Report: Dreadful Town dumped out of FA Cup by Barrow

Town players after conceding the first goal at Barrow.

Town players after conceding the first goal at Barrow. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town lost 2-0 at League Two club Barrow to be dumped out of the FA Cup tonight. 

The damage was done during an embarrassing first half display in which the Blues were completely outplayed by a team currently sitting 19th in League Two. 

Jordan Stevens fired home from a poorly defended corner in the 26th minute, with Robbie Gotts ramming home a deserved second nine minutes later. 

Town, who needed this second round replay after drawing 0-0 against the Bluebirds at Portman Road, have once again suffered a knockout defeat at the hands of lower league opposition. 

This new low, broadcast to a live national audience on ITV4, brings back painful memories of the humiliating loss at Lincoln back in 2017. 

Ipswich have now won just two of their last 22 games in the FA Cup. Since Noel Hunt's dramatic late winner at Charlton in November 2014, the Blues' record on TV reads: P34 W3 D10 L21. 

Town interim manager John McGreal made eight changes to the team which had started the spirited 1-1 draw at Wigan four days earlier. Christian Walton, Kane Vincent-Young and Cameron Burgess were the three players to keep their places. 

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There was no place in the 19-man squad for George Edmundson, Lee Evans, Kyle Edwards and Macauley Bonne, the quartet presumably left behind in Suffolk with this Saturday’s near sell-out League One home game against Sunderland in mind. 

The scene was set early on when Barrow striker Josh Gordon raced onto a ball up the inside right channel, shrugged off Cameron Burgess and fired wide of the post. 

With ‘wide’ duo Sone Aluko and Scott Fraser playing very narrow in a 4-4-2 system, the hosts continued to get joy down the flanks. 

Town rode their luck at Barrow’s first corner of the game when Cameron Burgess failed to get distance on a clearing header. After a moment of pinball in the box, the offside flag went up. 

Barrow had a major opportunity to break the deadlock in the 13th minute when Gotts fired a first time effort over the bar following Patrick Brough’s cut-back from the left. 

There was another heart in mouth moment for the Blues moments later when Burgess dallied on the ball in the box and allowed Gordon to nip in behind him. Penalty appeals were waved away. 

Barrow’s deserved breakthrough came in the 26th minute and it was Town’s set-piece Achilles heel that struck again. After a short corner, the ball was swept to the edge of the box and an unmarked Stevens saw his well-struck shot find the net via the aid of a deflection off Idris El Mizouni. 

The dominant home side went close again four minutes later. This time, following a neat ball around the corner in midfield, Stevens swept in a cross from the right and Gotts fired wide on the run after getting in front of Toto Nsiala in the box. 

It was, therefore, little surprise when Barrow doubled their advantage in the 35th minute after once again slicing through the Blues. Stevens’ cross from the right was poorly defended at the far post by Vincent-Young and, after Patrick Bough kept the ball alive, Gotts was there to ram home. 

Ipswich finally produced their first attempt on goal in first half stoppage-time when Burgess glanced a free header wide at a corner. 

McGreal responded by making a double change at the break. Tom Carroll and Scott Fraser were replaced by Sam Morsy and Luke Woolfenden, with the Blues switching to a 3-5-2 system. 

Within a couple of minutes of the restart, the Blues’ first opening from open play came from route one fashion. Walton’s giant kick up field was allowed to bounce, but James Norwood could only stab wide. 

Ipswich, improved from the opening half (though that’s not saying much), then showed their first moment of quality in 49th minute when Vincent-Young's searching cross was scrambled behind. From the subsequent corner, Woolfenden’s looping header dropped just wide. 

Town had their first shot on target in the 55th minute when Morsy drove forwards and hit a bouncing low shot from outside the box. Keeper Paul Farman made a good stop to his left and then bravely smothered the loose ball ahead of Kayden Jackson.  

It became a pretty attritional, stop-start affair after that though.  

Morsy was booked for a late tackle on Banks in midfield. 

McGreal then used his full allowance of five substitutions as he first introduced Joe Pigott for Norwood, then Janoi Donacien and Conor Chaplin for Nsiala (injured) and Aluko. 

When a searching Vincent-Young cross flew through the box with no Town player attacking it you knew this game was slipping away. 

Town’s best chance came in stoppage-time when Pigott’s powerful downward header was well saved by Farman. 

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