|Coventry City 1 v 1 Ipswich Town|
Sunday, 1st December 2019 Kick-off 14:00
Coventry City 1-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Sunday, 1st Dec 2019 16:12
Coventry sub Callum O’Hare’s 94th minute equaliser will see Town and the Sky Blues meet in an FA Cup second-round replay at Portman Road following a 1-1 draw at St Andrew’s. Will Keane looked to have have won it for the Blues with his 51st minute goal until on-loan Aston Villa man O’Hare’s late strike denied Town the victory.
Blues boss Paul Lambert made six changes from the team which drew 0-0 with Wycombe on Tuesday.
Town, in their Barcelona-style away kit, returned to the 4-3-3 system they employed against Lincoln City in the first-round replay victory with Will Norris back in goal.
In defence, James Wilson partnered Luke Woolfenden in the centre with Janoi Donacien at right-back and Luke Garbutt on the left.
In midfield Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes played behind Jon Nolan with Keane the lone central striker, while Danny Rowe was on the right and Alan Judge on the left.
Strike pair Kayden Jackson and James Norwood were among those on a very strong Blues bench.
Downes, 20, skippered for the first time and and became the Blues’ youngest ever captain ahead of legend Kevin Beattie, who was 21 and a month when he wore the armband away against his hometown club Carlisle in January 1975.
Coventry made two changes from the team which drew 1-1 at Sunderland last week with Sam McCallum and Max Biamou returning to their side with Amadou Bakayoko and Brandon Mason dropping to the bench.
At a very empty St Andrew’s in an almost pre-season atmosphere with 670 Town fans boosting a 2,878 attendance, the Blues saw all the ball in the opening couple of minutes but almost inadvertently played Biamou, who was returning to the team after a three-game league ban, in on goal. However, Woolfenden got across to dispossess the Frenchman.
There was an even bigger scare for Town in the fourth minute when Zain Westbrooke was played in to the right of goal and cut it back to Biamou, who hit a low shot which Norris stopped to his left and claimed at the second attempt.
The Blues caused themselves another unforced problem in the eighth minute when Donacien’s throw-in from the right to Wilson on the edge of his own area was intercepted by Westbrooke, but fortunately his touch sent the ball through to Norris.
Coventry, who were having all the early chances, threatened again two minutes later, Garbutt heading over McCallum’s cross from the left ahead of Biamou. From the corner, the ball was played back to Liam Walsh, who hit a well-struck shot straight at Norris.
Town were forced to make a number of blocks inside their area on 12, first a Biamou effort was stopped by Donacien, then the loose ball fell to Westbrooke, whose shot was charged through to Norris by several diving Blues players.
The Blues were seeing most of the ball and playing it out from the back but without causing the Coventry backline any problems, while gifting Sky Blues, pressing tenaciously even deep in the Town own half, most of their chances with sloppy play.
Garbutt scraped the Blues’ first shot of the game across goal and wide from the left in the 22nd minute.
Two minutes later, Keane tried to get on to a bouncing ball from deep just inside the area but a Coventry knee took it away from him and keeper Marko Marosi claimed.
The Blues began to play more of the game in the Sky Blues’ half but on 29 Walsh curled a freekick well over from not far outside the box after Dozzell had been adjudged to have handballed.
Town almost grabbed the lead in the 36th minute when Keane cut the ball back from the byline on the right to Downes, who turned just past the near post.
Two minutes before the break, Rowe scuffed a shot from 25 yards wide with the Blues continuing to see most of the ball but without particularly threatening.
Rowe hit another effort across the face before referee Anthony Backhouse ended the half after one minute of additional time.
Town had passed the ball around neatly but mostly unthreateningly and without too much tempo with Downes’s chance their only serious opportunity to go in front.
The Blues had caused more problems in their own area in the early stages by giving the ball away, leading to Coventry’s succession of chances in the opening minutes, however, this tendency had reduced the longer the half had gone on.
Westbrooke hit a low shot straight at Norris within seconds of the restart, but six minutes into the new period, right in front of their fans, the Blues took the lead.
After seizing on a loose Coventry pass midway inside the Sky Blues’ half, Rowe played the ball to Judge on the left of the area, the Irishman tricked his way to the byline and cut back to Keane, who made a clever run to get in front of his man to turn his second goal of the season into the corner of Marosi’s net.
There was a scare for the Blues in the 57th minute when bell was knocked down to Westbrooke on the left of the area in space but his shot flew wide and deep into the empty stand behind the goal. Coventry immediately swapped Westbrooke and Jordan Shipley for O'Hare and Bakayoko.
As the game reached the hour mark, sub O’Hare’s shot was blocked before Bakayoko forced a find point-blank save from Norris but with the referee having blown for handball.
Moments later at the other end, Rowe was penalised for a foul having broken through on goal on the left and forced a similar save from Marosi.
Coventry weren’t too far from an equaliser in the 66th minute when O’Hare cut it back from the left to Liam Kelly but the skipper’s rather weak effort was cleared away from the line by Garbutt. A minute later, Dozzell was booked for the latest in what referee Backhouse felt were too many fouls over the course of the afternoon.
The Sky Blues began to put Town under pressure but with the Blues’ backline and keeper Norris - who had had a very confident game in goal - remaining resolute. On 76 Gwion Edwards replaced Rowe, who moments earlier had suffered a knock.
On 78 Walsh was yellow-carded for pulling back Nolan as Town looked to break following a Coventry attack. A minute later, Downes joined him in the book for a foul on O’Hare.
With eight minutes remaining Jackson replaced goalscorer Keane, who will have benefited from another game and scoring a very sharply taken second goal of the season.
Referee Backhouse raised a few eyebrows by adding five additional minutes in which Michael Rose saw a powerful shot blocked.
Seconds afterwards, Norris made the save of the game, diving away to his left to brilliantly tip Kelly’s curling shot wide. From the corner, Kyle McFadzean headed straight at the Blues’ keeper.
Town looked to have seen the game out until in the fourth minute of injury time O’Hare levelled.
Bakayoko knocked down and O'Hare was allowed to find himself space on the edge of the box to his right and hit a low shot flew past Norris to his right and into the net.
Seconds later referee Backhouse blew his whistle, signalling a replay at Portman Road in just over a week’s time, the third game between the teams in 10 or so days, probably Tuesday 10th December.
The Blues had been the better side after the break and will feel they deserved the victory which was so nearly theirs on the overall balance of the half.
They had upped the tempo and played it about more slickly in the opening minutes in which Rowe and Judge created Keane’s well-taken goal before sitting on their lead in the latter stages, albeit without ever looking like adding a second.
Coventry conversely will feel that they were rewarded for putting the Blues under pressure in the closing minutes with Norris - Town’s man of the match - having been forced into a brilliant save only moments earlier.
Town and Coventry go into the hat for Monday evening’s third round draw ahead of Wednesday’s Leasing.com Trophy tie at Peterborough and then Saturday’s return to St Andrew’s for the League One game against the Sky Blues.
Coventry: Marosi, Dabo, Hyam, McFadzean, Rose, McCallum, Kelly (c), Walsh, Shipley (Bakayoko 58), Westbrooke (O’Hare 58), Biamou. Unused: Wilson, Watson, Mason, Kastaneer, Hiwula.
Town: Norris, Donacien, Woolfenden, Wilson, Garbutt, Downes (c), Dozzell, Nolan, Rowe (Edwards 76), Judge, Keane (Jackson 82). Unused: Holy, Jackson, Norwood, Kenlock, Georgiou, Huws. Referee: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria). Att: 2,878 (Town: 630).
Photo: Action Images
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