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.
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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