Ipswich Town 0-2 Coventry City - Half-Time
Tuesday, 10th Dec 2019 20:45
Goals from Jordan Shipley and Max Biamou have given Coventry a deserved 2-0 lead over the Blues in the FA Cup second round replay at Portman Road. Shipley put the Sky Blues ahead on 18 and Biamou added the second in the 33rd minute.
Boss Paul Lambert made eight changes for the teams’ third meeting in 10 days. Tomas Holy returned in goal with Barry Cotter at right-back, Myles Kenlock on the left and Toto Nsiala alongside Luke Woolfenden, one of three players who started Saturday’s 1-1 draw at St Andrew’s, at centre-half.
Stand-in skipper Cole Skuse was joined in central midfield by Emyr Huws with widemen Alan Judge and Gwion Edwards keeping their places from the weekend. James Norwood and Kayden Jackson were up front.
Coventry, who started 4-2-3-1, made three changes from Saturday’s game with Jamie Allen, Jordan Shipley and Liam Walsh in the XI for Dom Hyam, Zain Westbooke and Amadou Bakayoko, who all dropped to the bench.
In blustery, rainy conditions, Town almost went in front inside the first 60 seconds. Holy’s wind-assisted kick forward somehow reached Jackson eight yards out and the striker stuck a toe out but couldn’t divert it wide of Sky Blues keeper Marko Marosi, who saved.
Coventry threatened for the first time in the seventh minute when the ball broke kindly for Biamou after Woolfenden had been unable to clear from the edge of the box but Nsiala did well to read the situation and blocked the Frenchman’s shot.
Shipley shot wide for the visitors on 12, then four minutes later Nsiala, back after a minor hamstring problem, wasn’t too far away from putting the Blues in front after Judge whipped in a freekick from the right but the ex-Shrewsbury man was unable to keep his header down.
Coventry had played the more controlled football with Town’s approach lacking the patience and passing of Saturday’s first half and in the 18th minute they took the lead. Biamou played Shipley in on goal and the midfielder nonchalantly slipped the ball past the advancing Holy.
The Sky Blues continued to have the better of it and in the 31st minute they almost went two in front. Having moved the ball around with ease around the edge of the Blues box, Shipley crossed from the left and Callum O’Hare’s header was well saved by Holy at his near post. From the resultant corner, Michael Rose headed straight at the Town keeper.
Almost immediately, Norwood was sent away down the Blues right and sent over a low cross towards Jackson as he ran in at the far post but the striker was just unable to reach it and he and defender Fankaty Dabo ended up in the back of the net rather than the ball.
The Sky Blues quickly broke up the other end and made it 2-0. After another flowing move down the left, Shipley sent over a low ball and Biamou turned it into the net from six yards out.
Town had been very much second best and could have no complaints about the scoreline with Coventry having been as dominant as Town were in the first half at St Andrew’s on Saturday, and importantly having taken two of their opportunities.
Shipley forced Holy to save down to his right in the 39th minute, then 43 Holy had to quickly rush off his line to claim a through ball played ahead of Biamou.
Muted boos greeted the whistle after one additional minute with the visitors well worth their two-goal lead having been every bit as good as Town were in the first half of the League One game at the weekend.
The Blues had been every bit as poor as Coventry were during that 45 minutes, rarely keeping the ball for more than a couple of passes and with the strike pair notable quiet and only threatening twice between them, Jackson’s effort in the first minute and Norwood’s cross which the former Accrington man just failed to reach.
Changes at the break - both of personnel and to a system to compete with Coventry’s numbers in central midfield - appear certain ahead of the second half if the Blues are to miss out on an appearance in the third round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1955/56.
Town: Holy, Cotter, Nsiala, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Edwards, Skuse (c), Huws, Judge, Jackson, Norwood. Subs: Norris, Wilson, Nolan, Downes, Dozzell, Garbutt, Keane.
Coventry: Marosi, Rose, McFadzean, Kelly (c), Allen, Biamou, O’Hare, Walsh, Dabo, Shipley, McCallum. Subs: Wilson, Mason, Hiwula, Hyam, Bakayoko, Godden, Westbrooke. Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire).
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