Lambert bemoans Leasing.com draw, but does he have a point…
Town boss Paul Lambert has called the third round draw of the Leasing.com Trophy ‘absolutely pathetic’ with Ipswich being drawn away at Exeter City in the Southern part of the draw.
The penalty shootout win at Peterborough during the week ensured Town’s progress in the much talked about cup competition. Whatever view you have on the cup, a day out at Wembley would be welcomed by most, if not all Town fans.
The third round is the last round before the competition becomes a ‘free for all’ in terms of who can play who in the Quarter Finals. The basis of the North/South split is to avoid long trips on a midweek which in truth is a reserve competition at best.
The tie at Exeter will be either Tuesday 7th or Wednesday 8th January 2020 and with the potential trip to either Bristol Rovers or Plymouth in the FA Cup third round only a few days before, Town fans will be clocking up the miles within the first week or so in 2020.
“The draw is meant to be regionalised, Glasgow is nearer!” the Town boss told iFollow Ipswich.
“It’s not ideal at all, not for the players, the staff and especially not for the supporters who have to go all the way down there for a midweek match.
“It’s what it is though and we will get in with it. It will be another opportunity for the young ones to get some first-team experience.”
So, with the teams which are left, in both the north and south section, could Town have got a worse draw? The answer, probably not!
We’ve used our trusted friends at Google Maps to determine the distances from Portman Road to drive to each ground. It is worth noting that Google Maps updates live and these times / mileages were taken Friday morning (other route planners are available).
The list below are all the teams left in the competition and the distance it will take to get to each ground and back!
Fleetwood Town – 572 miles – North
Exeter City – 526 miles – South
Tranmere Rovers – 506 miles – North
Accrington Stanley – 500 miles – North
Salford – 476 miles – North
Newport County – 458 miles – South
Manchester City – 446 miles – North
Bristol Rovers – 420 miles – South
Port Vale – 394 miles – North
Scunthorpe – 362 miles – North
Portsmouth – 318 miles – South
Walsall – 314 miles – South
Leicester City – 246 – North
MK Dons – 198 miles – South
Stevenage – 166 miles – South
So after looking at that, we have been dealt a rather unlucky draw, with only Fleetwood (just) further than the regionalised Exeter City. I would suggest potential changes but to be honest let’s just put it down to experience and hope we never have to play in this competition again!