GALLERY: Ipswich Wanderers progress in FA Cup with victory against Hoddesdon Town

Ipswich Wanderers entertain Hoddesdon Town in the FA Cup on Saturday at Humber Doucy Lane
Darius L

Ipswich Wanderers entertain Hoddesdon Town in the FA Cup on Saturday at Humber Doucy Lane Darius Laws scores the winning goal - Credit: Archant

Goals from Craig Jennings and Darius Laws helped book Ipswich Wanderers’ spot in the next round of the FA Cup, although nerves were shredded by the end of Saturday’s home tie against Hoddesdon Town.

Louis Bowen’s header, six minutes into stoppage time, gave the visitors hope, but Glenn Read’s side, inspired by former Woodbridge Town goalkeeper Jack Spurling, held on to set up an away clash at Ryman Premier side Wingate & Finchley in the First Qualifying Round, on September 13.

Spurling pulled off several excellent saves to keep the visitors at bay, while the hosts could have made the game more comfortable at the other end.

Jennings struck on 22 minutes after Bowen failed to deal with a searching ball, the Wanderers’ striker showing strength to shrug off the defender before finishing past Jayden Purdue from 18 yards.

Significantly, the goal came just 90 seconds after Spurling pulled off a wonderful save to tip Ben Andreos’ long-range free-kick over the bar.

Laws doubled his side’s lead on 79 minutes, tapping in at the back post after a slick move, involving Jennings, ended with Ollie Canfer delivering an inviting ball to the back post which couldn’t be missed.

Bowen pulled a goal back in the dying embers of the game and it was no more than the visitors deserved, after they had probed and pressed for long periods of the encounter.

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Wanderers could have made the game safe long before Bowen’s consolation and Jennings, a few minutes before his opener, missed an open goal from a tight angle after charging down Purdue’s clearance.

The lone frontman, who never stopped running all afternoon, spurned another chance to double his team’s lead on 34 minutes, slicing wide Luke Read’s cut-back.

Then, just before the break, Jack Severy crashed a volley from the left corner of the six-yard box onto the bar as Wanderers looked to take a two-goal cushion into the break.

Such a cushion would have been harsh on the visitors who, despite being a goal down at the interval, perhaps shaded the first half, certainly in terms of possession.

Andreos and the dangerous Junior Adeoye linked up well on numerous occasions, but the latter, despite having plenty of tricks up his sleeve, more often than not lacked an end-product.

Hoddesdon’s best chances in the first half came from set-pieces. Spurling had already denied Andreos’ free-kick before taking a watching brief as Meshach Williams’ long-range free-kick sailed just over the bar.

Wanderers’ Nile Francis cleared Barrington Brotherton’s goal-bound header away from danger, the ball having been returned into the box after the hosts failed to deal with another dead-ball situation.

Spurling then denied Adeoye with a fine stop as Hoddesdon finished the half on top.

Adeoye had the first chance of the second half, heading over the bar, before Town’s Ross Angelini’s volley hit the top of the net as the visitors looked to turn the screw.

Laws then epitomised the Ipswich spirit with three block tackles in a row to block Hoddesdon’s path.

This lifted the home crowd and they were on their feet again when Spurling pulled off another great reflex stop to deny Adeoye.

With Wanderers under pressure, they looked to utilise the counter-attack effectively, and almost burst the Hoddesdon bubble a minute later, Jennings forcing Purdue into an unorthodox save by his near post, almost on the goalline.

Jennings then missed a one-on-one chance, Purdue saving at his feet as the game became stretched, before substitute Paris Tuwizana saw a late effort ruled out for offside.

There was a sense of relief around Humber Doucy Lane when Laws doubled Wanderers’ lead, but it could have been so much different had Jamie Brandon’s late shot, which crashed off the bar, gone in, seconds before Bowen’s consolation strike.

Wanderers: Spurling, Laws, Severy (Beech), Canfer (Tuwizana), Pleasance, Gregory, Read, Francis, Jennings, Head, Speed (Seward). Subs not used: De’Ath, Albins.

Attendance: 126

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