Please log in or register. Registered visitors get fewer ads.
Ipswich Town 1-2 Maidstone United - Match Report
Saturday, 27th Jan 2024 14:40

Town’s FA Cup run came to an embarrassing end at the fourth round stage as National League South Maidstone United defeated the Blues 2-1 at Portman Road. The Kent side, 99 places and four divisions below Town, went in front via Lamar Reynolds’s goal two minutes prior to half-time, before the Blues levelled on 56 via Jeremy Sarmiento and from there looked set to go on to win it. But Portman Road was stunned once again by Sam Corne’s second for the Stones and Town huffed and puffed without being able to find another equaliser, and crashed out of the cup.

Boss Kieran McKenna made 10 changes with George Edmundson the only player remaining from Monday’s 1-1 Championship draw away against leaders Leicester City.

Christian Walton was in goal with Dominic Ball at right-back and Cameron Humphreys on the left with Axel Tuanzebe and Edmundson the centre-halves.

Skipper Sam Morsy returned in central midfielder alongside Jack Taylor with Omari Hutchinson and Sarmiento, making his full Town debut, the widemen with Sone Aluko in the middle and Nathan Broadhead the out-and-out striker.

Town named a strong bench but with young striker Gerrard Buabo and keeper Cieran Slicker joining the likes of Wes Burns, Conor Chaplin, Leif Davis and Luke Woolfenden.

For Maidstone, the lowest-ranked side still in the competition with 4,472 fans in the Cobbold Stand, forward Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong returned to the side for the first time since the 1-0 victory over League One Stevenage in the last round and new signing Manny Duku starts.

Former Town defender George Fowler was also in the XI, while one-time Blues trialist Reiss Greenidge was on the bench.

As was to be expected, the Blues dominated from the off and in the second minute Hutchinson crossed from the right, Humphreys knocked back at the far post and Broadhead turned it against Fowler, the ball cannoning off the Wales international and out for a goalkick.

Four minutes later, Sarmiento went very close to his first Portman Road goal, the on-loan Brighton man hitting a low effort from distance which beat Stones keeper Lucas Covolan and struck his right post. The ball bounced out to Hutchinson on the edge of the box to the right but the Chelsea loanee’s rebound was too close to Covolan, who claimed.

It continued to be all Town and in the eighth minute, the Blues hit the woodwork again. Hutchinson cut in from the right and hit a shot which deflected off Sam Corne, wrong-footing Covolan but this time hit the keeper’s left post.

Maidstone made heavy weather of getting the ball clear and Edmundson was able to pick it up on the edge of the area but shot across the face and wide.

Broadhead should have made 1-0 in the 12th minute, Aluko threading it through for the Welshman, who found himself one-on-one with Covolan, but was thwarted by the keeper’s outstretched left leg.

Three minutes later, Hutchinson curled an effort from the edge of the box, which Covolan palmed wide with the game still one-way traffic. From the corner, Edmundson headed over.

On 17, Morsy shot from distance and Covolan pawed wide at his right post with the ball destined for the corner of the net.

Four minutes later, Aluko sent Hutchinson away down the right and the winger cut in and hit another shot, this time a deflection off Paul Appiah diverting it wide.

From the corner, Edmundson should have scored. The defender was given a free header six yards out at the far post, but the ball scuffed off his head and well wide.

Maidstone subsequently had a period of respite and even had a couple of forays forward but without too much concern for Town, before Sarmiento shot over on the turn from 20 yards in the 29th minute. Soon after, Walton had the ball in his hands for the first time after coming off his line to claim a through ball.

Morsy curled over left-footed in the 32nd minute as the Blues continued to look for their opening goal.

Three minutes later, Sarmiento brought the ball forward from inside the Town half before hitting a 20-yard shot which deflected off Appiah and over.

As the game passed the 40-minute mark, Town had two more chances to go in front. First, Sarmiento played in Humphreys on the left of the area, the youngster sending over a low cross which Taylor seemed destined to turn in until Broadhead with his back to goal intervened and hit an effort on the turn which was blocked.

The ball came out to Ball, who played a clever pass in for Aluko, who scuffed well wide from 10 yards out when the veteran should have scored.

Taylor hit another shot which deflected over in the 43rd minute and following the resultant flag-kick, the visitors went in front.

Maidstone broke quickly down the right and a superb ball from the right by Liam Sole played Lamar Reynolds in on goal with Town caught short of numbers at the back and the former Braintree man delicately clipped the ball over the advanced Walton to send the travelling support and bench wild, the players piling on top of one another on the touchline.

There was no time for Town to hit back before referee Anthony Taylor blew his whistle to a huge roar from the Stones fans.

The Blues had been hit by a sucker punch - Maidstone’s only serious attack of the game - having missed innumerable chances to go in front, although their attacks had lost something of their earlier impetus the near the game had got towards half-time.

Ball struck the first shot of the second half four minutes after the restart but hit Aluko and it looped wide.

Maidstone were next to threaten, Town failing to clear their lines on a couple of occasions and allowing an attack to reach the penalty area but Sam Bone’s effort from the area was easy for Walton.

On 52, Broadhead almost played in Hutchinson but the Wales international’s through ball was just too strong and Covolan was able to slide in and clutch it to his chest.

It had been a not entirely convincing opening to the half by the Blues but on 56 they levelled.

Appiah lost possession having brought the ball forward after what looked to be a foul on Aluko just outside the box. Taylor strode forward towards the area and fed Sarmiento to his left and the Ecuadorian international cut in and hit a low shot to Covolan’s right and into the corner of the net.

The on-loan Brighton man’s second goal in a week and first at Portman Road came as a great relief to a Portman Road which had begun to show signs of nervousness.

Town immediately made their first changes, Harry Clarke, Leif Davis and Conor Chaplin replacing Ball, Humphreys and Aluko.

Chaplin wasn’t far away from putting the Blues in front on the hour, Davis playing a now-familiar low corner from the left towards the penalty spot but the Town top scorer shot over.

The Blues continued to dominate and create chances, Sarmiento hitting a low cross from the right against his standing leg and wide, then scuffing another effort through to Covolan.

However, on 66, the non-league side restored their lead. Sarmiento lost possession in the middle of the pitch - with his shirt appearing to have been pulled - giving it to Reynolds on the left from where the earlier goalscorer played a ball inside for Corne, who took it into the box before clinically finishing past Walton. The away fans were again sent into delirium.

Town went about looking for a second equaliser, Wes Burns and Gerrard Buabo replacing Sarmiento and Hutchinson for the final 22 minutes.

Clarke hit a shot which Covolan gathered in the 72nd minute, then two minutes later Burns was fed in on the right of the box by the former Arsenal youngster, but shot across the face of goal and wide.

On 77 the Blues were denied the most stonewall of penalties, Edmundson going past Duku on the left of the box before being tripped. Referee Taylor failed to give the spot-kick and to add insult to injury booked Edmundson for diving. Video replays suggested it was a very poor decision from the Premier League official.

The game continued to played almost entirely in the Maidstone final third, the Blues prodding and probing and looking for openings but all too often finding Maidstone players in their way and Covolan saving from Chaplin.

As the game moved towards the final 10 minutes, Buabo sent a dangerous low ball across the edge of the six-yard box but with no teammate there to add the final touch.

Town almost levelled in 85th minute, Chaplin powering a header goalwards from a corner and Covolan palming into the air. The ball dropped and following an almighty scramble in which no one was able to get in a clean shot, the keeper gratefully dived on it. Play was subsequently delayed due to several Stones players feeling the effects of cramp.

The Blues continued to look for their second goal but without particularly convincing, however, in the final scheduled minute, as the fourth official indicated eight additional minutes, Burns headed goalwards from a Morsy cross and Covolan did well to get across to his top corner and palm over.

The Blues subsequently won a succession of corners but without being able to test the keeper further with the Maidstone defence remaining resolute.

Buabo flicked a header which Covolan saved as time started to run out for an increasingly frustrated-looking Town side.

And with seconds left on the clock, Clarke stood up a cross from the right and Edmundson looped a header into Covolan’s arms.

But Taylor’s final whistle signalled that time had run out for Town and the visiting fans cheered a famous day for their club and a humbling one for the Blues.

The Maidstone players and fans continued their celebrations long after the final whistle, and deservedly so after continuing their remarkable cup run, which has now taken in defeats of sides from Leagues One and Two, and the Championship.

Town were left to rue failing to take the bagful of chances in the first half and then conceding counter-attacking goals, Maidstone’s only two real chances all afternoon.

The shots total of 38-2 illustrated the overall balance of the game but it was Maidstone who made their two count.

Having got back on terms, there seemed only one winner but the Blues for a second time allowed the Stones to break away and score.

From there, the visitors defended steadfastly with Covolan in goal handling confidently, while Town ran out of ideas and lacked a cutting edge, as they did in a number of Championship games over Christmas. A striker, ideally two, is a must before the transfer window closes next Thursday.

The Blues last lost to non-league opposition in 2017 when they were beaten 1-0 at Lincoln and most recently at home when they were defeated 3-2 by Peterborough in 1960.

Town are next in action in the Championship at Preston North End next Saturday afternoon.

Town: Walton, Ball (Clarke 57), Tuanzebe, Edmundson, Humphreys (Davis 57), Morsy (c), Taylor, Hutchinson (Burns 68), Aluko (Chaplin 57), Sarmiento ( Buabo 59), Broadhead. Unused: Slicker, Woolfenden, Travis, Harness.

Maidstone: Covolan, Hoyte (c), Fowler, Appiah, Berkeley-Agyepong (Gurung 63), Corne, Duku, Reynolds (Court 74), Kyprianou, Bone (Iandolo 74), Sole (Greenidge 59). Unused: Earle, Ezennolim, Court, Smith. Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire). Att: 27,763 (4,472).

Photo: Lucy Copsey/Focus Images Ltd/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

CustardCream added 14:40 - Jan 27
Well that was sh1t. Regardless of our league position or how well the keeper played or some questionable ref decisions, that is embarrassing.

This confirms to me that broadhead is not a striker and in my opinion needs to be warming the bench for a while. Sarmiento a much better option on the left for me and although he gets a lot of stick, Jackson is far better up front.

Whether it's Moore, Al-Hamadi or Gallagher we need someone in urgently or this season will go the same way as the 14/15 season.

I'm p1ssed off

Reality_2021 added 14:40 - Jan 27
Absolute embarrassment. Taylor, Aluko, Hamphries, Ball and Broadhead should be ashamed of their performances.

Writing is on the wall. We need a couple of strikers.

FrankMarshall added 14:41 - Jan 27
Absolutely speechless.

Kentish_Tractor added 14:42 - Jan 27
Congratulations Maidstone. Enjoy your day in the sun.

Now let us never speak of this again.

BarryKnightsRedcard added 14:43 - Jan 27
Everyone involved today should hang their head in shame. We showed no respect to them and thought we could just pass it into the net. Utter disgrace

johnwarksshorts added 14:43 - Jan 27
Congratulations Maidstone. That's the FA Cup for you. Now we can concentrate on the league. We need a STRIKER!

BarryKnightsRedcard added 14:44 - Jan 27
Taylor nowhere near good enough

TimmyH added 14:44 - Jan 27
Other than the first 15 minutes or so where we should have been in front mainly through a mix of poor finishing and being unlucky we were inept in front of goal for the rest - no clue how to break down a park the bus Maidstone (no surprise there). What was almost equally as bad was our defending when they did break.

A throw back to the bad old days when we entered league one and couldn't break down such sides...needed a plan B today to break down Maidstone and didn't have it!

Shows there is still A LOT to work on...I wonder how much of a confidence wrecker this will be for the rest of the season. Embarrassing!

RobsonWark added 14:44 - Jan 27
Well done Maidstone Town. I hope you get a draw away to Man United in next round - big payday and amazing day for players and fans. Today is a prime example of why I will never buy a ticket for a cup match at Portman Road. 10 changes. 10 individuals on the pitch who have never played with each other week in week out will never be a team.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 14:45 - Jan 27
Buabo looked useful, other than that Taylor looked very poor, we need two strikers .

We did look ponderous from the back.

joyousblue added 14:46 - Jan 27
Well done maidstone , we are out get over it will you for christs sake

Gforce added 14:46 - Jan 27
For Maidstone's sheer strength, desire, courage and determination they probably deserved it in the end ,and good luck to them.
What a lovely humble person their manager is.
For us obviously a very bad day at the office.
We now need to put it behind us,get back on the horse and gallop all the way to the premier league!!

algarvefan added 14:46 - Jan 27
Taking Sarmiento off was a stupid move, he was our best player.

itfckenty added 14:46 - Jan 27
Doesnt look good for sure. But we all need to take any positives away from this! It will give McK many answers he needed. 1. We need strikers 2. Our bench is not cut up to it 3. Sarmiento looks promising 4. Broadhead needs benching. 5. Now we can focus on what's important. We will forget about this and focus on the championship moving forward which is what we need to do. COYB

PSGBlue added 14:46 - Jan 27
Possibly the worst result in ITFC history. What does it say for the rest of the season if we can’t beat Maidstone. I thought we had turned a corner following the Sunderland and Leicester games. Puts doubt in my mind for the rest of the season.

Bert added 14:47 - Jan 27
I say it through clenched teeth but Maidstone deserved it. After 15 minutes it should have been game over but our finishing was woeful. These games happen in the FA Cup but they happen too often to us. Strikers needed !!!

Lightningboy added 14:47 - Jan 27
Well done Maidstone firstly.

As for us ?!...not good enough..."some" of those players need to take a long look at themselves tonight...not sure what the hell's happened to Broadhead but that performance won't help & the likes of Walton,Taylor & Aluko just proved why they're not in the 1st team regularly.

Another thing that really pi55es me off is the "clever dick" attitude of some,particularly on our forum with a who cares it's only the F A Cup attitude...well I bl00dy care,everyone should !

RobsonWark added 14:47 - Jan 27
Which joker pinched Wes Burns wig today? Come on, own up.

TimmyH added 14:47 - Jan 27
blues1 - shows up with his usual down marks!!...pick the bones out of that one then mate.

VanDusen added 14:48 - Jan 27
Jack Taylor was poor but not the worst performing Taylor on the pitch. Worst ref in several seasons.

VanDusen added 14:48 - Jan 27
Jack Taylor was poor but not the worst performing Taylor on the pitch. Worst ref in several seasons.

Stato added 14:50 - Jan 27
Massive cock up so lose that game when there were so many young fans at the ground and a chance to give them some special memories rather than being teased by their prem league supporting mates at school on Monday.

barrystedmunds added 14:50 - Jan 27
“We will show them the respect they deserve” I don’t think we did KMcK by the 10 changes that were made. A bad day at the office for us not so for Maidstone. An embarrassment undoubtedly but it won’t define our season.

Bezzer added 14:50 - Jan 27
I appreciate financial rules can be prohibitive, however, I thought we did have good money to invest within the limits! Disappointing that we’ve not signed any quality thus far! Humphries, Clarke, Ball, Broadhead, Aluko, Jackson, Taylor and Harness are league 1 players - fact!! Today’s result is down to the arrogance of our management, why make 10 changes, when the first 11 are in need of a confidence boost?

Saxonblue74 added 14:50 - Jan 27
You'll never see stats like that again without a win, quite unbelievable.

You need to login in order to post your comments

Blogs 297 bloggers

Ipswich Town Polls

Logo for 'BeGambleAware' Logo for 'BeGambleAware' Logo for 'GamStop' Gambling 18+
About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies Advertising
© TWTD 1995-2024