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).
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