since 1878

Ipswich Town (1) 2 - 2 (1) Lincoln City

FA Cup 3rd Round 2016-17

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Referee: Lee Probert

Manager: Mick McCarthy

Portman Road 15:00

Attendance: 16,027 (Away 4838)

Manager: Danny Cowley

Match Number: 3687


 Tom Lawrence (12)
 Tom Lawrence (86)
 Theo Robinson (7)
 Theo Robinson (65)


Theo RobinsonJack Muldoon (81)
Matt RheadSean Long (90)


 Theo Robinson (65)
 Sam Habergham (90)



Paul Farman

Bradley Wood

Luke Waterfall

Sean Raggett

Sam Habergham

Terry Hawkridge

Alex Woodyard

Alan Power

Nathan Arnold

Theo Robinson

Matt Rhead



Jack Muldoon

Adam Marriott

Sean Long

Taylor Miles

Jack Fixter

Jimmy Walker

Jamie McCombe

Match Report

Tom Lawrence nets late second goal to deny National League side a famous FA Cup upset

Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley spoke a lot ahead of this clash about how he signs 'people' rather than 'players'.

He said ahead of the trip to Portman Road that Mick McCarthy's side would have 'technically better players' who would be able to jump higher than his players, but they wouldn't necessarily have better 'people'.

By better people he was measuring their personality, attitude and spirit. They showed all three here.

Backed by 4,838 away supporters - the highest away attendance at Ipswich since the ground went all-seater in the 1990s - the Imps closed the gap from the Conference to the Championship and earned a replay back at Sincil Bank. Twice they led but twice they conceded.

'There's a tinge of disappointment when you get that close but that quickly subsided and I think they wake up tomorrow morning mightily proud,' said Cowley.

'They should be because they were heroic today for me, absolutely heroicÂ… The way we started and the way we finished showed that.'

No one, however, could have expected how well Lincoln would start.

Nathan Arnold was crucial in Grimsby's promotion back to the Football League last year, scoring the winning goal in the Conference play-off final at Wembley. He enjoys big matches.

It was in the 7th minute here that he burst past a lethargic Jonas Knudsen, cut the ball across and Theo Robinson reacted quickest for his fourth goal of the season.

The chant 'sacked in the morning' was directed at Mick McCarthy by the Lincoln fans - and it wouldn't be last time and not just from them either.

It was the perfect start but it wouldn't last. Tom Lawrence, who was Ipswich's best player, collected the ball in his own half before advancing forward.

He was given far too much space by Lincoln's midfield and Sean Raggett was static as the winger run him ragged, with three other opposition players also left behind, before he fired powerfully underneath goalkeeper Paul Farman.

With both teams opting to play 4-4-2, a midfield battle was inevitable. Ipswich's 17-year-old central midfielder Andre Dozzell came close to signing a three-year deal with Liverpool last summer.

His parents advised him to stay and a wise move that could turn out to be. His age doesn't show in his decision-making just his athleticism. He moves well, likes to progress play but if there is something he doesn't particularly like it's a strong tackle. Lincoln's Alan Power, however, loves a hard tackle.

He has made a name for himself in the lower leagues by being robust. He wasn't going to stop here, and that was confirmed when he charged down Dozzell and regained possession.

It was frustrating for the youngster and the home fans were starting to get restless.

Lincoln were never going to sit back and defend - their manager said as much ahead of the game. They were playing out from defence, wingers bombing on and the forwards doing their best to unsettle the Ipswich defenders.

McCarthy's team were on the back foot but the Imps lacked nous going forward. Rhead, who regularly bullies centre backs by using his size and strength, was giving Adam Webster a difficult time, but was finding it tough to flick the ball on to Robinson or Arnold.

And Robinson wasn't appearing as sharp as he was when he reacted quickest to finish off Arnold's cross in the first half.

Cowley's side weren't making the most of the ball and they were nearly punished shortly before half-time.

Dozzell used his trickery yet again to nudge the ball away from Raggett but his left-footed effort went narrowly wide of Farman's right post.

The pressure was building but the second half would present an entirely new problem for Ipswich.

Arnold was told to move further across the front line when the opportunity presented itself. He obliged and he came so close to making his manager look like a genius.

Robinson played a delicate through ball for the winger, who was quicker than Webster, but he couldn't quite get the ball under control and Gerken was able to collect.

The Championship side started to build slowly again, choosing to work the ball through the midfield rather than play direct to the wings.

Dozzell was getting in clever positions and his long ball over to Grant Ward demonstrated his quality before Freddie Sears flashed his shot wide of Farman's goal.

McCarthy's sides have famously been set up to defend with ruthlessness and precision.

There was nothing precise about his captain Christophe Berra's clearance of Imps captain Luke Waterfall's long pass into the penalty area.

Berra was stood awkwardly and attempted to head clear but the ball fell easily to Robinson who used his composure to place comfortably past Gerken.

The away fans roared, Robinson took his shirt off but referee Lee Probert wasn't joining in the celebrations and promptly booked the striker, whose two goals against Oldham in the last stage got Lincoln into the third round.

The Imps looked more comfortable this time in defence but were still offering space and freedom to the Ipswich attack.

'Those last few minutes - it was tough to hold on,' Cowley admitted.

Indeed it was. Brett Pitman, who had gone down in the first half clutching his leg after an attempted overhead kick went very wrong, was getting closer but when he tried his luck again with a right-footed effort his shot went high and wide of the Lincoln goal.

Lincoln wouldn't hold on and it was Lawrence who would spoil the party. With only four minutes left on the clock, he drilled a right-footed shot from 25 yards and it zipped into the bottom left corner.

'He's got us all out of jail, two good finishes from Tom,' McCarthy said. 'I thought Lincoln were excellent, I think they'll be feeling very unlucky not to have won the game.'

Lincoln, by now, were scrapping for everything. Lawrence, Dozzell and Sears all made runs forward. It was up to right back Bradley Wood and Waterfall to shore things up. They did, just.

A replay in Lincolnshire awaits, and by the sounds of the boos at full-time, you wonder whether McCarthy will make it.

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