The Verdict: Late Coventry goal ensures another game for Town
As was the case with Lincoln, Paul Lambert went into the game hoping that Town could avoid a replay, unfortunately just as with Lincoln, Town and Coventry will go again next midweek at Portman Road.
It appeared for all the world that Town had survived the Coventry onslaught and were about to win back-to-back FA Cup games, yes Ipswich, back-to-back FA Cup wins, but it just wasn’t to be, thanks to O’Hare’s late late strike.
As well as another game, it will be another game against Coventry City. Town are visiting Coventry’s temporary home again this weekend in the league, before hosting The Sky Blues in the replay the following midweek, the third meeting in the space of ten days.
With the busy festive period just around the corner the last thing Lambert wanted was another game. The replay with Coventry will be the sixth consecutive midweek fixture for Town, perhaps it’s a good job Lambert has been rotating his troops so far this campaign.
Although Town didn’t hold out and secure the win, you can’t blame Lambert for his team selection. Yes he made changes, but there was certainly more of a first team look to the side. Luke Garbutt preferred to Myles Kenlock, Luke Woolfenden preferred to Toto Nsiala, Flynn Downes preferred to Emyr Huws… we could go on. With such a strong starting eleven, Lambert could have been forgiven for filling his bench with youngsters, however with the likes of Edwards, Jackson and Norwood waiting in the wings, how refreshing to see the game being taken seriously.
Lambert made Flynn Downes his skipper for The FA Cup clash. At the age of 20 days and 315 days becoming Ipswich Town’s youngest ever captain. Downes is the seventh player to wear the armband this season, following in the footsteps of Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse, James Wilson, Jon Nolan, Emyr Huws and Toto Nsiala. The armband certainly suited Downes, a young academy product who has developed into one of Town’s most important players, perhaps a permanent future Town captain?
Yes stats can be twisted and turned being manipulated to whichever situation suits, but there will be a couple of stats worrying Town fans at the moment.
Town have only won one game in six, the FA Cup replay at Lincoln. Although that could be turned around as only one defeat in the same period, the winning feeling is just escaping Town at the minute. It should be mentioned that in that spell there has only been two league games (Blackpool & Wycombe), with two FA Cup games against Lincoln, a trip to Colchester in the dead rubber Leasing.com game and now Sunday’s FA Cup game against Coventry.
One stat which doesn’t look good whatever avenue you look at, is Town have managed just one shot on target in nearly 200 minutes of action. Will Keane’s goal at Coventry was Town’s only shot on target, on the back of zero shots on target against Wycombe. Although our play has been much better than that, we need to find a way of working the opposition goalkeeper more.
In the hat
After all that, Town will be in the hat for the third round draw on Monday evening. The FA Cup hoodoo has been broken and with the potential of a big tie against one of the elite, Town have a glorious chance of progressing into the third round.