|Ipswich Town 2 v 3 Portsmouth|
Saturday, 7th November 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 2-3 Portsmouth - Match Report
Saturday, 7th Nov 2020 17:58
Sean Raggett scored a controversial 111th minute winner for Portsmouth as Town exited the FA Cup in the first round following a 3-2 after-extra-time defeat at Portman Road. Pompey scored two goals in two minutes via Ronan Curtis and Tom Naylor in the 11th and 13th minutes before Jon Nolan pulled a goal back for the Blues two minutes before half-time then, after Town had been denied a clear penalty for a foul on Oli Hawkins, sub James Norwood made it 2-2 on 66. Raggett won it for the visitors in the second half of extra-time when he stabbed home from close range following a free-kick but having strayed offside.
Town boss Paul Lambert made nine changes with centre-halves Toto Nsiala, who skippered, and Mark McGuinness the only players to survive from the team which lost 2-1 at Sunderland on Tuesday.
David Cornell was in goal with Janoi Donacien at right-back and Myles Kenlock on the left of the defence.
In midfield, Nolan was back after his suspension and joined Emyr Huws and Brett McGavin, who was in Andre Dozzell’s usual playmaking role.
Up front, Hawkins, facing his old club, played down the middle, with Freddie Sears on the left and Keanan Bennetts making his full senior debut on the right.
Striker Norwood was back on what was a very Town strong bench after his hamstring injury.
First-team coach Matt Gill was back on the touchline having missed the previous four games having tested positive for Covid-19.
Portsmouth named the same team which beat Lincoln 2-1 at Sincil Bank on Tuesday evening with ex-Blues frontman Ellis Harrison on the bench.
Town dominated the opening period of the game, but were largely passing it around in their own half of the field without threatening to create an opportunity with Portsmouth’s pressing and preventing them from getting into danger areas.
Perhaps inevitably, the visitors took the lead with their first attack of the game in the 11th minute.
McGuinness fouled Ryan Williams not far outside the area to the right and Ronan Curtis, who scored the goal which won Pompey the only league meeting between the sides last season, took the free-kick.
The Irishman’s strike beat the wall, Cornell palmed it on to the post but it appeared to hit the keeper again on his back and cross the line.
Two minutes later, it was 2-0. Town had been forced to go long after passing it around in their own half but it had quickly been returned. Eventually, Andrew Cannon cut it back from the right to the edge of the box and Pompey skipper Tom Naylor hit a low shot which deflected off McGuinness, who has had a tough week, and past Cornell to his right.
Town seemed a little shellshocked at suddenly finding themselves two goals behind and weren’t able to threaten until the 21st minute when Bennetts, who had made a positive start to the game, crossed from the right for Hawkins, who sent a header looping wide.
Portsmouth were forced into a change two minutes later when Cannon limped off having undergone treatment. Ben Close replaced him in midfield.
On 28 Hawkins was shown the game’s first yellow card following an aerial challenge with Rasmus Nicolaisen.
The Blues were continuing to see most of the ball but Pompey looked likely to score every time they broke forward towards the Town goal.
As the half-hour mark approached, a counter-attack of just that variety saw Close feed Curtis, who hit a shot from 20 yards which Cornell pushed past his right post.
The Blues played themselves into trouble in the 33rd minute when Cornell was closed down by Curtis just inside his area after an Nsiala backpass and kicked weakly straight to Marcus Harness. The former Burton Albion man probably should have shot first time towards the empty net but took the ball on and was eventually crowded out.
Despite continuing to dominate possession, Town hadn’t looked like scoring at any point until Nolan pulled a goal back out of virtually nothing in the 43rd minute.
McGuinness played a long ball forward for the Liverpudlian as he made a run into the box. Nolan’s first touch sent it to his left towards Raggett, who inadvertently returned it to the unmarked midfielder midway inside the area from where he hit a shot on the turn which beat the previously untested Craig MacGillivray in the Portsmouth goal.
The goal was the final action of a half in which the Blues had seen an awful lot of the ball but without being able to do much with it until Nolan’s late goal which owed more to poor defending than Town’s patient - and rather ponderous - build-up play.
There may have been an element of good fortune about both Pompey’s early goals, however, they had looked like scoring on almost every occasion they had broken forward and might well have been more than two goals in front prior to Nolan’s first for Town.
The Blues started the second period brightly and in the 48th minute Nolan wasn’t far away from a second. The former Shrewsbury man had won a corner on the left which was cleared to the edge of the box from where he struck a shot which deflected narrowly past MacGillivray’s right post.
From the flag-kick, McGavin’s ball in almost found its way into the net but was cleared from the line.
Town should have been awarded a penalty in the 50th minute when Nicolaisen clearly pulled Hawkins’s shirt as a Nolan cross from the left looped into the area. Referee Andy Haines and his linesman showed no interest with the Blues’ frustrations with officials continuing.
The home side had made a bright start to the second half and were playing more football in the opposition half and at a greater tempo than they had before the break. On 51 Pompey switched Callum Johnson for Haji Mnoga.
In the 57th minute McGavin curled a dangerous ball across the Portsmouth area from the right but too far in front of Sears breaking in at the far post. The attack had started after a Mnoga challenge on McGuinness had broken for Town, the tackle having arguably been reckless with the sub jumping in with his studs showing as he won the ball. Again referee Haines showed no interest.
Town replaced Hawkins with Norwood, making his first appearance since the Rochdale match on September 26th, in the 62nd minute.
And four minutes later the former Tranmere man levelled the match. Sears deftly turned a Donacien long ball into the path of the sub, who took it on into the area before slipping his first goal of the season - his last came in the 4-1 home defeat to Peterborough in February - past MacGillivray to the keeper’s right.
Two minutes after the goal, Bennetts, who had had some bright moments in his first senior start, was replaced by Edwards.
The Blues continued to take the game to the visitors, although a Curtis free-kick in the 70th minute was blocked by the Town wall and deflected wide. Following the resultant corner there was a brief dust-up between Kenlock and Raggett but referee Haines resolved the matter without the use of his cards.
Ex-Town striker Harrison replaced Curtis for Portsmouth in the 75th minute, moments before Huws scuffed a 25-yard strike through to MacGillivray. Two minutes after his introduction Harrison struck a shot well wide.
The Blues were looking the more likely scorers of the game’s fifth goal as the game entered its final 10 minutes. On 81 Sears hit a powerful effort which deflected wide for a corner.
From the flag-kick, Town might well have won it, however, Huws’s header under pressure flew the wrong side of MacGillivray’s right post.
Portsmouth weren’t too far away in the 84th minute when Harrison escaped down the left and sent over a cross but his ball was behind Williams.
On 88 McGavin played a great cross-field ball to Donacien, far from the first the young midfielder had played during an impressive display which may well put him in manager Lambert’s thoughts to take Dozzell’s place during the two league games of his three-match ban.
The pass led to a Town corner on the right which Portsmouth were unable to clear despite having several attempts. Eventually, the ball was hooked into MacGillivray’s arms.
Harrison headed wide for the visitors in the final scheduled minute but it was mainly Town pushing for the winner as the game moved into four minutes of injury time.
A minute or so in the Blues weren’t far away when Huws nodded an Edwards cross from the right back across goal and Norwood hit it against a defender on the turn with Sears unable to get to the rebound.
Pompey should have won it soon afterwards when Williams cut the ball back from the right to Close on the penalty spot but the sub somehow blazed over.
That was the final action of the 90 minutes and what had been an entertaining tie moved into extra-time.
After their under par first half, the Blues had been the better side in the second and had looked the more likely winners - and appeared to have been denied a stonewall penalty when Hawkins was fouled - until Pompey’s late miss.
The visitors made a fourth change - something allowed in extra-time - ahead of the start of the further half an hour with Bryn Morris replacing John Marquis.
Portsmouth started the first period of extra-time the brighter with Williams hitting a powerful strike at Cornell, then Harrison seeing an effort go wide.
Williams sent a dangerous ball from the right across the Blues’ box in the 94th minute but with no one able to get a touch. Moments later, Town swapped Sears for Jack Lankester.
Pompey went very close in the 96th minute when Harness hit an effort from the edge of the area which struck the outside of Cornell’s right post.
In the 100th minute Harrison rose highest as a cross came in from the left but nodded the ball into Cornell’s arms.
Two minutes later, Alan Judge replaced Huws for Town, who had been second best in extra-time with the much-changed side’s lack of recent first-team game-time perhaps catching up with them.
Four minutes into the second period of extra-time Edwards cut in from the right and scraped a shot wide.
Soon after, Donacien was booked for a tangle with Harrison just outside the area on the left with the Town defender appear. And from the free-kick, Pompey won the tie in controversial circumstances.
Harness curled the ball into the area, Naylor's header was saved by Cornell, Nicolaisen chested towards goal and Raggett turned over the line from a matter of inches.
The Town players quickly surrounded the referee, Raggett having been clearly offside. Haines consulted with his linesman but awarded the goal and booked Norwood for his protests.
Just before the whistle confirming their place in round two, Pompey night have made it 4-2 when Mnoga was sent away on the right and into the area but Kenlock just did enough to put the sub off without bringing him down to cause him to put it over the bar.
Mnoga was clearly unimpressed by the challenge and the two continued to discuss the matter after the game had been brought to a close.
As seems to be happening with alarming regularity, the Blues were once again victims of poor refereeing with Pompey’s winner very evidently offside, while an obvious penalty - certainly more of a spot-kick than the one Sunderland were given on Tuesday - had been denied them in normal time.
While defeat was harsh on the Blues on the balance of the second half of the 90 minutes in which they should have won the tie having come from two behind to level, Pompey were the better side in extra-time with Town appearing to run out of steam in the additional half an hour.
Overall, not having a cup run in a season in which fixtures are already coming thick and fast may be a blessing in disguise, however, that won’t make losing yet another game to poor refereeing any less of a frustration to Paul Lambert and his players.
The Blues are next in action against Crawley at the Broadfield Stadium in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday.
Town's FA Cup exit - their first at the first round stage since 1955 - and that of Charlton, who lost 1-0 at home to Plymouth, means the League One game between the Blues and the Addicks, which was postponed due to international calls last month and was previously pencilled in for Tuesday 22nd December, will now be played on Saturday 28th November (KO 3pm).
Town: Cornell, Donacien, Nsiala (c), McGuinness, Kenlock, McGavin, Huws (Judge 102), Nolan, Bennetts (Edwards 68), Sears (Lankester 95), Hawkins (Norwood 62). Unused: Holy, Wilson, Jackson.
Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Johnson (Mnoga 51), Nicolaisen, Raggett, Pring, Williams, Naylor (c), Cannon (Close 23), Curtis (Harrison 74), Harness, Marquis (Morris 90). Unused: Bass, Downing, Hiwula. Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne and Wear).
Photo: Matchday Images
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