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Ipswich Town 1-1 Lincoln City - Match Report
Tuesday, 9th Mar 2021 21:01

James Wilson netted against his former club as the Blues drew 1-1 with Lincoln City in new manager Paul Cook’s first home game in charge. January Town target Morgan Rogers gave the Imps a 29th-minute lead as the visitors dominated the first half, however, Wilson nodded in his second goal in three games to claim a share of the points as the Blues improved after the break.

Cook made three changes from the team which lost 3-1 at Gillingham on Saturday with Flynn Downes, Gwion Edwards and Jack Lankester coming into the side for Josh Harrop, Keanan Bennetts and Troy Parrott.

Downes joined Andre Dozzell in the centre of midfield with Teddy Bishop in the number 10 role, Edwards on the right and Lankester on the left.

Alan Judge was back on the bench having been given compassionate leave at the weekend following his mother’s death.

None of Town’s six loanees started, for the first time in the league since the 1-0 defeat at Lincoln in October, while five of the XI came through the academy.

Lincoln made two changes from the team which beat Crewe 3-0 at Sincil Bank on Saturday with TJ Eyoma and Tom Hopper coming into the starting line-up for Regan Poole and Callum Morton, who dropped to the bench. Ex-Town loanee Tayo Edun started for the Imps, who named only six subs.

Joining the first team coaches on the field prior to the game to observe the warm-up and chat at length to Judge was U23s coach Kieron Dyer.

After both teams, again with the exception of Toto Nsiala, took a knee in support of Black Lives Matter, Lincoln hit the first serious shot of the game in the fifth minute, Rogers’s low effort from the edge of the area curling past Tomas Holy’s right post.

But Town saw most of the ball in the following minutes, but without finding a way through the Lincoln defence.

The Imps subsequently had a spell on top but also without being able to work a chance. On 16 Cohen Bramall blazed wide after Chambers had headed clear a corner from the right.

Five minutes later, from another Imps corner on the right, the ball fell to Rogers in space in the box but his low effort at goal was blocked by Chambers. The on-loan Manchester City man will have felt he should have done better.

Lincoln were well on top and in the 23rd minute they almost went in front. Eyoma sent over a dangerous low ball from the right and Nsiala turned it on to his own post, blocked a follow-up header and eventually helped scramble it behind while on the floor. Had the centre-half not diverted it on to the post a Lincoln player behind him would almost certainly have tapped home from a matter of inches.

The Blues had just about kept that out but in the 29th minute the Imps took a deserved lead.

Rogers, who Town tried to sign on loan before he moved to the Imps in January, was played the ball not far inside the Town half, brought it forward and then inside from the right before smashing a 25-yard strike past the static Holy and into the net.

It looked one the keeper will feel he should have stopped but seemed not to pick up as it wobbled through the air towards him.

Town had struggled to make any headway going forward but on 37 Norwood won the ball midway inside the Imps half and fed Edwards to his right but the Welshman wasted his cross.

The Blues came very close to levelling in the 41st minute. Downes, who had swapped roles with Bishop, was fouled by Edun on the left and Dozzell sent over a free-kick which reached Nsiala at the far post but the central defender directed his header the wrong side of the post.

Three minutes later, Edun again felled Downes, this time not far outside the area to the right and, after the ex-Blues loanee had been booked, Dozzell curled a goalbound free-kick past the wall but Lincoln keeper Alex Palmer was able to paw away and then claim at the second attempt ahead of Nsiala.

Lincoln were well worth their lead at the break even if the Blues had had a couple of opportunities towards the end of the half.

After the Blues had had a decent early spell, the visitors had been very much in charge for most of the rest of the half, passing the ball around quickly, slickly and incisively, and might well have been ahead before Rogers’s fifth goal of the season.

Town huffed and puffed thereafter with their late chances coming courtesy of set pieces with nothing of note created from open play.

Blues wingers Edwards and Lankester swapped wings ahead of the second half with Downes and Bishop returning to their earlier roles.

Town saw more of the ball in the opening spell and more often in the opposition half of the field than before the break but without creating another chance. On 50, Bishop was booked for a foul on Edun.

But the Blues were appearing to grow in confidence and in the 58th minute Norwood was sent away down the right and whipped over a dangerous cross which a defender nodded away from Edwards who had broken into the box.

Cook made a triple sub, as he had at Gillingham, on the hour with Parrott, Bennetts and Judge replacing Bishop, Edwards and Lankester. Parrott took up his usual role behind Norwood with Judge on the left and Bennetts on the right.

Three minutes after coming on, Parrott was fouled by Lewis Montsma on the Town left, the Lincoln defender picking up a yellow card.

The Blues continued to see a lot of the ball, with Lincoln not unhappy to sit back on their lead, but without creating any clear-cut chances until the 72nd minute when they levelled.

Edun fouled Dozzell a third of the way inside the Lincoln half. The midfielder took the free-kick, Chambers nodded it back across goal from the right to an unmarked Wilson, who found the corner of the net with well-placed his header to claim his second goal in three games and his first at Portman Road against his old club.

Although their chances had been limited, the Blues had been on top since the break and the goal continued their recent run of set-piece goals, their last six having come from either corners or free-kicks.

Lincoln swapped Morton for Hopper as they prepared to restart following the goal, then on 79 Anthony Scully for Edun and on 82 replaced Eyoma with Poole.

The Imps had rarely entered Town’s half in the second period but on 83 Brennan Johnson seized on an Nsiala error and took the ball to the left of the area but Holy did well to block at an angle. A minute later, Downes was booked for a foul on Adam Jackson.

In four minutes of time added on, Norwood was replaced by Kayden Jackson but there wasn’t time for the striker to make his mark before referee James Oldham ended proceedings.

Town were much better in the second half, wresting control from the Imps, who had been very much on top before the break.

The Blues had been unable to create a serious chance but once again they were able to profit from a set piece with Wilson taking his opportunity clinically.

A draw against the third-placed Imps is a very creditable result, particularly after the first half.

Manager Cook was a more vocal presence on the touchline than he had been at Gillingham - or perhaps it was just he couldn’t be heard above Steve Evans’s constant diatribe towards the officials at the Priestfield Stadium - urging his players to press and not to commit fouls among other instructions.

Town, who now only have to play Portsmouth, at Fratton Park, of the sides above them, climb a place to seventh, one point behind Pompey in sixth, ahead of Saturday’s home game against Plymouth.

Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson, Kenlock, Dozzell, Downes, Lankester (Judge 60), Bishop (Parrott 60), Edwards (Bennetts 60), Norwood. Unused: Cornell, Ward, Harrop, Jackson.

Lincoln: Palmer, Eyoma (Poole 82), Jackson, Monstma, Bramall, Edun (Scully 79), McGrandles, Jones, Rogers, Johnson, Hopper (Morton 73). Unused: Long, Archibald, Roughan. Referee: James Oldham (Derbyshire).

Photo: Matchday Images

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IpswichT62OldBoy added 21:02 - Mar 9
Square pegs in square hole is a good start

RobsonWark added 21:03 - Mar 9
Same old sh#te again. Never ever looked liked scoring all night.

Dolphinblue added 21:03 - Mar 9
Good point coyb

LWNR2013 added 21:04 - Mar 9
Fair result. Still in touch.

BromleyBloo added 21:05 - Mar 9
Imps a good team, even without two key players. Not much in it, but I guess deservedly they took the lead with a very good strike. Few chances thereafter, but we huffed and puffed and struggled to lay a glove on them or create a scoring opportunity.

Similar after half-time, but they strangely retreated and encouraged us to push on to them. As a result we dominated possession and, while threatening little, eventually got a break with Chambers climbing hugely from a set piece for Wilson to head in. Very scrappy, but then all to play for.

Continued the same, but again we struggled to create another chance. Lincoln good, but mainly in the first half and their lack of ambition in the second half strange, but we took it on to them, albeit without creating substantial opportunities or a killer blow. As PC said before, we don’t score enough goals or create enough chances. So a draw was probably a fair result and still all to play for.

After Gills important that we didn’t lose.


IpswichT62OldBoy added 21:05 - Mar 9
Robson, we scored

TimmyH added 21:05 - Mar 9
Good job we have some success with dead ball situations as we don't create diddly squat from open play...1 header which we scored from and struggling to think of another chance we created. Saying that Lincoln were woeful 2nd half and probably didn't deserve to win.

A lot of work for Mr Cook to do...just wish we could get more out of players like Bishop and Dozzell.

RobsonWark added 21:06 - Mar 9
Bennetts reminds me of Finidi George - f.n.useless. How did he get to play for Muchengladbach? They must have some really bad footballers in Germany!

BangaloreBlues added 21:06 - Mar 9
Can't understand these criticisms. For god's sake, give the man a chance to find his best 11 and best way of playing. It will take a time.
After the mess we've been in, it was never going to happen overnight. Still second place for me with the run in we have. The black cats are also turning into dark horses...

MickMillsTash added 21:07 - Mar 9
Take a point, Lincoln were good until they stopped trying.
Thought Bishop was unlucky to be subbed and we struggled to get forward once he left the pitch.

martin587 added 21:09 - Mar 9
Very good second half from the lads and a good set piece goal.Still in the pack so all guns blazing Saturday.

timkatieadamitfc added 21:09 - Mar 9
Big reality check here, really hope Cooke does well here and turns it around but as robsonwark pointed out, we never looked like scoring. Game actually entertaining for 1st 20 mins then it just went crap, how many passes did we make sideways/backwards in our own half it became boring to watch.
Cooke got his work cut out here as we are nowhere near as good as we think we are, just hope he can do it

dirtydingusmagee added 21:10 - Mar 9
we really [really really] need some real fire power, we are no threat . Sadly i think it will be another season playing on village greens

anditractor added 21:11 - Mar 9
I agree with Bangalore. Give Paul Cook a chance to stamp his mark on the team especially as PL didn't have a clue with all the swapping and changing he done. Its going to take a few matches yet. We also didn't lose against a so called top ten team, we are still in the mix for promotion COYB

Norwichbeater added 21:13 - Mar 9
We haven’t changed anything yet. Same formation. Same lack of creativity. One up front. No difference at all yet.

Suffolkboy added 21:14 - Mar 9
Great to see PC encouraging players ,AND to move forward and quit the fouls . If he can somehow stop our chaps backchatting the Refs, accept the whistle,get on and into position ,alongside teaching FDownes to be effective without getting a card or more,then we will see progress !

Mariner1974 added 21:18 - Mar 9
Strange subs to take off Gwion and Bishop who were our best two players on the night. Gwion is the only winger we have who can actually cross. Bennetts passing is shocking. Weird that Lincoln didn't come at us more. They seemed to show us too much respect as the game went on. Great to get a draw, as the game was drifting. Keep Bishop in the 10 role and Gwion on the wing.

ThaiBlue added 21:19 - Mar 9
Good point but a terrible match.our forwards will never score goals when we dont feed them.defence to midfield back to defence all night,go direct and hope for a lucky break.dozzell poor so was bennets.should have gone for it but suppose a point is better than nought.

DebsyAngel added 21:19 - Mar 9
Thought it was a decent match, but the second half too stop-start and it did not flow. Think putting 3 subs on all at once was a bit much, should kept Edwards on, thought he was good. Good equaliser from Wilson. Thought Lincoln looked really good in the first half. That Edun should been sent off, got away with too many fouls. Still need to do a lot better, but Paul Cook has not got an easy task on his hands. Good luck to him. Would like to see Matheson given a chance on Saturday.

timkatieadamitfc added 21:22 - Mar 9
@bangalore - people aren’t criticising they’re just pointing out the obvious and what has happened in tonight’s game, any sane Itfc fan is right behind this new management team

Bert added 21:27 - Mar 9
What an odd game. Lincoln controlled the game first half, sat back second half, we scored and they still sat back. Our passing was slick and quick but no end result in the last quarter. Not sure why Edwards was substituted. Nsaila was playing walking football ! However, Lincoln are a pretty good team in a rotten league and on balance a point was a decent return. If Cook can find the answer to getting the ball to Norwood we are in with a shout.

SpiritOfJohn added 21:28 - Mar 9
Bishop looked promising in the first 20 minutes, then swapped places with Downes and the game went downhill from there onwards. Too many 'safe' passes back to Toto, who seemed to have had possession of the ball for about 10% of the match. And then Judge gave him a shocking ball to deal with, which he promptly made a hash of almost leading to an undeserved winner for Lincoln. Well taken goal by Wilson who was Mr Consistency again.

HUTCHITFC added 21:29 - Mar 9
Whilst I will always try my best to remain positive i seriously do not see how some people think we could honestly get top 2. We create hardly any chances. We pass the ball around our end of the pitch and then when try to push forward near enough always give the ball away. We rarely create goal scoring opportunities so I'm sorry I just don't think the players we currently have are a top 2 team. Yes we might have a decent run in but unless we can score more goals we have no chance.

heathen66 added 21:31 - Mar 9
In the cold light of day it may be a good point.
Lincoln are a good side
Thought Kenlock tried really hard and deserves his place, probably motm
Disappointed to see not too many players seemingly playing for their futures.

barrystedmunds added 21:32 - Mar 9
Two games in people! Two games! What are folk expecting here. This is still Shambles team with all their shortcomings. PC needs time to assess and adjust. In my opinion automatic has gone, but playoffs are a real possibility. Get there and we’ll take our chances giving PC the chance to stamp his authority.

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