|Ipswich Town 0 v 0 Barrow|
Saturday, 4th December 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Ipswich Town 0-0 Barrow - Match Report
Saturday, 4th Dec 2021 17:05
Town face a second-round replay at Barrow after a dismal 0-0 draw at Portman Road. Subs Joe Pigott and Cameron Humphreys both hit the woodwork for the Blues but overall it was a lacklustre display from Town, who are still without a home FA Cup victory since January 2009.
Kayden Jackson, Idris El Mizouni and Cameron Burgess kept their places from Wednesday’s Papa John’s Trophy exit to Arsenal’s U21s.
Jackson was wide on the right with El Mizouni alongside skipper Sam Morsy in central midfield with Scott Fraser reverting to the left, with Burgess at the heart of the defence.
From the team which beat Crewe in League One last Sunday, Sone Aluko dropped to the bench, while Bersant Celina and George Edmundson were absent from the 18. Pigott was on the bench with Macauley Bonne continuing as the lone central striker.
Town also included youngsters Humphreys and Fraser Alexander among the substitutes, while there was no place for Kyle Edwards.
For Barrow, at Portman Road for the first time in their history, Connor Brown, skipper Mark Ellis and Patrick Brough returned to their XI.
After both teams taking a knee had been warmly applauded by the Portman Road crowd, Barrow saw most of the ball in the early stages but without threatening, although on six Josh Kay cut in from the left and shot low past Christian Walton’s right post.
Moments later, applause echoed around the ground in tribute to six-year-old Birmingham supporter Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who was killed by his father and step-mother, as was the case at stadiums across the country.
Town began to control play but without making any headway into the final third. On 12, a Barrow break down the left ended with Janoi Donacien blocking from Kay after the Bluebirds’ left winger had appeared to have got away from him.
Three minutes later, Fraser exchanges passes with Chaplin, then fed in Bailey Clements from left-back but the ball was just too strong for the youngster.
Barrow won two free-kicks in quick succession around the Blues box and from the second Joe Grayson hit a low shot which Walton did well to palm past his left post.
Following the resultant corner, Josh Gordon was allowed a free header but struck the post, although with the linesman’s flag having been raised.
Despite the chance having been one which would have been ruled out, the Town support showed their frustration after an underwhelming first 20 minutes from their team.
The Blues briefly began to step things up and on 25 Fraser struck their first shot on target from 25 yards, visitors keeper Paul Farman, who played for Lincoln City in their FA Cup third round giant-killing of Mick McCarthy’s Town in January 2017, doing well to tip over.
Town continued to keep up the pressure and two minutes later, Jackson sent a low ball across the face of goal after a long spell of possession. No one was able to get a touch on it until it reached Clements beyond the far post and his low ball back in was cleared.
Barrow might have gone closer to a goal just before the half hour when Brown crossed from the right and skipper Ellis headed weakly straight at Walton.
Town were still to really get going with the visitors having had the better of the chances. However, on 38 Chaplin made a strong run having turned his man on the left and cut across to Bonne but Grayson slid in to make an important interception with the Blues’ top scorer otherwise all but certain to score.
A minute later, Bonne screwed a shot from the edge of the box so far wide it looped out for a throw, adding to the already palpable frustration in the stands.
Boos greeted the half-time whistle after a thoroughly uninspiring first 45 minutes from the Blues.
Despite having a lot of the ball, Town’s play had little tempo to it and they had rarely looked like creating a chance with Fraser’s shot which Farman tipped over their only real opportunity.
Barrow had looked little threat for the most part, however, the League Two side had had more of the first-half opportunities.
Town swapped El Mizouni for Pigott ahead of the second half with the former AFC Wimbledon man joining Bonne up front with Chaplin moving to the left and Fraser in to the middle of midfield.
Pigott got straight into the action, chasing a ball down the middle which a defender got across to clear.
On 49 Pigott was an inch or two from opening the scoring when he seized on a loose bouncing ball and smashed a shot beyond Farman and off his left post. The keeper suffered a knock as he dived and required treatment as a result.
Two minutes later, the sub headed a Fraser free-kick from the left wide with the Blues starting the half with more purpose than before the break.
The game briefly boiled over in the 55th minute when Brown caught Chaplin with a high boot and the Town man reacted angrily and other members of both teams got involved. Once order was restored, referee Sam Purkiss booked the pair involved in the initial incident.
There was a scare for the Blues two minutes later when Clements’s clearing header from a Robbie Gotts free-kick from deep on the left fell to Kay, who blazed over with Walton out of his goal having come for the ball into the box.
Town felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute when Donacien crossed low from the right and Bonne appeared to be tripped as he broke towards the ball, however, referee Purkiss showed no interest.
Two minutes later, Pigott, clearly out to make his mark, shot well over from distance but the Blues’ second-half display more and more began to resemble the first.
On 69, Barrow weren’t far away from going in front when Kay struck a shot which deflected behind for a corner.
From the flag-kick, the ball reached Kay on the edge of the area where he was dispossessed by Bonne, who brought the ball forward on the right before checking inside and shooting against a defender with Fraser and Chaplin in space to his left and calling for a pass. Moments later, skipper Sam Morsy was booked for a foul.
Barrow were next to threaten with Walton saving low from Brough's low cross from the left and then Kay hitting an effort which deflected wide.
Town swapped Jackson for Aluko in a stoppage for a Barrow injury, one which the home support clearly felt was just to waste time.
The game was becoming more open and end to end and on 78 Chaplin was found in space on the right of the box but his shot was diverted behind.
Chaplin shot wide at the near post from a Fraser cross from the right after Aluko’s initial ball in had been blocked. Moments later, young midfielder Humphreys replaced the former Barnsley and Pompey man.
In the penultimate scheduled minute, ahead of six added on, Aluko made a strong run from halfway before hitting a low shot which Farman saved down to his left.
Morsy almost won it in the fifth minute of injury time when Bonne laid it off to him in the area from a cross from the right but the Egyptian international shot over.
Young sub Humphreys almost won it at the death when he headed against the bar from Aluko’s cross from the right, Farman having got a hand to it. From the corner, Nsiala nodded wide at the far post.
Soon after, the final whistle was met by boos after another disappointing Town performance in which - for the second time at Portman Road in the competition this season - they never really showed enough to beat League Two strugglers.
Pigott and Humphreys both hit the woodwork but the Blues created few other clear-cut chances and as a result they will play their first ever competitive fixture at Holker Street in just over a week’s time, while both teams will go into the hat ahead of Monday evening’s draw for the third round, which is live on ITV4 during their coverage of the Borehamwood-St Albans tie.
Town: Walton, Donacien, Nsiala, Burgess, Clements, Morsy (c), El Mizouni (Pigott 46), Jackson (Aluko 76), Chaplin (Humphreys 85), Fraser, Bonne. Unused: Hladky, Vincent-Young, Alexander, Carroll, Evans, Harper.
Barrow: Farman, Brown, Brough, Ellis (c), Kay (Stevens 86), Gordon, White (Zanzala 62), Jones, Gotts, Grayson, Banks (Taylor 90). Unused: Lillis, Jones, Beadling, Hutton, Arthur, James. Referee: Sam Purkiss (London). Att: 6,425 (Barrow: 205).
Photo: Matchday Images
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