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Four embarrassments, several replays and just one win – A look back at Ipswich Town’s decade of FA Cup misery

PUBLISHED: 06:00 06 November 2020

Freddie Sears covers his face after missing a chance during an FA Cup defeat at Accrington Stanley in 2019. Photo: Pagepix

Freddie Sears covers his face after missing a chance during an FA Cup defeat at Accrington Stanley in 2019. Photo: Pagepix

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Ipswich Town host League One rivals Portsmouth in the FA Cup first round tomorrow. STUART WATSON looks at the Blues’ last 10 years in the competition.

Alan Judge celebrates scoring a stoppage-time winner at Lincoln last season. Photo: PagepixAlan Judge celebrates scoring a stoppage-time winner at Lincoln last season. Photo: Pagepix

2019/20

2nd Round: L 2-1 Coventry (H)

An FA Cup win for Ipswich Town at last! It had only taken 16 games, 3,601 days and the need to start the competition in the first round.

The Blues came from behind to draw with League One rivals Lincoln City at Portman Road, Andre Dozzell scoring a 79th minute equaliser, then won the replay 1-0 at Sincil Bank courtesy of Alan Judge’s stoppage-time clincher.

Paul Lambert’s men subsequently exited the competition at round two. Town had played well against Coventry, at their temporary home of St Andrew’s, but saw Will Keane’s opener cancelled out by Callum O’Hare’s 94th minute leveller. A replay meant the two teams faced each other three times in just 10 days.

Ipswich drew 1-1 on their return to the Midlands for a league clash, then lost a wet and windy FA Cup replay 2-1. Luke Garbutt’s late goal proved a mere consolation after Jordan Shipley and Max Biamou had both scored for the impressive visitors in the first half.

TEAM: Holy; Cotter (Garbutt 46), Nsiala, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Skuse, Huws (Keane 88), Edwards, Judge (Nolan 88), Jackson, Norwood.

Billy Kee scores the winner for Accrington Stanley against Ipswich Town in 2018/19. Picture: PagepixBilly Kee scores the winner for Accrington Stanley against Ipswich Town in 2018/19. Picture: Pagepix

2018/19

3rd Round: L 1-0 Accrington Stanley (A)

Soberingly, Town, who were slipping towards Championship relegation, went into a third round tie against newly-promoted League One outfit Accrington Stanley as the bookies’ underdogs. Sadly, those odds proved correct.

Billy Kee headed home the 79th minute winner from a poorly defended set-piece – and you couldn’t argue that they didn’t deserve it either.

TEAM: Bialkowski; Spence, Pennington, Nsiala, Elder, Downes (Bishop 46), Nolan (Harrison 80), Dozzell, Edwards. Sears, Jackson (Keane 66).

Bartosz Bialkowski is beaten by Nathan Thomas' super striker as Ipswich are knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United in 2017/18. Photo: Steve WallerBartosz Bialkowski is beaten by Nathan Thomas' super striker as Ipswich are knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United in 2017/18. Photo: Steve Waller

2017/18

3rd Round: L 1-0 Sheffield United (H)

Nathan Thomas’ rocketed a strike into the top corner in the 25th minute and that proved enough for the Championship visitors to comfortably progress.

Ipswich limped out of the competition having failed to muster a single shot on target.

TEAM: Bialkowski, Iorfa, Chambers, Knudsen, Kenlock, Hyam (Waghorn 61), Connolly, Bru, Celina, Sears, McGoldrick.

Nathan Arnold goes around Dean Gerken to score in the final minutes of the Ipswich Town's infamous FA Cup defeat at Lincoln in 2017. Photo: PagepixNathan Arnold goes around Dean Gerken to score in the final minutes of the Ipswich Town's infamous FA Cup defeat at Lincoln in 2017. Photo: Pagepix

2016/17

3rd Round: L 1-0 Lincoln City (A)

Urgh. An embarrassing cupset which was televised to millions live on BBC One.

Tom Lawrence had twice saved Town in the first meeting of the sides at Portman Road, his second equaliser coming in the 86th minute.

Lincoln, then a National League side, won the replay after Nathan Arnold scampered away in stoppage-time to kill off the lifeless Blues.

It was the first time since 1960 that Ipswich had been knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league opposition. Town legend Terry Butcher labelled the performance ‘an utter disgrace’.

TEAM: Gerken, Emmanuel, Digby, Chambers, Berra, Knudsen, Ward (Dozzell 75), Skuse, Douglas, Lawrence, Best (Sears 75).

FA Cup defeat at Fratton Park in 2016: The referee points to the spot after Piotr Malarczyk concedes a first half penalty during Town's 2-1 defeat. Picture: PAGEPIXFA Cup defeat at Fratton Park in 2016: The referee points to the spot after Piotr Malarczyk concedes a first half penalty during Town's 2-1 defeat. Picture: PAGEPIX

2015/16

3rd Round: L Portsmouth 2-1 (A)

Ryan Fraser’s late goal at Portman Road had rescued a 2-2 draw in the first meeting of the sides at Portman Road.

In the replay, on a freezing cold night at Fratton Park, Town’s team of fringe players, which included the likes of Piotr Malarczyk, Paul Digby and Tommy Oar, were well-beaten by League Two hosts.

Gary Roberts’ penalty and Marc McNulty’s header had the home side 2-0 up at the break. The Blues pulled a goal back through Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ superb long-range effort, but that proved to be their only shot on target.

Town finished the game with 10 men after Polish defender Malarczyk was dismissed for a second yellow card in the 77th minute. Mick McCarthy went on to sign Pompey’s impressive young defender Adam Webster.

TEAM: Bialkowski, Emmanuel, Malarczyk, Digby, Kenlock; Maitland-Niles (Robinson 89), Tabb (Coke 71), Hyam, Oar, Pitman, Varney (Toure 76).

Ipswich Town's players look dejected after Southampton's FA Cup replay winner at Portman Road in 2015. Photo: ArchantIpswich Town's players look dejected after Southampton's FA Cup replay winner at Portman Road in 2015. Photo: Archant

2014/15

3rd Round: Southampton L 1-0 (H)

Confidence was high as in-form Ipswich, very much in the Championship promotion mix at the turn of the year, took on a Southampton side that were flying high in the Premier League under Ronald Koeman.

Darren Ambrose headed the Blues in front at St Mary’s, with 5,500 Blues fans in attendance, only for Morgan Schneiderlin to equalise.

The Portman Road replay was shown live on BBC One. Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted it was a ‘damp squib’ as Shane Long’s first half finish proved the difference.

TEAM: Bialkowski, Parr, Chambers, Smith, Berra, S Hunt (Mings 55), Bru, Hyam, Ambrose (Stewart 82), Murphy, McGoldrick (Bajner 63).

Joe Garner bagged a hat-trick for Preston to knock Ipswich Town out of the FA Cup in 2014. Photo: PagepixJoe Garner bagged a hat-trick for Preston to knock Ipswich Town out of the FA Cup in 2014. Photo: Pagepix

2013/14

3rd Round: Preston L 3-2 (A)

Another game that Town lost following a replay.

The first meeting, at Portman Road, was a scrappy affair. David McGoldrick saw a penalty saved but converted the rebound. Then Kevin Davies equalised for the in-form League One visitors.

At Deepdale, McCarthy’s men twice led but lost after second half substitute Joe Garner bagged a late hat-trick.

Garner would, of course, go onto to become a Town player further down the line.

2012/13

Darren Bent scores Aston Villa's equaliser against Ipswich Town in 2013. Photo: PagepixDarren Bent scores Aston Villa's equaliser against Ipswich Town in 2013. Photo: Pagepix

3rd Round: Aston Villa L 2-1 (A)

McCarthy had not long been in charge of the Blues and was focused on steering the club away from the Championship drop zone. Villa were fighting Premier League relegation under Paul Lambert back then.

The Blues took the lead when Michael Chopra forced Eric Lichaj, but ex Town striker Darren Bent equalised early in the second half and Andreas Weimann then headed home an 83rd minute winner.

TEAM: Loach, Edwards, Berra, Smith, Mings, Anderson (Taylor 73), Tunnicliffe, Hyam, Tabb (McGoldrick 74), S Hunt (Lee 92), Nouble.

2011/12

Arran Lee Barrett is beaten by Tom Cairney's strike during Ipswich Town's FA Cup defeat at Hull in 2012. Photo: PagepixArran Lee Barrett is beaten by Tom Cairney's strike during Ipswich Town's FA Cup defeat at Hull in 2012. Photo: Pagepix

3rd Round: Hull L 3-1 (a)

In this all-Championship clash, Aaron McLean and Tom Cairney took advantage of mistakes from Ibrahima Sonko and Arran Lee-Barrett during a five minute first half spell. Paul Jewell’s men improved significantly after the break, pulled a goal back through Jason Scotland but were killed off by Cameron Stewart’s late counter attack goal.

TEAM: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Sonko, Delaney (Smith 28), Cresswell, Carson, Hyam (Chopra 75), Leadbitter, Murphy, Emmanuel-Thomas, Ellington (Scotland 46).

2010/11

Daniel Sturridge scores during Chelsea's 7-0 FA Cup rout of Ipswich Town in 2011. Photo: PADaniel Sturridge scores during Chelsea's 7-0 FA Cup rout of Ipswich Town in 2011. Photo: PA

3rd Round: Chelsea L 7-0 (a)

Ian McParland was in caretaker charge of the Blues following Roy Keane’s sacking.

Chelsea were struggling for Premier League points at the time under embattled manager Carlo Ancelotti, but swept aside Town with goals from Frank Lampard (2), Salomon Kalou, Daniel Sturridge, Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge.

Ipswich would beat Arsenal 1-0 in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final three days’ later.

TEAM: Fulop, Peters, McAuley, Brown, O’Dea, Edwards, Norris, Healy, Kennedy, Wickham (Priskin 63), Scotland (Murray 49).


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