|Barrow 2 v 0 Ipswich Town|
Wednesday, 15th December 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Barrow 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Wednesday, 15th Dec 2021 21:45
Wretched Town suffered yet another embarrassing FA Cup exit as first-half goals from Jordan Stevens and Robbie Gotts saw League Two Barrow to a 2-0 second-round replay victory at Holker Street. The Blues deserved little more having been woeful in a first half in which Stevens netted on 26 and Gotts nine minutes later. Town huffed and puffed after the break but never looked like getting back into the match.
Interim manager John McGreal made eight changes to the Blues side with only Christian Walton, Kane Vincent-Young and Cameron Burgess remaining from Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Wigan.
Walton continued in goal behind a back four of, from the right, Vincent-Young, Toto Nsiala, Burgess and Matt Penney.
In midfield, Idris El Mizouni and Tom Carroll were in the centre with Scott Fraser on the left and Sone Aluko, who skippered, on the right. Up front, James Norwood started alongside Kayden Jackson.
Among those on the bench are captain Sam Morsy, Conor Chaplin and Janoi Donacien, while Ben Morris was included in the first-team squad for the first time since the Coventry game in March 2020, the final match before that season was suspended due to the pandemic.
Young midfielder Cameron Humphreys was due to be in the squad but was left out as his room-mate has Covid, according to Blues legend Terry Butcher, who was part of the team covering the game live for ITV4
League Two Barrow made two changes with Josh Gordon and Matt Platt coming into the team for Ozzy Zanzala and Mark Ellis, who dropped to the bench.
Prior to kick-off both teams took a knee aside from Aluko and Nsiala, who both raised an arm.
Barrow saw most of the ball in the early stages and on five Gordon got behind Burgess on the right but screwed his shot well wide.
The Bluebirds continued to dominate the ball and in the 12th minute came close to going in front when Patrick Brough crossed from the left after a flowing move from halfway and Gotts shot just over from the edge of the area.
Barrow felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the 19th minute when Burgess sent Gordon flying as he cleared after dallying not realising the Barrow striker was behind him. The Town defender looked to have got something on the ball as well as the player but some referees might have given it.
The Blues had shown very little with the home side controlling the game and in the 26th minute they went in front with their first goal in open play in seven matches.
A corner was played short to Gott, who laid it to Stevens on the edge of the box from where he smashed a shot into the net off El Mizouni. It was all the League Two side deserved with the Blues yet to get going.
Barrow threatened again on the half hour when Gotts shot not too far wide at the near post from a right-sided cross.
The Blues continued to labour and in the 35th minute the home side doubled their lead. Stevens crossed from the left, Brough couldn’t direct it goalwards but it dropped to Gotts, who smashed into the net to make it 2-0.
The scoreline far from flattered the Cumbrians, who had been much the better side with the Blues having shown nothing.
Town finally threatened as the half reached its final minutes, a Fraser free-kick from the right leading to a corner from which Burgess flicked a header well wide, much to his frustration.
The half-time whistle was greeted by cheers from the home side who thoroughly deserved their two-goal lead with the Blues as bad as they’ve been at any point over the last few seasons.
Town had been embarrassingly schooled by League Two’s 19th-place team, who had passed the ball around tidily and created the game’s only chances.
The Blues had struggled to keep hold of the ball, had carved out nothing in front of goal and had looked shaky at the back.
It was little surprise that McGreal made changes at the break with skipper Morsy and Luke Woolfenden taking over from Fraser and Carroll as he moved the team into a 3-5-2 system with Aluko ahead of El Mizouni and Morsy in the centre.
Town threatened within a minute of the restart, Norwood stabbing wide from inside the area.
On 48 sub Woolfenden headed wide after a corner which had been played to the edge of the box had been looped back towards the post.
In the 54th minute Morsy hit a well-struck shot from just outside the box which home keeper Paul Farman saved down to his left and then claimed ahead of Jackson as the striker sought to follow-up, suffering a knock which required treatment as he did so.
Farman, who was in goal for Lincoln when they beat Town in the FA Cup at Sincil Bank in 2017, was eventually OK to carry on.
Barrow created their first opportunities of the second half in the 58th minute, First, Ollie Banks’s shot was blocked then Stevens sent his volley over the bar.
Just after the hour, Norwood chased a long ball down the middle but Farman was quickly off his line to claim in front of the striker.
On 66 Morsy was shown the game’s first yellow card for a late challenge on Banks inside the centre circle. Two minutes later, Norwood was swapped for Joe Pigott after a frustrating evening.
In the 72nd minute Nsiala went down clearly in pain after colliding with Gordon and required treatment for what looked like a twisted knee. The centre-half eventually gingerly made his way to the touchline and was replaced by Donacien, while Chaplin took over from Aluko. On 79, Barrow swapped Stevens for Josh Kay and Connor Brown for Remeao Hutton.
Any momentum the Blues might have built up in the early minutes of the half had well and truly dissipated with the game petering out as a contest given the home’s side’s two-goal lead and the succession of substitutions preventing any flow.
However, in the 80th minute, Vincent-Young sent a low ball across the Bluebirds area but with no one on hand to add a final touch.
Town were seeing a fair bit of the ball but without finding a way through the Barrow XI, who by now were happy to sit on their lead. On 87 Pigott shot into the ground and through to Farman.
Morsy showed his frustration a minute later by dragging a Barrow player to his feet as he was on the ground waiting for treatment and was fortunate not to be shown a second yellow card.
As the match moved into six minutes of injury time, Pigott rose to head a Donacien cross from the right towards goal but Farman was again able to save with little fanfare.
Another FA Cup horror show - as was the case with then-non-league Lincoln in 2017 in front of TV cameras - to go with Town’s worst.
After an abject first-half display, the Blues improved after the break but never put Barrow under real pressure and Farman in goal had a quiet evening.
The Bluebirds progress to round three and an away tie at Barnsley, while the Blues will be without a game on Saturday 8th January with their league match with AFC Wimbledon off as the Dons are also in FA Cup action.
Town, led either by McGreal or perhaps a new manager, are next in action on Saturday when Sunderland are at Portman Road when the Blues will have to be very much better if they’re to take anything from the game.
Barrow: Farman, Brown (Hutton 79), Brough, Platt, Gordon (Zanzala 82), White, J Jones, Gotts (Ellis 90), Grayson, Banks (c), Stevens (Kay 79). Unused: Lillis, Taylor, M Jones, Beadling, James.
Town: Walton, Vincent-Young, Nsiala (Donacien 75), Burgess, Penney, Aluko (c) (Chaplin 75), El Mizouni, Carroll (Woolfenden 46), Fraser (Morsy 46), Jackson, Norwood (Pigott 68). Unused: Hladky, Kenlock, Morris. Referee: James Bell (Sheffield). Att: 2,756 (Town: 202).
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 285 bloggers
The Swinging Sixty by ElephantintheRoom
Sixty years ago this year Town won the top division, so if you look upon your relationship with Ipswich Town as some sort of marriage this year marks the diamond jubilee of that remarkable achievement.
Five Reasons to Be Optimistic and Five Reasons to Remain Cautious by adamisablue2
Just after Conor Chaplin crashed home his penalty and Town's fourth against Gillingham on Saturday, I turned to my friends in the stand and uttered the [probably] famous last words of “the road to Wembley starts here boys!”
Big Club, Little Club by ElephantintheRoom
When I first started regularly going to Portman Road, Town had recently won the league as ‘upstart country cousins’.
Moans About Loans by ElephantintheRoom
Christmas came early for Town supporters with the surprising appointment of a manager who may actually have a future in the game.
Can Ipswich Town Still Make the Play-Offs? by Mac10
The big question that seems to be on the minds of most Town fans at New Year is if the play-offs, and by extension, promotion, are out of reach for Kieran McKenna’s team.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]