Town too wise for Morecambe
Ipswich Town 4 Morecambe 0: IPSWICH Town cruised through to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 4-0 win over non-league outfit Morecambe.
Ipswich Town 4 Morecambe 0
IPSWICH Town cruised through to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 4-0 win over non-league outfit Morecambe.
Ipswich got off to a flyer and were a goal up in the opening minute. A ball played through for Marcus Bent was cleared by Iain Swan but only as far as Jamie Clapham and he fired home from 25 yards past Craig Mawson in the Morecambe goal.
Town continued to dominate as the non-league side failed to really get to grips with the pace of the game.
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Morecambe received another decisive blow after 19 minutes when Jim Bentley certainly got to grips with Pablo Counago. A clever ball through found the young Spaniard through on goal until Bentley hauled him down just outside the penalty.
There was certainly enough evidence for a straight red card and there was no surprise when referee Grant Hegley sent Bently for an early bath but I think everyone in the ground felt that it was a decision that spoilt any chance of an entertaining match.
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Morecambe made a double substitution soon afterwards and maintained the shape of their 4-5-1 formation by playing without a striker.
It has to be said that the entertainment was less than electrifying but it was an improvement on what was happening at Carrow Road where Norwich's match with Brighton was abandoned due to a power failure.
Ipswich tried to raise their game in the second half and came close to scoring just four minutes after the restart. Darren Ambrose crossed for Marcus Bent who flicked it on to Richard Naylor but his header was tipped against the bar by Mawson.
Blues boss Joe Royle made his first change by introducing Darren Bent for Richard Naylor and once again his substitution worked a trick.
Ambrose played through a perfect ball and Darren Bent raced onto the ball before firing past Mawson to make the game safe for Town.
Darren Bent's introduction certainly added a new dimension to Town's play and with a two-goal cushion it was just a question of how many Ipswich would score and who would score them.
Darren Ambrose took himself into double figures for the season with a spectacular curling effort. On 74 minutes he cut inside his man and smashed a right-foot shot into the corner of the net. It was a shot of pure class.
Just two minutes later Darren Bent had the easy task of completing the scoring, tapping in from close range after Matt Holland headed a corner back into the danger area.
It ended up a convincing win for Ipswich although ten-man Morecambe were never able to threaten Town's early lead.
Darren Bent's double strike and another goal for Ambrose will certainly press their claim for a regular start and with the return of Martijn Reuser there are signs that Town's upwardly mobile momentum can continue at pace.