|Lincoln City 1 v 0 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 24th October 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Lincoln City 1-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 24th Oct 2020 17:02
Jorge Grant’s 77th minute penalty saw Lincoln City to a 1-0 victory over 10-man Town at Sincil Bank and to the top of the table. League One top scorer Grant netted his sixth of the season from the spot after Toto Nsiala had upended Brennan Johnson, son of 1990s Blues frontman David. Late on, Jon Nolan was dismissed for a wild challenge on Harry Anderson, while Blues boss Paul Lambert was dismissed after the whistle for remonstrating with the referee.
Jack Lankester was handed his first league start since January 2019 and Stephen Ward, Oli Hawkins and Teddy Bishop returned to the XI.
Lankester, who missed the best part of a season and a half after two stress fractures to his back, came in on the right of the front three with Alan Judge dropping out having complained of a hamstring problem earlier in the week.
Ward took over at left-back from Myles Kenlock, who dropped to the bench, having missed the last three League One matches with the achilles problem he suffered in the visit to the MK Dons.
Bishop replaces Emyr Huws in midfield with the Welshman among the subs, while Hawkins, who came on in the second half as the Blues lost 4-1 at Doncaster on Tuesday having missed the 2-0 victory over Accrington with a groin problem, replaced Freddie Sears, who was also on the bench. Town pair James Wilson and Nolan were facing their former club.
Lincoln made two changes from the team which beat Plymouth 2-0 at Sincil Bank on Tuesday with ex-Blues loanee Tayo Edun and Harry Anderson coming into the team for Sean Roughan and Tom Hopper.
Former Town striker David Johnson’s son Brennan, who is on loan from Nottingham Forest, started for the Imps as their lone central striker.
The home side should have taken the lead in the third minute from the game’s first chance. James Jones crossed low from the right and Grant blasted over at the far post when it looked easier to score.
Lincoln were an inch or two away from going in front again in the seventh minute when Andre Dozzell played a poor pass to Grant on the edge of the area from where the former Forest man hit a shot which flicked off Toto Nsiala and struck the bar. The Blues defender cleared the danger.
The Town goal had lived a charmed life in the opening minutes but on eight Edwards hit a low shot from 20 yards which had power but was too close to Alex Palmer in the Imps goal.
A minute later, Ward saw a strike deflected behind off Anderson as the Blues began to get a foothold in the game.
But Lincoln went close again in the 16th minute when Jones stood a cross up from the right - where the Imps were causing Town considerable problems - which looped just over Grant under pressure from Blues skipper Luke Chambers as he broke in at the far post.
On 19 Edwards blasted a 25-yard free-kick straight at the wall after Bishop had been felled by Liam Bridcutt.
Two minutes later, Jones shot well over for the Imps, who were continuing to look the most likely scorers of the first goal.
In the 27th minute, after the Blues had repeatedly failed to clear the danger following a corner, Anderson was played in on the right of the area but shot across the face of goal under pressure from Wilson.
Town went close for the first time two minutes later when Dozzell sent over a corner from the left, Hawkins met it with a powerful goal-bound header from beyond the far post but Conor McGrandles nodded off the line.
The Blues were starting to pass the ball around more confidently and beginning to get control of the game as the half-hour mark was crossed.
On 31 a poor defensive header dropped to Hawkins 30 yards out with the keeper off his line having come for the initial ball forward but the former Portsmouth man shot well over.
Two minutes before the scheduled break, Johnson was played in on goal by TJ Eyoma on the right of the box and hit a low shot which Holy’s toe sent the wrong side of the post.
The half-time whistle went as Lincoln prepared to take a corner after Holy had failed to deal with a difficult Wilson pass back to him.
Town could count themselves very fortunate not to be at least a goal down at the break with Lincoln having had four very decent chances to go in front.
Two of those came early on with the Blues starting slowly before getting on top possession-wise but without being able to create anything of note.
Lincoln continued to look the more dangerous side with Holy doing well to thwart Johnson shortly before half-time.
Grant hit a powerful low shot from 25 yards which Holy dealt with confidently two minutes after the restart.
Town should have taken the lead in the 55th minute when Lankester sent over a free-kick from the left - Ward having been fouled - and Edwards reached it at the near post but headed over from close range. The Welshman will have felt he should have been celebrating his sixth goal of the season.
More of the game was being played in the Lincoln half than before the break with the Blues in control.
Chances continued to be a rarity, however. On 67 Bishop brought the ball in from the right and hit a shot which deflected off a defender and hit Nolan in the groin.
In the 75th minute Lankester found Edwards breaking into the area on the left of the area with a superb pass, however, the Welshman was dispossessed as he sought to cut inside.
Two minutes later, the Imps went in front via a very soft penalty. Johnson got round the outside of Nsiala on the left and as the defender looked to outmuscle the striker the on-loan Forest man was sent to ground.
Referee Kevin Johnson pointed straight to the spot, despite lengthy Town arguments that it wasn’t a foul and also that there was a foul on Bishop in the build-up.
While it was definitely a harsh decision, Nsiala, who also conceded a penalty at Doncaster on Tuesday, had no need to lean into Johnson with the striker not really going anywhere by that point.
Grant took the spot-kick and hit his sixth goal of the season low to Holy’s right and into the net.
Keanan Bennetts replaced Lankester, who grew into his first league start in 21 months and can be pleased with his display.
Edwards sent a dangerous ball across the Lincoln area in the 82nd minute but with no one there to add the final touch as Town went looking for a leveller.
As the game moved into four minutes of injury time, McGrandles was booked for pulling back Bennetts as he broke forward.
Keeper Holy went forward for the free-kick and got a boot on a loose ball as Lincoln initially failed to clear but it bounced harmlessly through to his Imps counterpart Palmer, who hadn’t been forced into a save all afternoon.
Deep in injury time the Blues were reduced to 10 men when Nolan dived in and made a frustrated tackle on Anderson as he broke through the middle and referee Johnson immediately showed a straight red card. The midfielder will now miss the next three games.
Following the challenge, there was a brief confrontation between the players and Bishop and Edun were both yellow-carded.
After the whistle, the Town complaints continued and manager Lambert was shown a red card.
The Blues will feel they ought to have got something from having been on top on the second half.
A game of few chances always looked destined to be settled by one goal and while the Blues had a lot of the ball in the second half, they created very little.
Lincoln, who had plenty of chances before the break, threatened equally as rarely in the second but profited from some generous refereeing and a second injudicious challenge from Nsiala in two games. Up to that point, a 0-0 draw looked very much on the cards.
Town drop to fourth with Lincoln go top with the Blues at home to Gillingham on Tuesday and Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
Lincoln: Palmer, Eyoma, Montsma, Walsh, Edun, Bridcutt, McGrandles, Jones, Anderson, Grant, Johnson (Hopper 84). Unused: Ross, Scully, Archibald, Soule, Gotts, Roughan.
Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson, Ward, Dozzell, Nolan, Bishop, Lankester (Bennetts 80), Edwards, Hawkins. Unused: Cornell, McGuinness, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Huws, Sears. Referee: Kevin Johnson (Weston-super-Mare).
Photo: Action Images
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Blogs 270 bloggers
Season's Beatings by Moggasknockdown
It is a bitterly disheartening experience supporting Ipswich. At every sliding doors moment in our recent history we have taken the wrong path, at every opportunity for schadenfreude an ex-player will decisively score, or create or generally remind us all that they are happier now, away from the depressing, soul-destroying experience that was their Ipswich career.
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A Head in the Right Place by NormEmerges
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