Lincoln City 1-0 Ipswich Town: Lambert sees red at final whistle as Blues pay penalty
One goal was enough for Lincoln City this afternoon as Ipswich Town fell to a second-straight League One defeat.
A largely even affair was settled midway through the second half when Toto Nsiala gave away his second penalty in as many games, this time bringing down Brennan Johnson inside the penalty area for a spot kick converted by Jorge Grant.
From there, Ipswich struggled to respond during the remaining 15 minutes, as they followed up Tuesday’s loss at Doncaster with another defeat to drop to fourth.
They ended the contest with 10 men, after Jon Nolan was red carded in stoppage time for a dangerous lunge on Harry Anderson as the Lincoln winger broke through, before manager Paul Lambert was red carded himself for his protests at full-time.
Lambert had insisted he would get the reaction that he wanted this afternoon, following the defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium, but the Scot won’t be particularly pleased with a display which lacked aggression, tempo and, at times, bravery on the ball.
The Blues’ best chance of the game saw striker Oli Hawkins’ header cleared off the line in the first half, with Lincoln just about edging what was largely a balanced contest. Town had some good periods of possession but you never felt confident it would end with an effort on goal or stretch the Lincoln backline.
Lambert vowed to stick by the players who made errors at Doncaster on Tuesday night and that’s what he did, retaining goalkeeper Tomas Holy and defenders Nsiala and James Wilson, but also opted to make four changes to his side.
- 1 Fuel protests: Twelve miles of queues reported on A12
- 2 Man in 40s stabbed at town centre multi-storey car park
- 3 'We're going to push back!' - Ashton's message to Norwich City
- 4 Macauley Bonne: Town is not a closed book... I've got unfinished business
- 5 Suspected drink driver arrested after three cars damaged in crash
- 6 Tent, kitchen units and bedding dumped in 'unsightly' fly-tipping
- 7 Dobra signs for Cook's Chesterfield after Ipswich departure
- 8 Road closed and person trapped in car after crash
- 9 Suffolk's first blue badge prosecution for Haverhill woman
- 10 7 of the prettiest cafes in Suffolk
That meant a return for Stephen Ward after three weeks out, replacing Myles Kenlock, while Hawkins, Jack Lankester and Teddy Bishop came into the starting XI.
On a windy day in Lincolnshire it was the hosts who had the first big chance of the game, with James Jones finding space inside the Ipswich box to fire a cross to the back post which JGrant could only stab over the top of Holy’s crossbar.
The goalkeeper’s woodwork was shaking just a few minutes later as a poor Andre Dozzell pass presented possession to Grant, who was able to chest the ball down and rocket a deflected shot off Nsiala and then the outside of the Czech’s post.
Gwion Edwards had Town’s first effort, with his low drive gathered by Alex Palmer at the second attempt, before the Welshman was the next Ipswich player to try his luck from a dead ball situation as he, like so many before him, fired it into the wall.
Lincoln’s main threat was coming down the flanks, mainly the right, with Nsiala and Wilson both needing to produce good, stretched clearances to repel danger, before Harry Anderson fired a shot wide after being threaded through from deep.
The closest the Blues would ultimately come in the first half was a monstrous header at the back post from striker Hawkins, as he angled the ball all the way back across the box from a deep Dozzell corner, forcing Conor McGrandles to head clear off the line.
The first half ended with Holy making a really good save with his feet to deny Brennan Johnson, before the second began with Edwards doing well to meet a Lankester free-kick but only managing to head the ball over the top.
The game was drifting, with neither side able to get on top or create anything of note despite some decent passages of play, before the big moment arrived.
Ipswich weren’t happy not to be awarded a free-kick for a foul on Bishop in the build-up to a move which ended with Nsiala struggling to keep up with Johnson, before ultimately leaning too heavily on the Lincoln forward wide to the right of the box and giving away a penalty.
Grant converted, with what ultimately proved the game’s deciding kick before Nolan’s late red card and Lambert’s dismissal.
Next up for Town is Tuesday’s visit of Gillingham.
Lincoln City: Palmer; Eyoma, Montsma, Walsh, Edun; Bridcutt, McGrandles, Jones; Johnson (Hopper, 84), Anderson, Grant
Subs: Ross, Scully, Archibald, Soule, Gotts, Rougham
Ipswich Town: Holy; Chambers, Nsiala, Wilson, Ward; Dozzell, Nolan, Bishop; Lankester (Bennetts, 80), Edwards, Hawkins
Subs: Cornell, McGuinness, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Huws, Sears