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Ipswich Town 1-2 Coventry City - Match Report
Tuesday, 10th Dec 2019 21:45

Sub Luke Garbutt pulled a late goal back but it wasn’t enough to prevent Town from falling to a 2-1 FA Cup second-round replay defeat to Coventry at Portman Road in the third game between the teams in 10 days. Jordan Shipley and Max Biamou have given Coventry a deserved 2-0 half-time lead, netting in the 18th and 33rd minutes, and Town never looked like getting back into the game until Garbutt’s 86th minute header.

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 which cut the Blues apart, Shipley sent over a low ball from the left 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.

Town changes of personnel and system at the break came as little surprise after such a dismal half. Luke Garbutt replaced Cotter and came in at left wing-back with Kenlock moving to the left of a back three with Edwards at right wing-back.

Coventry claimed a penalty in the 53rd minute when Biamou went to ground as he and Nsiala chased a ball down the middle. Referee Christopher Sarginson waved away the Sky Blues’ protests, probably rightly with the two players equally to blame for the tangle.

Town had showed little sign of getting back into the game in the opening quarter of an hour of the second half but on 62 Jackson outmuscled a Coventry defender and sent over a cross from the right, however, without picking out a team-mate.

The Sky Blues swapped Shipley for Bakayoko on 63 and two minutes later, with the constant rain now falling even harder, they should have sealed the victory.

Allen did well on the left and sent over a cross towards the unmarked Biamou, who volleyed over from eight yards out. In the 71st minute minute Biamou was replaced by Matt Godden.

Town finally began to get their passing game going as the match crossed the 70-minute mark. A long spell of possession eventually ended with Jackson slipping as he looked to turn inside the area, the striker suffering a knock to his head as he fell. After treatment the Town number nine was able to continue.

There were ironic cheers in the 79th minute when Judge hit a volley from outside the box. In truth Marosi was able to catch it with little trouble but it was the first Town effort on goal since the opening minute. Two minutes later, the Sky Blues swapped Allen for Westbrooke.

With six minutes left on the clock, the Blues pulled a goal back. Jackson was sent away down the right and sent over a cross which deflected into the air and Garbutt nodded home at the far post. It was the on-loan Everton man’s fifth goal of the season.

Suddenly, from nowhere, a Town comeback looked on and in the 85th minute Judge might well have made it 2-2. A corner from the right reached him beyond the far post but the Irishman’s volley flew over.

Jon Nolan and Will Keane were introduced for Judge and Huws in the 88th minute as Town looked for the equaliser.

Almost immediately, Edwards looped over a cross from the right which Marosi was unable to hold but the ball fell safely and was cleared.

But Town were unable to threaten in five additional minutes and it will be Coventry who will travel to face the winners of the Plymouth-Bristol Rovers tie in the third round.

Overall, the Sky Blues deserved the victory having been much the better side in the first half and with Town only really looking like getting back in it after Garbutt’s out-of-nothing goal.

Town, who haven’t won a home FA Cup tie since defeating Chesterfield 3-0 in January 2009, won't be taking part in the third round of the competition for the first time since 1955/56.

With the Blues and Exeter, who were beaten 1-0 at Hartlepool after extra-time, both out of the FA Cup there is a chance that the Leasing.com third round tie between the sides will now be staged on Saturday 4th January.

Town return to League One action on Saturday when fifth-placed Bristol Rovers visit Portman Road.

Town: Holy, Cotter (Garbutt 46), Nsiala, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Edwards, Skuse (c), Huws (Keane 88), Judge (Nolan 88), Jackson, Norwood. Unused: Norris, Wilson, Nolan, Downes, Dozzell, Keane.

Coventry: Marosi, Rose, McFadzean, Kelly (c), Allen (Westbrooke 81), Biamou (Godden 71), O’Hare, Walsh, Dabo, Shipley (Bakayoko 63), McCallum. Unused: Wilson, Mason, Hiwula, Hyam. Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire). Att: 6,515 (Coventry: 367).

Photo: TWTD

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chopra777 added 21:50 - Dec 10
Sort out your team Lambert. 2 shots in the first half is poor. Please reorganise and get three points at the weekend.

Nobbysnuts added 21:54 - Dec 10
Another 8 changes another inept performance. This rotation policy is utter b#llocks. I'm sorry but the team is completely lost at the moment with no clear direction. Team spirit must be in question when they dont even know who is playing from one game to the next. I'm seriously worried where this season is heading.

herfie added 21:54 - Dec 10
In truth, rotation or not, we’re currently not a very good football side. - back to front. Potentially a steady a match by match decline awaits. Pl’s judgement and decision making being found out.

VanDusen added 21:56 - Dec 10
I see Exeter are losing in extra time so expect us to be away in Devon on Sat 4th anyway - just in the joke Less-ing Trophy rather than the real cup.

Still - if we win on Saturday then I shan't mourn going out of another distraction from our central aim. But we have to get back to playing like we did first half on Saturday...

SickParrot added 21:57 - Dec 10
That's 2 wins from the last 9 games (including win on pens at Posh) and no wins at home for 2 months. Message for PL - your rotation policy isn't working. Please field your best team in all future games.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 21:58 - Dec 10
Based on the poor performance tonight and last Saturdays 1st half
Team for Bristol Rovers;

Donacien Chambers Wolfenden Wilson Garbutt
Downes. Skuse. Nolan
Keane. Norwood

TimmyH added 21:58 - Dec 10
Lets be honest Paul Lambert has done a number of good things since he's been here: Played somewhat more entertaining football, bigged the club up, got the supporters on side and started this season off pretty well but the last month or so hasn't been his crowning glory. After the international break I said 'lets play play play' due to the stop start nature so far of the season and 'have a consistent starting line up', well the former we've done but the latter has certainly not been applied and to me and many on here could well be the issue to why we've only won once in the last eight games.

It feels like momentum has come to a grinding halt and I thought winning bred confidence?....and to play 4 cup ties and not get into the third round for the first time since the fifties is a new low. No more excuses Paul start a more consistent line up!

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 22:00 - Dec 10
Need to speak to Everton and get Garbutt signed permanently in Jan otherwise I think we could face competition in the summer .

cat added 22:02 - Dec 10
Not good, yeah it’s only a cup game but it’s still disappointing. Lambert arguably put a team out to win, fact is we didn’t. We looked unbeatable earlier in the season and we’ve now lost that momentum. Lambert needs to find his best 11 and stick with them. After the second half of last season pish poor offering, he needs to achieve something, This good will to all us fans and the off field achievements will only carry him so far, cause the fickle fans soon turns!

jas0999 added 22:03 - Dec 10
Shocking. Not even playing in the third round of the FA cup. A new low for this club.

One win in nine. Poor.

Abysmal that we can’t beat Coventry in three matches. Another low.

Rotation policy clearly not working and make no mistake if things don’t change we can kiss goodbye to promotion.

Evans MUST address the fans regarding an important January window. Investment will be key.

DifferentGravy added 22:04 - Dec 10
I wanted to believe that Lambert had his priority of gaining promotion..... that these cup games were merely an unnecessary diversion(for him) and it gave the opportunity of getting fringe players fit/youngsters the opportunity to shine. Unfortunately the tinkering has continued throughout the season. As a consequence, we are often seeing a complete lack of cohesion and fire power. Its one thing to blame the forwards but when there is a lack of continuity, how are players supposed to build a relationship on the pitch......because training simply doesnt cut the mustard. I cant see Lambert backing down from this ridiculous squad rotation, he can be as stubborn as Mccarthy at times.

Kenlock, Toto......just not good enough. Edwards......simply doesnt provide anything defensively or offensively. Judge........not much better.

Unless we play our best team on a regular basis then we will blow any chance of promotion. Yes, we are second, but.....as ive said before.....we are not going to keep getting the rub of the green. Crikey......players can play more than 3 games a month Lambert!! Sigh.....sick of it.....going on holiday

martin587 added 22:06 - Dec 10
Extremely disappointing.Far too many changes.Stick to your best eleven all the time.Very little understanding.With the squad we have we should win every game.If we win Saturday’s then we can accept that.This a game we must win to get the momentum up and running again.Wish I had stayed at home tonight and I don’t say that very often.

Lathers added 22:07 - Dec 10
2 wins from our last 13 games. Any improvement from last season? A savvy owner would be looking to bring in a proper manager now and build some momentum towards a crucial return to the Championship. I’ve now seen enough of PLs tactics, squad rotation, formations and bad use of substitutions in a very poor quality league. I’m not a fan of PL and we need to make a change before Christmas otherwise we risk being in L1 for many years.

TimmyH added 22:07 - Dec 10
Spot on @cat - Lambert needs to achieve something (certainly with his management record of recent years) and its all or nothing in this season I believe...our squad looks better than teams around us but he's over doing it currently, missing VKY doesn't help either after how he started the season but that's no excuse.

Edmundo added 22:10 - Dec 10
One of the worst performances in terms of effort all season. Disrespectful by Lambert both to us fans who went and. our proud history in the cup. We are struggling, and will be out of the top 2 if we carry on with Tinkerman Lambert's continuing personnel and tactical changes.

runningout added 22:10 - Dec 10
Nothing encouraging to take from that show

blue86 added 22:15 - Dec 10
Wasnt at the game tonight, but was at the reverse fixture in the cup (at St Andrew's) which we should of won. Anyway, I think Lambert needs to stop with this rotation policy, we need a settled side so players can get used to each others game etc. To be fair tonights team on paper looked fairly decent, but there is just to much chopping and changing all the time. I can take the loss in the cup tonight if we learn from this, as the league is what I'm most concerned about if this continues. Coyb

runaround added 22:16 - Dec 10
Unacceptable performance tonight. Too many of the players didn’t put the effort in tonight. I know the league is most important but 100% effort from every player every game should be a given & I don’t think we got that tonight. Massive massive improvement needed Saturday but I honestly cannot see it happening. Really feel all the stop/start nature of the games over the last 2 months plus constantly changing lineup has had an adverse effect

elcdman added 22:20 - Dec 10
I thought rotation was something done by farmers in their fields,I fear Lambert is taking the mickey out of supporters now,is he trying to create a move to a bigger club?

Marinersnose added 22:20 - Dec 10
Sorry I’m not going to jump onto the anti PL bandwagon. He has made eight changes to the team and yes some of the incumbent players are not first choice but the two strikers were. The issue tonight was purely application with Jackson setting the tone by missing a one on one inside five minutes. Norwood fouled and moaned at the ref but failed to control the ball or win a header, Hughes is a spent force and was so poor in possession his touch has now left him which is a shame for a once talented player. Nsiala was part from a terrific tackle in the first half woeful. He panics in possession and again could’ve given away a penalty with a different referee. Garbut Woolfenden and possibly Skuse would be the only three out of this shower starting on Saturday. Really disappointing to see our team surrendering in such a way.

Bezzer added 22:20 - Dec 10
very arrogant manager, who pretends to listen to the fans (absolute garbage) who is losing credibility by the second! I’m sick of his “I’ve been there and done it” attitude to be honest! I was going to buy the family a half season ticket today, thank goodness I didn’t! Not good enough and I’m fed up with his biased summary of games! SAME OLD STORY I’M AFRAID!

StowTractorBoy added 22:23 - Dec 10
If you are not careful Mr Lambert your honeymoon period will soon be over as your rotation system has failed miserably. You are slowly but surely destroying all the good work you have done with this stupid number of changes for each game we play. Just play your strongest team every match and if injuries ensue then change it. Similarly if poor form persists with any individual then change it but this constant 7/8/9 changes is not paying dividends. You have turned the Club around Mr. Lambert but if you are not careful you will lose the fans support. Saturday is crucial now - lose and I will be seriously worried.

Bezzer added 22:25 - Dec 10
@marinersnose, surely your post is a contradiction in terms!! You’ve said you’re not blaming PL and then giving a million reasons why his side weren’t good enough!!

Bezzer added 22:30 - Dec 10
@StowTractorBoy, it’s already over! No longer in the FA cup, no longer in control of top spot in the league!!! His honeymoon period has well and truly expired! Reap what you sow! That said, an idiot should be able to get us promoted, but we should be doing better! Honestly, I would sooner have Butcher and Burley in charge tbh!!

Gilesy added 22:34 - Dec 10
Personally, I think we have to try and take a holistic view and see how things pan out over the course of the season. I still think that come the end of the season (and we're less than halfway through the league season) having a squad full of players with lots of minutes under their belt, could give us the edge come May. We were never going to win the cup and I'm not that upset at not playing whichever team we would have played in the 3rd round. If this is our rough patch, I'll take it. Of course, we might just be a bit rubbish. I still think not.

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