Town exit FA Cup after limp performance against Coventry

Luke Garbutt’s fifth goal of the season set up a tense finish at Portman Road but two first-half goals proved enough to take the Sky Blues through to the third round. 

Coventry had already threatened to break the deadlock before Jordan Shipley found the net and Mark Robins’ side doubled their lead just past the half hour with a well worked goal from Max Biamou.

Tomas Holy kept Town in the game in the first-half and substitute Garbutt headed in six minutes from time to give Blues a lifeline but that equaliser wouldn’t come.

Holy returned in goal with James Norwood and Kayden Jackson up front, Barry Cotter coming in at right-back for only his third appearance for the first-team. 

Jackson almost gave Town the perfect start, Holy’s kick beating everyone and the striker nudged the ball goalwards from close range but Marko Marosi was equal to the task. 

Toto Nsiala, back after a hamstring problem, blocked Callum O’Hare’s effort then at the other end Gwion Edwards sent in a terrific cross that Kyle McFadzean was at full stretch to clear from Jackson. 

It needed a brilliant block from Nsiala to divert Biamou’s shot away from danger when a goal looked certain in an end to end start to the game, Shipley then wide from distance. 
Nsiala headed over from Alan Judge’s cross but on 18 minutes the Sky Blues went ahead, Biamou played in Shipley and his left foot did the rest.

Shipley sent in a vicious cross that Nsiala cleared, Liam Walsh having a shot blocked as Coventry threatened a second, then Shipley turned provider again with a cross that O’Hare met with a header, Holy making an excellent save.

Jackson was inches away from converting from Norwood’s cross but on 33 minutes, the Sky Blues carved their way through Town’s midfield and Biamou sidefooted in from Shipley’s cross. 

Shipley continued to cause havoc down the Sky Blues’ left, his left foot warming Holy’s hands with another thunderous strike as the visitors looked the more likely to add to the scoreline before the break.

Garbutt replaced Cotter at half-time in Town’s first change, Nsiala staying strong as he and Biamou chased a ball over the top, then at the other end Jackson fizzed in a cross that just evaded Garbutt.

Shipley, who took a knock, was replaced by Amadou Bakayoko just past the hour, seconds later Coventry should have wrapped the tie up, Jamie Allen’s cross volleyed over by Biamou from six yards.

The Coventry frontman made way for Matt Godden for the closing stages, Judge testing Marosi from distance as Blues searched for way back into the game and that lifeline arrived six minutes from time when Garbutt headed in at the far post.    

Judge fired over at the far post after a corner had fallen to him as Town pressed for the goal that would have taken the tie into extra-time but Coventry held firm with the damage done in the first 45 minutes.  

Town: Holy, Cotter (Garbutt 46), Nsiala, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Edwards, Skuse, Huws (Keane 88), Judge (Nolan 88), Jackson, Norwood. Subs not used: Norris, Wilson, Downes, Dozzell.

Coventry: Marosi, Rose, McFadzean, Kelly, Allen (Westbrooke 81), Biamou (Godden 70), O’Hare, Walsh, Dabo, Shipley (Bakayoko 63), McCallum. Subs not used: Wilson, Mason, Hiwula, Hyam.
Att: 6515

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