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Lincoln City 5-3 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Sunday, 29th Dec 2019 17:15

Town are down to fourth in League One following a bizarre 5-3 defeat at Lincoln City. Harry Anderson put the Imps ahead on six, Luke Garbutt levelled for Town in the 32nd minute before Tyler Walker restored the home side’s lead in first-half injury time. A Harry Toffolo own goal restored parity in the 59th minute before Walker’s second made it 3-2 on 72, then Michael Bostwick added a fourth in the 79th minute. Will Keane pulled one back for the Blues four minutes later but Jake Hesketh cemented the Imps’ win in injury time.

Boss Paul Lambert made three changes from the team which drew 0-0 with Gillingham on Boxing Day with Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes returning to the midfield and skipper Luke Chambers at the back.

The Blues, playing their final game of the decade, again lined-up in a 4-4-2 system with Chambers - returning from his one-match ban - alongside Luke Woolfenden at the heart of the defence and Garbutt and Janoi Donacien the full-backs. Will Norris continued in goal.

Dozzell and Downes were in the centre of midfield with Gwion Edwards on the right and Alan Judge on the left with James Norwood and Kayden Jackson up front.

Cole Skuse and Jon Nolan were missing from the squad having not travelled after suffering minor knocks on Boxing Day, while Toto Nsiala was also left out of the 18 having started the Gillingham match.

Lincoln, who were unchanged from their 1-0 Boxing Day defeat at Oxford, included former Town loanee Callum Connolly among their subs.

Imps defender Michael O’Connor headed a freekick from the left straight at Norris in the fifth minute after a scruffy opening spell.

And a minute later, the home side went in front. Hesketh broke towards the area and played a clever reverse pass into the path of Harry Anderson, who took it on and hit a shot across Norris and into the corner of the net.

The Blues, who again had made a slow start, looked to get back into it and on 10, after Edwards had picked up a loose ball midway inside the Lincoln half, Norwood saw a shot blocked by Neal Eardley, then Garbutt blazed over.

A minute later Downes scuffed wide from the edge of the box after breaking through a crowd of players as the Blues showed signs of getting into some rhythm.

Town claimed a penalty in the 14th minute when Jackson beat Josh Vickers to the ball on the byline and appeared to be upended by the keeper. Jackson was adamant he had been fouled but referee James Oldham and his assistant weren’t interested and the Blues were awarded a corner.

Two minutes later, Imps midfielder Joe Morrell, who was born in Ipswich, struck a shot from the edge of the box which Norris gathered at the second attempt.

The Blues were getting on top and having most of the ball but without creating a clear-cut opportunity, while Lincoln were presenting a greater danger on the break.

As the game reached the half-hour mark Town began to build up a head of steam, Downes hitting a shot which was deflected wide from the edge of the box. From the corner, Chambers nodded it back across goal to Edwards, whose header was unconvincingly punched away by Vickers.

A Blues equaliser was looking more and more on the cards and in the 32nd minute it came. Dozzell, who after a quiet start was increasingly involved, was fouled 25 yards out just to the right. Garbutt took the freekick and brilliantly curled it into the bottom left corner of Vickers’s net giving the keeper no chance.

It was the on-loan Everton man’s sixth goal of the season and a freekick every bit as good as his similar set-piece strike against Tranmere earlier in the season.

Lincoln came back into the game following the Town leveller but without seriously threatening before the Blues were forced into a change. Donacien had undergone treatment on a knee problem earlier in the half and was clearly being hampered by the knock. On 41 the St Lucia-born full-back made way with Sears taking over on the right of midfield with Edwards going to right-back.

Within two minutes, Edwards was booked after Jorge Grant went to ground after very little if any contact as he looked to turn away from the Welshman.

From the freekick, the home side went very close to going back in front. The ball was eventually played to Grant, who crossed from the left to Anderson who stabbed off the outside of the near post from a few feet out.

But the Imps support didn’t have to wait too much longer for a second goal. With the game in injury time, a long ball sent Walker away on his own in the Town half from where he looped the ball over Norris who had advanced well out of his goal and under the bar.

There was no time for the Blues to hit back before referee Oldham brought the half to a close.

Town had again started slowly and found themselves behind before they had got going. However, they subsequently got themselves on top and deserved their goal when it came.

But they allowed the impetus to swing back to the Imps in the final minutes of the half and conceded another poor goal from a defensive perspective.

Sears was yellow-carded for pulling back Grant soon after the restart, then Dozzell joined him in the book for much the same offence on Hesketh as Lincoln broke.

On 51 Lincoln’s Bostwick was also cautioned for a blatant pull on Jackson as he broke into the area with the offence committed just outside the box. Some referees might have deemed the foul worthy of more than a yellow card with Jackson otherwise in on goal. Garbutt took the freekick but hit the wall.

Two minutes later, a Lincoln freekick at the other end caused problems for the Blues who failed to clear the danger and Norris was forced to save Hesketh’s low effort from just inside the box and Garbutt belted the loose ball away.

Lincoln had made much the stronger start to the second half, however, Jackson’s pace was beginning to cause more problems. On 57 Cian Bolger and Jackson collided on the edge of the box with referee Oldham awarding the foul against the Town man when the decision might well have been given the other way.

The Blues hadn’t had an opportunity since the restart but a minute before the hour mark they levelled for a second time.

Sears did well to latch on to a loose Lincoln pass on the Town right and won a corner which Judge sent on from the right. Woolfenden appeared to get a flick at the near post and toffolo inadvertently nodded into his own net.

Having got back on terms for a second time the Blues began to pass the ball around both greater confidence.

On 62 a Jackson effort inside the box was blocked by Bostwick after a Norwood knockdown following a spell of Town possession.

Moments later, Jackson was sent away on goal but with the linesman’s flag raised, before the Blues switched Edwards for James Wilson with the former Lincoln man going to centre-half and Woolfenden to right-back.

Town again allowed the momentum to swing back to the home side and in the 72nd minute they went in front for a third time. Morrell was allowed to run unchallenged into the area on the right before cutting back to the far post where the completely unmarked Walker stroked his second of the game into the net.

Keane replaced Norwood for the final 14 minutes with the home side growing in confidence and the Blues looking ragged having allowed the Imps to get on top for a third time.

Town’s hopes of taking anything from the game appeared to be extinguished in the 79th minute when Morrell’s low ball into the box following a corner from the right somehow found Bostwick, who turned in off the far post and then Norris.

The Blues continued to search for something from the game and on 81 Garbutt hit a shot from the edge of the box which deflected wide.

And two minutes later, Town reduced the deficit to one when, after a well-worked move down the right, Woolfenden played the ball inside to Keane, who shot across Vickers and into the corner of the net.

As the fourth official raised his board announcing five additional minutes the Blues were putting the Imps under pressure with crosses flying into the box and the home side just about repelling the danger.

However, the game’s eighth goal was to go to Lincoln with Town caught by sucker punch break. Skipper Chambers was caught two against one as the Imps broke and Hesketh stroked the winner past Norris to seal what had been a bizarre afternoon at Sincil Bank.

The final whistle sounded soon afterwards to confirm the Blues’ third League One defeat on an afternoon when almost everything hit at goal seemed to go in at both ends with the game hardly an eight-goal thriller.

Town, who last conceded five in a 5-1 defeat at Reading in September 2015, have now lost three of their last four games with their winless League One run now stretching to seven.

Having gone behind after a slow start, the Blues got on terms and on top but failed to make their ascendency at that point tell and then conceded Lincoln’s poor second goal. Neither the defence nor keeper Norris will be keen to watch it back.

It was much the same story in the second half, Town having again got back on terms with the game there for the taking when they allowed Lincoln back into it and conceded the third and fourth with big questions again to be asked about the defending.

Keane’s goal gave Town a chance of what at that stage had seemed an unlikely point and the fifth Imps goal was down to the Blues throwing everyone forward in the closing stages.

Town, whose early season defensive frugality seemed light years away from this afternoon’s performance, are now down to fourth in the table with a trip to leaders Wycombe, who lost 4-1 at home to Coventry, on Wednesday.

Lincoln: Vickers, Toffolo, Bolger, Bostwick, Eardley (c), Morrell, O’Connor (Chapman 82), Anderson, Hesketh, Grant, Walker. Unused: Smith, Payne, Connolly, Melbourne, Lewis, Akinde.

Town: Norris, Donacien (Sears 41), Woolfenden, Chambers (c), Garbutt, Dozzell, Downes, Edwards (Wilson 64), Judge, Norwood (Keane 76), Jackson. Unused: Holy, El Mizouni, Kenlock, Huws, Keane. Referee: James Oldham (Derbyshire). Att: 10,012.

Photo: Pagepix

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Bluearmy_81 added 17:16 - Dec 29
Anyone calling for a new manager is missing the bigger picture, (the last 12 years) by a mile. Have we had 5 awful managers in the last 12 years?! No just one awful owner. For the love of God start standing up for your club, fight for it because we will go lower if we don't go up this season. Sing, protest demonstrate. Ignore the elephant in the room at your peril. Evans out!!!

H1960 added 17:17 - Dec 29
Allegedly best squad in the division, this is relegation form, need to get rid of three or four midfielders all too similar and bring in someone who can create, play a settled side and get the ball forward rather than backwards and sideways as things are at the moment Messi would not score in this team.

elcdman added 17:17 - Dec 29
Burley and Butch get your cvs in,vacancy soon


dirtydingusmagee added 17:18 - Dec 29
Absolute disgrace, Lambert has talked fans into returning, THATS ALL. Look at the results on the pitch VERY POOR .

Reuserscurtains added 17:18 - Dec 29
Marcus Evans has absolutely killed my football club.
Lambert, changing your team like this every single game is just school boy stuff!
How am I feeling? The lowest I’ve ever felt as an IPSWICH fan. I’m having a break

REIDIE4 added 17:19 - Dec 29
What I took from being there today is that some of the players simply do not want to be there. A number don’t deserve to wear the shirt and should be binned. Maybe they’re sick of Lambert’s rotation I don’t know, and maybe it’s time for him to move on, but we just seem to lack any kind of soul right now.

BlueParadigm added 17:19 - Dec 29
If I were a Journo at the post match press conference I would imagine my interview with PL going as follows:

Journo: So Paul, how do you explain this catastrophic dip in form and results that would be more expected of a team fighting relegation?
PL: “Waffle, waffle, waffle, and more waffle”
Journo: “I’m afraid that didn’t get anywhere near answering my question so to help you let me give you a menu of 20 possible reasons:

erratic selection policy
erratic tactics
rotation policy
lack of playing identity
squad too small
squad too big
poor training regime
sub standard coaching
injuries and suspensions
international breaks
players technically incompetent
players not listening to instructions
incompetent management
players not good enough for League One
lack of confidence
fear of failure
poor support from ITFC fans
lack of transfer fighting fund
League One standard higher than anticipated
teams raise their game against ITFC

And having identified the reasons what interventions are you making to get Town back on Track?”

PL: “ Waffle, waffle, waffle and more waffle”
(Gets up and walks out of press conference)

DoseOfReality added 17:20 - Dec 29
100% right Bluearmy 81 .. 100% Evans has been abject failure & it won’t stop till he’s gone

Welshblue72 added 17:21 - Dec 29
Welshblue72 added 17:10 - Dec 29
OMG what is happening to our team. Once again out gunned by a team who only scored 3 goals all December and smash 5 passed us. 3 attempts on target isn’t good enough even for play offs let alone automatic promotion. Lose to Wycombe on Wednesday and be outside play offs. Torn by my hope and desires for promotion with PL is he the man to take us there I’m not so sure anymore ☹️

TimmyH added 17:21 - Dec 29
Wow! 5 goals conceded against little ol' Lincoln, the wheels are really falling off. From a defense that looked bulletproof particularly away to this today!...nothing changes either Edwards yellow card and invisible and far more fouls than the opposition which has become a regular statistic.

Be good if PL could make an honest assessment in the post match interview of why we're struggling compared to earlier in the season or maybe we did just get the rub of the green more often than not that got us out of jail.

Desperately sad to see this type of result in this league...very sad!

Nobbysnuts added 17:21 - Dec 29
Well I dont know how Lambert is going to talk himself out of this one. This is not a blip this is relegation form. This team is a mess an absolute mess.

ITFC_Cotton added 17:21 - Dec 29
2 words 1 name, Marcus Evans.

BangaloreBlues added 17:21 - Dec 29
I've changed mind, he has to go...
But anyone calling for Evans to leave is opening the door for us to follow Bury Town.
Who else is going to pump millions into the club to keep us afloat?

dirtydingusmagee added 17:22 - Dec 29
Bluearmy wont invest , but until there is a buyer we are stuck with him ,to sell you need a buyer fact .

goat_man added 17:23 - Dec 29
I'm so bored of waiting for good things to happen for this club. It needs a total reboot!

multiplescoregasms added 17:24 - Dec 29
Enough is enough. Lambert hasn't shown that he is capable of getting this group of somewhat average players anywhere close to the Championship. We need a change, and we need someone who knows this league and how to get the best out of players. Anyone got Colins number?

bluesince76 added 17:24 - Dec 29
Lambert out not the Messiah.

Bezzer added 17:25 - Dec 29
Is it Evans who Significantly changes the team week in week out?? Lambert is arrogant and stubborn and he clearly doesn’t care if he’s here or not, as is evident from last weeks comments.

We couldn’t do any worse with a Butcher/Burley combo until the end of the season, then review the situation!

happybeingblue added 17:26 - Dec 29
lambert 1 win in 13 games at league 1 level, hurst got sack for 1 win in 14 games at championship level ,all the pr does not win you games.
nice enough guy but not the answer lets get Bryan klug back in temporary charge

Bluearmy_81 added 17:26 - Dec 29
There is always a buyer at the right price. If there is no buyer its because the price is too high. I can sell my house for 300k. It might only be worth 200k so no ones going to buy it but I'm still selling my house right?!!

DurhamTownFan added 17:26 - Dec 29
That’s a scoreline from someone who has lost control of this team.

I’ve no idea what next, but he’s got to go. Players are clearly as confused as hell!

jas0999 added 17:27 - Dec 29
There can be no excuse for this, but do wonder how PLs bizarre press conference on Thursday affected the players. Even still to concede five at this level is an absolute disgrace. The defence who rode their luck earlier in the season isn’t good enough. Wolf aside (a youngster) none of the CBS have excelled. Why we play a loan in goal - when he is arguably worse than our player - defies any sort of belief.

It’s another dark day for our once great football club. Struggling at League One level. Such a shame, but sadly this has been coming for several years as the club has failed to move forward at the same level as other similar clubs. We’ve been stagnate, lacking in ambition, and it’s led us here.

Happy New Year everyone and hope 2020 sees an improvement on the pitch!

planetblue_2011 added 17:27 - Dec 29
Evans has to go in that changing room and have it out with the players & manager because this is diabolical. Loosing 5-3 against Lincoln with the players we have earning 10+ grand a week is unbelievable. Can’t see Lambert turning this around it’s gone so wrong for him & the team.
Surely Evans needs to be looking at McGreal to come in.
How can we be doing so well then haven’t won a league game in 7 games. Can’t understand it must be something happening behind the scenes because a team can’t get that bad surely!!!
We need answers as fans & answers quick because this football club is going nowhere & nowhere fast. Us fans have put up with enough these past 10 plus years it needs to be bloody sorted out👎👎👎👎

phil_itfc_brown added 17:27 - Dec 29
Bluearmy - who the hell will buy ITFC... if Evans leaves where does that leave us.. players just dont seem to be bonding.. not given enough time in the teams with Lamberts squad rotation.. its a shambles..

Geddis78 added 17:27 - Dec 29
We def have the best squad in the League from what I have seen. I can’t think of an opposition player that has been better than anything in our squad. The problem is we simply haven’t played well from day one of the season. Won a lot of games early on but all by fine margins where all the luck went our way. Seems we have used all our luck up and now losing games we were winning. I like Paul Lambert and he has done wonders off the pitch. However, performances are no better and at some point, we will have to consider if he is the right man to get us to be an established Championship Team again. Can’t see any justification for having a go at Evans. He has backed Lambert this year. There are no excuses.

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