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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Sunday Snap: Toto's defining role, a lucky escape, the Norwood factor and a bizarre celebration

PUBLISHED: 06:00 10 November 2019

Toto Nsiala protests with referee Kevin Johnson after he had awarded the Lincoln penalty.     
Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

Toto Nsiala protests with referee Kevin Johnson after he had awarded the Lincoln penalty. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Copyright Stephen Waller

We look back at the goings on around Ipswich Town's 1-1 draw with Lincoln City in the FA Cup.

Toto Nsiala in action during Town's 1-1 draw with Lincoln City at Portman Road in the first round of the FA Cup Photo: ROSS HALLSToto Nsiala in action during Town's 1-1 draw with Lincoln City at Portman Road in the first round of the FA Cup Photo: ROSS HALLS

Toto logic

Who'd have thought that another Toto Nsiala mistake for a penalty would ultimately help rescue a replay for the Blues.

The defender's clumsy challenge on Jake Hesketh looked as if it would condemn Ipswich to yet another FA Cup exit at the first hurdle but, thankfully for Nsiala and for Town, Will Norris came to the rescue with a solid save.

The goalkeeper's heroics breathed life into a crowd who have seen it all before in this competition and were surely beginning to think the inevitable was happening again. A real roar was let out from the three sides of Portman Road inhabited by Ipswich fans as Norris beat the ball away and Walker fluffed his lines with the rebound.

From that moment on, home tails were up and it didn't take long for Andre Dozzell to find an equaliser as the Portman Road crowd urged their side on.

Would the penalty save have been the ideal opportunity to introduce striker James Norwood, in what would have been another boost to supporters starved of cup success?

We'll never know if an earlier substitution and extra support for Will Keane would have been the difference.

A lucky escape

The standard of refereeing in League One has been questionable (at best) at certain times this season.

But the general consensus seems to be that Kevin Johnson may have been the worst yet.

He managed to not give a single foul in Ipswich's favour during the first half (although he did book Hesketh for a late tackle on Myles Kenlock after playing advantage) and was booed on and off the pitch either side of half-time. The ironic cheers when he awarded an Ipswich free-kick within seconds of the restart were as loud as Portman Road had got by that point.

Fortunately, though, he also missed an incident which could have kept Ipswich in the FA Cup.

As Walker stepped up to strike his penalty, Flynn Downes was level with the penalty spot, meaning it should have been retaken.

A second goal for Lincoln at that point would have killed the game off.

Emyr Huws in action during Town's 1-1 draw with Lincoln City at Portman Road in the first round of the FA Cup Photo: ROSS HALLSEmyr Huws in action during Town's 1-1 draw with Lincoln City at Portman Road in the first round of the FA Cup Photo: ROSS HALLS

Oh captain my captain

Congratulations to Emyr Huws on taking the Ipswich Town armband for the first time.

He's the fifth man to have the honour this season after Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse, Jon Nolan and Toto Nsiala (the last two in the EFL Trophy) already skippered the Blues.

For context, Mick McCarthy only used six captains during his six years at the club.

Why?

Before missing his penalty, Walker had put Lincoln ahead.

His choice of celebration was perhaps a bizarre one, charging towards the North Stand, cupping his ears.

It's not as if he had been the subject of abuse from Ipswich fans. If anybody knows why, give me a shout.

Dreams ruined

Ipswich Town are in the hat for round two, with that draw made at 7pm on Monday evening.

One side they won't be able to face are Scunthorpe, who exited 4-1 at the hands of Crawley yesterday.

That means the (my) dream narrative of a Portman Road return for Paul Hurst won't be happening. That's a shame.

James Norwood during Town's 1-1 draw with Lincoln City at Portman Road in the first round of the FA Cup Photo: ROSS HALLSJames Norwood during Town's 1-1 draw with Lincoln City at Portman Road in the first round of the FA Cup Photo: ROSS HALLS

Something old

As they do every year, Ipswich Town are auctioning off their poppy-clad Remembrance shirts for the Royal British Legion.

The auction got underway last night, and guess whose shirt is leading the way?

No, it's not goalscorer Andre Dozzell, penalty hero Will Norris or captain Emyr Huws.

It's the man who played the final four minutes of the game, James Norwood.

His shirt is, at the time of writing (10.44pm, with the help of Jamaican Ginger Cake and custard), selling for £388.

If match worn shirts are your thing then get bidding, it's for a great cause.

Something new

Exciting news. There's a new hand dryer in the press room toilet.

The old one was less effective than Jonas Knudsen's long throws, so it's extremely welcome.

Something borrowed

What a bizarre career Callum Connolly has had over the last three seasons.

He joined the Blues on loan from Everton in the summer of 2017 as a third-choice right-back, was hooked after just 45 minutes of his debut there but went on to have an excellent season in the centre of Mick McCarthy's midfield.

The following season he went on loan to Wigan, played at left-back and was part of the Latics side which lost at Portman Road last December. That loan was cut short in January when he subsequently joined Bolton, returned to midfield and was beaten again by Ipswich that April.

Then he returned to Goodison and was part of a group of young players called out by Under 23 boss David Unsworth for starting the season poorly, before eventually joining Lincoln on loan where he's now playing as a centre back.

Ipswich will see him another three times in the next two-and-a-half months, but where his next stop is, nobody knows.

A minutes silence was held and the last post was played, for remembrance, ahead of the Town v Lincoln FA Cup match.     
Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comA minutes silence was held and the last post was played, for remembrance, ahead of the Town v Lincoln FA Cup match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Something blue

There were plenty of empty blue seats to choose from at Portman Road yesterday.

But the attendance of 11,598 was more than the hosts had anticipated, with only the lower tiers of the North and South stands and the bottom two tiers of the East of England Co-Op Stand originally opened.

But tickets sales went well, meaning the top tier of the South was opened up after all.

The stadium may have been a third full and the best part of 10,000 down on regular league attendances, but the noise was still good. Especially during the final half-an-hour as Lambert's men pushed for an equaliser.

Song of the week

There is fashion, there is fad

Some is good, some is bad

And the joke rather sad,

That it's all just a little bit of history repeating.

And I've seen it before

And I'll see it again

Yes I've seen it before

Just little bits of history repeating

Shirley Bassey and the Propellerheads captured the mood of Town's recent FA Cup history perfectly back in 1997.

Hopefully history doesn't repeat itself again at Sincil Bank next Wednesday.

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