Lincoln City 0-1 Ipswich Town: It’s happened... the Blues have won an FA Cup game as Judge fires late winner
Ipswich Town have won an FA Cup game.
On a night when the majority of the Blues' leading players stayed in Suffolk, the Ipswich fringe players battled well at Sincil Bank and came on strong in the final stages before Alan Judge rammed home the winner deep into stoppage time.
The win means the Blues have ended a run of 15 games without success in the competition, dating back to 2010, with their victory now booking a visit to Coventry in round two.
For Judge, the goal ended a run of 45 without netting for either club or country and came after he returned from international duty with the Republic of Ireland just a matter of hours before the trip to Lincolnshire.
He celebrated wildly in front of the 607 travelling Town fans, who had surely forgotten what it was like to win in this historic competition.
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The win is also something of a redemption story, given the Blues were dumped out of the Cup by the Imps in front of a national television audience nearly three years ago, at a time when the hosts were plying their trade in non-league.
It wasn't always pretty, with the Blues struggling to create real openings for much of the game and leaving lone striker Will Keane isolated at times, with goalkeeper Tomas Holy needed to keep the visitors in it on a number of occasions.
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But the winner finally came, ensuring safe passage through an FA Cup tie for the first time in nearly a decade.
Next up is a Portman Road double-header with Blackpool and Wycombe, before the trip to Coventry on December 1.
Lambert stuck with the bones of the side which contested the first leg at Portman Road, making three changes, starting with Tomas Holy taking Will Norris's place between the sticks.
Brett McGavin, just 19, was given another chance in midfield alongside Emyr Huws in midfield, while Judge replaced Armando Dobra, who was still with Albania's under 19s.
They started in a 4-3-3, with Judge and Anthony Georgiou high up on the flanks to support Will Keane, but the attacking trio saw little of the ball in the opening minutes, with Janoi Donacien and Toto Nsiala required to make good recovery tackles.
Ipswich's first effort on goal came through Huws, who dragged wide from the edge of the box, but they really should have been behind after 15 minutes when John Akinde found the freedom of the Town box and, under very little pressure, fluffed his line and drove the ball wide of Holy's post.
Nsiala, who had started the game well, then presented the ball straight to Bruno Andrade for the wide man to fire over, as the hosts fired another warning shot.
Jason Shackell and Harry Toffolo were the next to have shots blocked en route to goal, as Ipswich continued to live dangerously.
Nsiala's under-hit packpass forced Holy to scramble off his line to frantically clear, before Jake Hesketh became the latest Lincoln man to fluff his lines when given freedom to cross from the Ipswich left.
The half ended with Keane having an effort tipped over by Josh Vickers, with Judge calling for the ball in the middle before the former Hull man let fly.
Lincoln were on the front foot from the off in the second period, with John Akinde taking advantage of hesitation in the Town backline to turn and shoot over the top of the bar, before the big striker was thwarted by an excellent Holy save as the Czech keeper got down low to block with his legs.
Huws drove low again, with Vickers saving his shot comfortably as Ipswich had a period of pressure, before Holy was called upon for the second time in the half as he collapsed to the floor to turn Jake Hesketh's low drive away.
The Blues were dealt a blow when McGavin's night was ended by what appeared to be a hamstring problem, with an urgent midfield reshuffle required following the introduction of Idris El Mizouni, during a period where the Blues were enjoying a spell of sustained pressure.
Huws tried another skidder, again comfortably saved by Vickers as Ipswich continued to press without creating major openings, before Imps substitute Tyler Walker forced another good low save from Ipswich keeper Holy.
The Czech stopper was required again to beat away Hesketh's header in added time, before Judge rammed home the winner with what was nearly the final kick of the contest.
Lincoln City: Vickers; Eardley, Shackell, Bolger, Toffolo; Chapman, Grant, Anderson, Hesketh, Andrade (Payne, 34), Akinde (Walker, 80)
Subs: Smith, Pett, Payne, Bostwick, Connolly, Melbourne
Ipswich Town: Holy; Donacien, Nsiala, Wilson, Kenlock; McGavin (El Mizouni 64), Huws, Dozzell (Hughes 90); Judge, Georgiou, Keane
Subs: Przybek, Woolfenden, Rowe, Edwards, Simpson
Att: 6,781 (607 Ipswich fans)