quickest to it and cleared.
Town had their best chance of the half during four additional minutes. Keane turned his man midway inside the Lincoln half and took the ball into the area before hitting a shot from a tight angle on the right which Vickers turned over. From the corner, Wilson stabbed wide at the far post.
Aside from Akinde catching Nsiala on his shoulder with a high boot as the defender sought to clear with his head, that was the final action of the half.
The likes of McGavin, Dozzell and Huws had passed tidily at times but the Blues had caused the home side little danger other than Keane’s late effort.
At the other end Lincoln, who had similarly looked to pass the ball, had had most of the chances but with Holy not having had to make a serious save. The Imps had been less threatening after the departure of Andrade, who had caused problems both at Portman Road and prior to going off.
Town, who needed to step it up in the second half, kept with the same personnel from the restart.
Cian Bolger headed a corner from the right through to Holy in the opening minute, then soon afterwards Akinde hit a shot on the turn from the edge of the box after Nsiala and Kenlock had failed to clear.
Lincoln went closer in the 51st minute when Akinde was played in on the left of the box but Holy spread himself and saved his low effort with his left foot. Toffolo tried to get on to the loose ball but was unable to and Kenlock cleared the danger.
The game was beginning to become more open with the Blues breaking towards one end - albeit still without creating a chance - and the Imps the other.
Ex-Lincoln defender Wilson made a superb saving header in the 56th minute, flicking a cross from the right past the far post with Akinde behind him otherwise appearing certain to nod home.
But Town, with Judge back on the right and Georgiou on the right, were starting to pass the ball with more of a purpose in the Imps’ half and on 58th minute Huws was teed-up for a shot 20 yards out which Vickers claimed down to his right.
Four minutes later, Payne turned away from McGavin as he slipped 20 yards out at the other end but Holy got down to his left to palm his shot behind. After the corner was cleared, Ellis Chapman hit a powerful effort which curled away from Holy’s right post.
McGavin, who had put in another neat and tidy display, was forced off in the 65th minute having been hobbling for some minutes due to what appeared to be a foot problem. Idris El Mizouni took over with Dozzell moving into his preferred deeper ‘number four’ role.
On 73 a corner on the right was played short to Judge, who looped the ball to the far post where Nsiala headed towards goal but the ball was cleared by ex-Norwich defender Jason Shackell inside the six-yard box.
Town were starting to pin the Imps back in their own half with the Blues keeping the ball for long periods and moving it about with Dozzell relishing his new role. With 10 minutes remaining, Lincoln swapped Akinde for Tyler Walker, the scorer of their goal in the game at Portman Road.
Walker, the son of former England defender Des, was quickly into the action, hitting a well-struck shot from 20 yards which Holy could only parry away but Wilson nodded the loose ball behind.
From the corner, Town made heavy weather of clearing and Bolger hit a shot through a crowd of players which only just flew wide.
Deep in four minutes of injury time, Lincoln almost won it. Toffolo crossed deep from the left and Walker nodded back to Hesketh, who hooked a shot at goal which Holy saved superbly down to his left. Moments later, the Blues swapped Dozzell for Hughes.
Seconds before the full time, whistle Town won it. After good work on the left, El Mizouni wafted it across the area to Judge, who slammed his first Blues goal past Vickers to finally win an FA Cup tie for the Blues and to set up a second round tie against Coventry at St Andrew’s on Sunday 1st December.
The Blues had improved after the break, however, the home side still had the better chances and might even have won it just before Judge’s goal.
The result ends Town’s long run of 15 winless FA Cup matches stretching back to 2010 and also avenges the loss to the Imps in a third-round replay in January 2017. That Town also scored a goal deep, deep into injury time as Lincoln did on that occasion didn’t go unnoticed by the home fans.
The Blues are back in League One action on Saturday when Blackpool visit Portman Road with current leaders Wycombe in Suffolk next Tuesday.
Lincoln: Vickers, Toffolo, Shackell, Bolger, Andrade (Payne 35), Chapman, Grant, Eardley, Anderson, Hesketh, Akinde (Walker 80). Unused: Smith, Pett, Bostwick, Connolly, Melbourne.
Town: Holy, Donacien, Wilson, Nsiala, Kenlock, Huws, Dozzell (Hughes 90), McGavin (El Mizouni 65), Judge, Georgiou, Keane. Unused: Przybek, Rowe, Edwards, Woolfenden, Simpson. Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear). Att: 6,781 (Town: 607).
Photo: Action Images
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