Ipswich Town 0-0 Barrow: Blues fall flat in cup once again

Tempers flare between Conor Chaplin and Connor Brown.

Tempers flare between Conor Chaplin and Connor Brown. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town and Barrow will have to do it all again after the Blues failed to find a way past the League Two strugglers in their FA Cup clash.  

Town had their moments at Portman Road but were never convincing in a game which came hot on the heels of their Papa John’s Trophy exit to Arsenal’s Under 21s on Wednesday night. 

The hosts’ first-half display ended with a smattering of boos at the break, before manager Paul Cook introduced Joe Pigott from the bench for the second half. 

He partnered Macauley Bonne up front and the move nearly paid instant dividends, as Pigott hit the inside of the post within three minutes of his introduction. 

Joe Pigott hits the post this strike early in the second half.

Joe Pigott hits the post this strike early in the second half. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Sadly, though, that and substitute Cameron Humphreys' late header against the top of the bar was as close as Ipswich came to winning this game as they had to settle for a replay against a Barrow side who had chances of their own. 

That game is likely to be played on Tuesday, December 14, with the draw for the third round made on Monday night. 

Cook mixed his side up following Wednesday night’s Papa John’s Trophy loss to Arsenal’s youngsters, with Idris El Mizouni, Cameron Burgess and two-goal man Kayden Jackson keeping their places. 

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Christian Walton started in goal behind a back four of Janoi Donacien, Toto Nsiala, Cameron Burgess and Bailey Clements, with El Mizouni joining skipper Sam Morsy in midfield. 

The three behind striker Bonne were Jackson, Conor Chaplin and Scott Fraser, with George Edmundson, Kyle Edwards and Bersant Celina among those sitting the game out completely.  

Macauley Bonne keeps his eyes on the ball.

Macauley Bonne keeps his eyes on the ball. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

The bulk of the early Town attack came down the right flank, where they looked to spring Jackson away, but it was the visitors who had the first shot on goal as Josh Kay cut inside from the left flank to fire wide of Walton’s goal. 

Kay then rolled Nsiala cleverly on the right flank and charged from there to the Ipswich box, but the Ipswich man did enough to recover, get back goal-side and win possession. 

Fraser, drifting in from his nominally left-sided attacking role on a regular basis, was getting on the ball more and more as the game progressed, linking cleverly as he tried to free Clements down the left and slip his fellow attackers in behind. 

But, again, it was Barrow who were the next to threaten the goal, as Joe Grayson curled a free-kick on target from 20-yards, which Walton needed to scramble to his left to turn round the post. The following corner brought a dangerous moment, too, from which Town were saved by the offside flag but not the cries of frustration coming from the stands. 

Scott Fraser fires in the ball.

Scott Fraser fires in the ball. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Town tested Paul Farman in the Barrow goal soon after, though, as Fraser took aim from 25-yards and hit a well-struck shot which the keeper needed to tip over for a corner.  

But, just as they were throughout the opening 30 minutes, the visitors remained threatening, as Connor Brown’s cross found Mark Ellis in space inside the box. Thankfully, the Barrow skipper couldn’t fully connect with the ball and looped his header tamely at Walton. 

Chaplin’s clever feet so nearly led to an easy goal for Bonne, as the former Pompey and Barnsley man touched the ball round the corner and moved into the box before playing a disguised pass into the six-yard box, where Grayson was able to turn the ball away from Bonne. 

The striker’s next act was to cut inside, shape to shoot and then fire a wild shot which went out for a throw-in, with what was the hosts’ final opportunity of a first-half performance which earnt a smattering of boos as the two teams left the pitch. 

Cameron Burgess is outnumbered.

Cameron Burgess is outnumbered. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Cook’s reaction was to introduce Pigott at the break, in place of El Mizouni, with the striker’s first act a shot on the turn which bounced clear off the inside of the post, just a few minutes after his introduction. 

His introduction raised the crowd, too, with the striker then shooting over from 25 yards just past the hour mark, before Nsiala headed wide from a corner as the Blues pushed for the goal they needed. 

Sone Aluko was the next man off the bench, replacing Jackson, bit try as the Blues might they weren’t able to force a winner in six minutes of added time as fellow substitute Humphreys hit the top of the bar with the final chance of the game.

A first trip to Barrow awaits. 

Ipswich Town (4-2-3-1/4-4-2): Walton; Donacien, Nsiala, Burgess, Clements; Morsy, El Mizouni; Jackson (Aluko, 74), Chaplin (Humphreys 84), Fraser; Bonne (Pigott, 46)

Subs: Hladky, Vincent-Young, Alexander, Carroll, Evans, Harper

Barrow (3-5-2): Farman; Jones, Grayson, Ellis; Brown, Gotts, Banks Brough; White (Zanzala 62), Gordon, Kay (Stevens, 86)

Subs: Lillis, Taylor, Jones, Beadling, Hutton, Arthur, James

Att: 6,425 (205 Barrow fans)

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