Oldham Athletic 1-2 Ipswich Town: El Mizouni stunner takes Town through
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Idris El Mizouni’s second-half stunner proved the difference for Ipswich Town, as the Blues booked their place in the second round of the FA Cup.
The young midfielder picked his spot from 30 yards out and fired home an unstoppable effort with 10 minutes remaining, as the only moment of real quality in this match ultimately took Paul Cook’s side through.
They had to do things the hard way at Boundary Park, against an Oldham side who held them to a 1-1 draw at Portman Road in the initial staging, before taking the lead in the replay as Harrison McGahey headed home following an unconvincing round of Ipswich defending.
The Blues’ equaliser was a gift, just before half-time, as goalkeeper Jason Leutwiler spilled a high cross for Conor Chaplin to turn home, on a night where Ipswich struggled to get going.
But they ultimately did enough to edge through, without being overly convincing, as El Mizouni’s stunner booked a second-round tie with Barrow at Portman Road on December 4.
Cook made seven changes to the side which drew 0-0 with Oxford on Saturday, with Christian Walton, Wes Burns, George Edmundson and Bailey Clements the four players keeping their place.
Burns moved to right-back, with Woolfenden joining the remaining three defenders in front of Walton.
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El Mizouni and Scott Fraser lined up in midfield, behind an attacking three of Sone Aluko, Chaplin and Rekeem Harper. Joe Pigott started up front.
Oldham kept the same XI that played at Portman Road in the first staging of this tie.
Both sides came out a little slow, with Oldham perhaps having the better of the territory but only managing to test Walton with a low Dylan Fage cross which the Town keeper was able to gather with ease.
Pigott had Ipswich’s first effort, seeing his snapshot blocked at source, before Callum Whelan thumped over the top from range for the hosts.
Oldham hit the side-netting as Beny Couto’s cross was diverted wide by Davis Keillor-Dunn, before Woolfenden needed to clear up a clever knockdown into the penalty area after Edmundson had been beaten in the air by Hallam Hope. Town just about managed to deal with the following corner.
Town’s first real opening came after Harper had robbed big defender Carl Piergianni inside Oldham territory but, after dribbling into the hosts’ box, the Ipswich midfielder saw his shot blocked after twisting inside his man.
Walton’s first big moment saw the Brighton loanee get down quickly to block Keillor-Dunn's effort from 12 yards out, after Fraser had been robbed by Dylan Fage, and that was the final warning before Oldham eventually took the lead.
The goal had been coming and, when it did, Woolfenden lost an aerial battle in the box with Piergianni before the ball bounced up off of Walton, inviting McGahey to nod into the net.
Walton was called into action quickly again, pushing Dylan Fage’s firmly-hit ball behind, before the Blues were handed a gift-wrapped equaliser by the hosts, a little under 10 minutes before half-time.
The source was a Pigott cross which goalkeeper Jason Leutwiler looked to have under control, only for the Canadian to tangle with team-mate Jordan Clarke and drop the ball, where the grateful Chaplin was able to take a touch and fire into the back of unguarded net.
Town found their feet just before the break, with Clements getting beyond the last Oldham defender to send in a dangerous low cross, following a clever pattern of play, before another Pigott deliver just before the break ended with Wes Burns turning a shot wide of the post.
The sides headed to the dressing rooms level at 1-1, with Town returning without Woolfenden, as Cameron Burgess replaced him.
Ipswich’s first action of the second period saw Chaplin thump Burns’ cut-back towards goal, with the forward’s shot blocked by Piergianni on a rare threatening moment for either side.
Pigott appealed for a penalty after hitting the deck under a light touch from Clarke, as the referee waved away the protests, before Burns thumped a shot onto the roof of the stand housing the traveling Ipswich fans, after Clements had kept the ball in play.
Cook’s next move was to introduce Kane Vincent-Young and Kyle Edwards for Harper and Burns and, within a few minutes, the Blues were a head.
It was a stunner when it came, with El Mizouni picking up a loose ball 30 yards from goal and unleashing a superb shot which left Leutwiler standing as it flew into the back of the net.
And that was ultimately the difference, as Town saw this game out to book their clash with Barrow.
Next up, though, is a visit to League One big guns Sunderland on Saturday.
Oldham Athletic: Leutwiler; Clarke (Dearnsley, 86), Piergianni, McGahey; Fage, Whelen, Keillor-Dunn (Hopcutt, 68), Bowden, Couto (Hart, 68); Bahamboula (Adams, 86), Hope
Subs: Southerington, Cisse, Stobbs, Vaughan
Ipswich Town: Walton; Burns (Vincent-Young, 75), Woolfenden (Burgess, 46), Edmundson, Clements; El Mizouni, Harper (Edwards, 75); Aluko, Chaplin, Fraser; Pigott (Jackson, 84)
Subs: Hladky, Kenlock, Carroll, Celina, Barry
Att: 2,801 (496 Ipswich fans)