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Ipswich Town 1 v 0 Lincoln City
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 25th January 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 1-0 Lincoln City - Match Report
Saturday, 25th Jan 2020 17:00

Luke Woolfenden’s first Town goal a minute before half-time saw Town to a 1-0 home win over Lincoln City at Portman Road and back to the top of League One. Woolfenden nodded Luke Garbutt’s freekick from the right into the net off keeper Josh Vickers to secure a deserved three points for the Blues.

Town named the same team which won 2-1 at Tranmere last week with Will Norris again in goal behind a back three of skipper Luke Chambers, ex-Imp James Wilson and Woolfenden. Garbutt and Gwion Edwards were the wing-backs.

In midfield, Emyr Huws and Flynn Downes were behind Alan Judge with Will Keane and Kayden Jackson the strikers. Town also named an unchanged bench.

Lincoln fielded the same side which beat Blackpool 1-0 at Sincil Bank last weekend with ex-Blues loanee Tayo Edun in midfield.

Town started positively, winning an early corner which Garbutt sent low across the Lincoln six-yard box.

The Blues continued to dominate the early stages, passing the ball around neatly in the Imps half, and on six Huws struck a shot from 25 yards which Lincoln keeper Vickers claimed comfortably.

Within seconds there was a scare at the other end, the ball was crossed from the right, Tyler Walker hooked it on and it bounced just wide of Norris’s right post but with the keeper looking unperturbed.

In the 12th minute a cleverly-worked freekick was played to Keane on the edge of the Lincoln box and the striker laid it back to Huws, whose powerful goalwards strike was blocked by Tyreece John-Jules.

The Blues continued to dominate and on 21 an Edwards cross from the right was only just cut out ahead of Keane at the far post by Neal Eardley. Seven minutes later, a corner from the left dropped to Chambers at the back of the box and his shot was blocked.

Town remained in total control of the game, passing the ball around confidently with Lincoln struggling to see any possession.

On 31 the Blues came close to going in front when, after a lengthy spell on the ball, Jackson played in Keane as the striker broke into the area on the left past two defenders but the former Manchester United trainee slipped his effort at goal just beyond the far post.

Immediately, Lincoln went close at the other end, Walker hitting an effort which Norris turned over. From the resultant corner, the ball struck Wilson and bounced safely to Norris.

Three minutes later, Walker was sent away on space on the right but Wilson came across to divert the ball back to Norris. The on-loan Nottingham Forest striker claimed the former Imps defender had used his hand but there were few other protests and referee Lee Swabey wasn’t interested.

But Town quickly regained their earlier level of control and in the 40th minute Lincoln’s Ipswich-born on-loan Bristol City midfielder Joe Morrell was yellow for pulling back Downes. A minute later, Woolfenden joined him in the book for a high boot inside the Imps box.

The Blues finally got the goal their first-half performance deserved a minute before the scheduled end of the half.

A Garbutt freekick from the right touchline reached Woolfenden at the far post and the centre-half nodded his first Town goal into the net off keeper Vickers.

Town weren’t too far away from making it 2-0 in the final moments of injury time, a Judge shot from the edge of the box deflecting wide.

The whistle ending the half came soon afterwards to warm applause from the home support after a very impressive half from the Blues.

All that had been missing had been a goal, which Woolfenden rectified at a crucial stage of the match.

Town began the second half on the front foot, Huws looping an early header to Vickers in the visitors’ goal.

Lincoln were next to threaten when a low cross from the right fell loose in the box but Edwards was able to scramble it behind ahead of Jorge Grant, who otherwise would have had a clear shot at goal from a matter of feet. From the corner, the ball deflected off an Imps head and wide.

But normal service soon resumed as the Blues went looking for their second goal. On 64 Garbutt smashed a low well-struck 25-yard shot which was headed into the corner of the net until Vickers got a strong arm across to turn it past the post. A minute later, Lincoln swapped John-Jules for new signing Tom Hopper, the striker having joined from Southend earlier in the week.

On 68 Downes was left in a heap just inside the Lincoln half after a two-footed Max Melbourne lunge which referee Swabey somehow saw as a fair challenge. Eventually play was stopped for treatment to the midfielder - who fortunately was able to continue - with the Blues players showing their anger at the tackle, which really ought to have led to a red card.

Moments later Cian Bolger was cautioned for tripping Jackson, then Huws joined him in the book for a foul on Grant after a loose pass had fallen for the Lincoln man on halfway. On 71 the Imps swapped Harry Anderson and Edun for Zak Elbouzedi and Conor Coventry.

Six minutes later, the Blues should have made it 2-0, Wilson flicking a corner from the right wide at the far post when he will feel he should have netted a goal against his old club.

As Lincoln prepared to restart, Town replaced Judge, who had had another very busy and effective game, with Teddy Bishop.

Blues keeper-coach and Jimmy Walker was booked in the 82nd minute for encroachment having come on to the pitch to retrieve the ball ahead of an Imps throw, much to the surprise of the former member of the Lincoln staff.

There was a scare for Town in the 86th minute when Grant was sent away breaking into the Blues’ area on the left but Wilson got across to make a strong challenge.

Downes was yellow-carded in the 88th minute for a foul, the midfielder’s ninth of the season with a 10th leading to a two-match ban, then the again very impressive Keane was replaced by Norwood just prior to the announcement of four additional minutes.

Town saw out the final minutes in relative comfort to claim their third win in five games since that 5-3 loss to the Imps at Sincil Bank a month ago.

The Blues were rarely as fluent in the second half as they had been during their excellent first period but were still in control of the match for the most part and might have added to their lead, most notably Garbutt’s well-saved shot and Wilson’s header wide.

Lincoln will feel they might have done better with a couple of second-half chances when the Blues were caught too open at the back.

Overall though, a confidence-boosting victory and display, in the first half particularly, taking Town back to the top of the division - for the first time since November 17th - ahead of Tuesday’s visit to Rotherham, the team they have usurped at the summit, who were beaten 2-1 at Peterborough, who visit Portman Road next Saturday.

Town: Norris, Chambers (c), Wilson, Woolfenden, Edwards, Downes, Huws, Garbutt, Judge (Bishop 77), Keane (Norwood 90), Jackson. Unused: Holy, Earl, Skuse, Nolan, Sears.

Lincoln: Vickers, Shackell (c), Bolger, John-Jules (Hopper 65), Walker, Grant, Morrell, Eardley, Melbourne, Anderson (Elbouzedi 71), Edun (Coventry 71). Unused: Smith, Chapman, Lewis, Hesketh. Referee: Lee Swabey (Devon). Att: 18,795 (Lincoln: 749).

Photo: TWTD

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Bluearmy_81 added 17:02 - Jan 25
Massive few weeks for Town. Crucial win today, another on Tuesday please guys. ITID

cat added 17:05 - Jan 25
Scrappy game but 3 pts in the bag. Huws and Downes bossed the middle, judge and Garbutt linked up well. Struggled to break down their giants centre halves. Top of league, ave it!

CustardCream added 17:06 - Jan 25
Huge win and results going our way too. We need to make sure we don’t get nervous over the next 3 games or this will all be for nothing and will be looking back in May thinking about what could’ve been.

I love my team

martin587 added 17:08 - Jan 25
Well done lads.Three points is all we ask.Hard team to break down but we kept at it and that’s all that matters.Must try and sign Garbutt in the summer.Same team Tuesday please.Another happy drive home.

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 17:10 - Jan 25
Oh look , we are back on top. All is not lost . Maybe the panic merchants will now shut up with the anti PL and ME rubbish and let's focus on the rest of the season .

richardpaul added 17:12 - Jan 25
Is there a full moon tonight The wolf has come out to play

iaintaylorx added 17:14 - Jan 25
Solid performance. First half I thought was really good. Good football and it’s just so good to see less ‘hoofball’. The goal from the young lad was really important just before the break. Second half was just a case of controlling the game and seeing it out. Nice 3 points to take back and top of the league! We never really got out of 2nd gear, which makes it all the sweeter to think what sort of football we could be playing when we really are at it!!

Downes was brilliant today, as was Woolf - who I could actually see as a defensive minded midfielder. Really, really good on the ball!

COYB! Peterborough is huge. Now, lets use that home record to really pull away from the pack.

Saxonblue74 added 17:16 - Jan 25
Good win against a team who are better than their league position. Decent to a man today, Chambo had a good game. Could the PL masterplan now be there for all to see? If so, it seems to be working! 3 points Tuesday would be huge but results today mean a point would be ok. Well done boys, onwards and upwards.

Suffolkboy added 17:24 - Jan 25
As we can largely trust the objectivity of the reporting on this site , I wonder whether ,despite the paucity of younger referees coming through , the referees body will institute any overall review of standards in League One ?
Plainly even the most important basic elemental principles are not being properly applied ,and this must be to the detriment of their Profession , the game itself , and the integrity and safety of those involved !
We’ve seen on video the plainest evidence of maladroit refereeing , basic lack of either courage or perceptive understanding in how and when to apply the rules , and a failure to grasp and apply effective control throughout .
It’s a great shame , and though the challenges are recognised , it behoves the Referees Professional body to discuss publicly the shortcomings AND indicate how and when they’ll be tackled : they seem to lack courage and professionalism themselves ,and sadly equally don’t want to be accountable !
They must recognise they are together with Players , teams , Managers AND supporters Partners in our fascinating enterprise !
Nevertheless , well done ITFC !

BlueandTruesince82 added 17:27 - Jan 25
Cov have to play another game with their FA cup draw, hope all that catches up with them. Some big games comming up, wonder if Lambo is winding Norwood up in readiness to unleash him.

Keane finally looking fit is good, real competition up top now with Freddie back and Lankester to come.

Also the Lincoln hoodoo is at last broken. Good day.

Reuserscurtains added 17:28 - Jan 25
Tell me if I’m getting ahead of myself but Keane reminded me of Drogba today

DifferentGravy added 17:49 - Jan 25
Definitely no masterplan, you dont risk 12 games without a win. But he finally listened to common sense and started playing a settled team ........and 11 points from 15 later.........

Superb, well done lads, absolutely made up with that result! Always going to be tricky but we put that 5-3 disaster to bed.

In a good position but we look no further than the next game. Enjoy your evening everyone!



Dolphinblue added 17:52 - Jan 25
Unbelievably pumped!!!!!!Yesssss! COYB WHOOP WHOOP

therein61 added 17:54 - Jan 25
A well earned 3 points and other results leave us in a good place, all in all a job done performance(nervy at times but hey ho) with the spirit we have in the side at present I feel we will get over the promotion line! 2 things stick out for me 1, we must sign Garbett(over to you Mr Evans) 2, the midfield being as forceful as they are(great job boys) are picking up bookings and if someone has to miss a game or two for heavens sake put Nolan in and leave Mr negative on the bench he will only mess up the good work that has been done while he has been benched not that he will have learn't a damn thing watching as he is of course premiership class and believes it.

therein61 added 17:56 - Jan 25
Garbutt not bet.

runningout added 17:58 - Jan 25
Brill!!! Tricky game won. More to come. If we create more and put a few in back of the onion bag we’ll be in with a shout.

blueboy1981 added 18:02 - Jan 25
Well done boys - can’t wish for more than being TOP of the League again. Now let’s make sure we stay there, and set the pace again.

runaround added 18:04 - Jan 25
Great result & back top of the league. I felt we were always in control of the match although at 1-0 it’s always concerning.
A number of the team played well especially Huws, Downes, Keane & Garbutt
Next 3 games are massive but we go into them in good form & good heart so think we have a good chance of getting a decent points haul in them.

EssexTractor added 18:04 - Jan 25
Particularly in the first half Will Keane demonstrated a much better centre forwards mobility than James Norwood has all season.
That helps to stretch opposition defences and he was a little unlucky not to have scored after huge possession leading up to his shot just before the break.
In defence although some gaps did provide Lincoln with some half chances on breakaways the three were largely comfortable, with yet again Luke Wolfenden played with poise and strength and obviously underlining his ability to draw " talent scouts"
Downes and Huwss now looking a formidable central midfield pairing and although praise for good possession of the ball is worthy, the only criticism , when so much in control of a game, is of not making the opposition keeper work harder.


DebsyAngel added 18:16 - Jan 25
A very entertaining match - loved the link up play between Judge, Jackson and Garbutt. Expected to have more goals, especially as the Lincoln Keeper did not look 100% fit, but a s win's a win and delighted to be on top of the league!

jas0999 added 18:27 - Jan 25
Another good result. A very professional and solid display and no doubt whatsoever that we thoroughly deserved the three points. Woolfenden was excellent at both ends of the pitch. Thought we defended well and should have won by more than one.

Big game against Rotherham, but as we are now picking a settled side and the players appear to be benefiting from it, there is nothing to suggest we shouldn’t pick up another three points.

Good stuff!

ITFCsince73 added 18:34 - Jan 25
Agree with all of that #Cat.
Took the grandson to his 1st game...3 generations at the game. Great day out all round.

blue75 added 18:47 - Jan 25
Great result today the 1st half was how we should play kept the ball & look for the gaps, Lincoln were chasing shadows at some points, importantly we got the goal we deserved. 2nd half was tougher Lincoln didn’t sit so deep but we handled it well. A 1-0 defeat was a good result for Lincoln today on another day it would’ve been 3-0 halftime match over. Our bench looks good let’s keep everyone fit & push on get at least a draw at Rotherham then beat Peterborough!! COYB

Dissboyitfc added 19:10 - Jan 25
What a difference a settled side and system makes, we looked like a team today as opposed to a few weeks back when we looked like strangers! As mentioned by Different gravy, no master plan, all we asked for was what we are seeing now, a team playing as a team and players knowing if they they play well they are likely to keep in the side!

enjoyed today, its been said but Wolfy and downes were immense again today, so pleased for Keane and Huwes, both looking superb after particular periods of rehab! No bad performances today from any any town.


Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 19:10 - Jan 25
Very well played against a decent side. The whole team looked cohesive. Downes is looking better and better with every game. Thank goodness he got up from that awful challenge. He’s a tough lad, and showing a lot of maturiy in not creating a song and dance or trying to get even. Some tough games to come, but our rivals have to play each other too at some point, so they can’t all win all their games. We just need to keep winning ours.

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