LAWRENCE THWARTS IMPVASION

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP THIRD ROUND - By Matt Bad­cock

TOM LAWRENCE res­cued Ip­swich Town, mere min­utes from be­ing dumped out of the FA Cup by Non-League Lin­coln City.

The Cham­pi­onship Trac­tor Boys haven’t won an FA Cup game since 2010, bow­ing out of the com­pe­ti­tion at the thir­dround stage six years on the spin.

With four min­utes left it looked like that run could be stretched to a not-so-mag­nif­i­cent seven, be­fore the on-loan Le­ices­ter mid­fielder fired in his sec­ond of the af­ter­noon.

Lawrence had al­ready lev­elled up in the first half af­ter Theo Robin­son put the Na­tional League lead­ers ahead, and he had to do the same fol­low­ing the Imps striker’s sec­ond-half vol­ley.

“He’s got us out of jail, yes,” boss Mick McCarthy said of Lawrence. “I thought Lin­coln were ex­cel­lent, they’ll be feel­ing very un­lucky not to have won.

“I’ll be com­plain­ing bit­terly about the goals we con­ceded and I guess they will be as well.

“They were good. I knew they’d come here con­fi­dent, I knew they were a good side and they didn’t sur­prise us.

“It’s that clas­sic FA Cup tie be­tween a Non-League side and a League side and they were un­for­tu­nate not to win it.”

The boos rang out at half­time, be­fore Lawrence’s sec­ond equaliser and at the fi­nal whis­tle.

“The only thing I can do is get the team to play bet­ter and win,” McCarthy said.

“That will stop it. Maybe it won’t at this stage, but I’m not com­plain­ing about it.”

Ex­actly 4,838 Lin­coln sup­port­ers made the trek to Suffolk in what was dubbed the ‘Impvasion’. Just seven min­utes in, the rau­cous trav­el­ling army erupted when Nathan Arnold sent in a low cross from the right for Robin­son to tap past Dean Gerken at the near post from six yards.

It took less than five min­utes for the Cham­pi­onship side to get back on level terms. Lawrence picked the ball up in mid­field and set off on a driv­ing run into the box. He kept his poise to de­lay his shot as Luke Wa­ter­fall slid in, be­fore ham­mer­ing the ball through Paul Far­man’s legs.

It wasn’t the spark the home side would have hoped as Lin­coln con­tin­ued to hold their own.

De­spite Fred­die Sears shoot­ing wide, Portman Road was grow­ing rest­less and it got worse on 65 min­utes.

Robin­son gam­bled in be­hind the Ip­swich de­fence to latch onto Town de­fender Christophe Berra’s mis­cued header back

IP­SWICH: (4-4-2): Gerken 6, Em­manuel 7, Web­ster 6, Berra 5, Knud­sen 6, Ward 6, Dozzell 6, Bru 6, Lawrence 8, Sears 5, Pittman 5

Subs not used: Bialkowski, Dou­glas, McLough­lin, Mc­Don­nell, Mor­ris, Fowler, Web­ber

LIN­COLN: (4-4-2): Far­man 7, Wood 8, Wa­ter­fall 8, Raggett 8, Habergham 8, Arnold 9, Wood­yard 8, Power 7, Hawkridge 7, Robin­son 9 (Mul­doon 81 6), Rhead 8 (Long 90 N/A). Subs not used: Walker, Mar­riott, Miles, Fix­ter, McCombe and crash home from 12 yards on the vol­ley. Far­man got down low to push away An­dre Dozzell’s header but the Ip­swich re­ply came on 86 min­utes through their one real bright spark. Lawrence eyed the goal from 25 yards and drilled into the bot­tom cor­ner. “There’s a tinge of dis­ap­point­ment when we got into the dress­ing room, but the over­rid­ing emo­tion is one of pride,” Lin­coln boss Danny Cow­ley said.

“We went toe-to-toe with a re­ally good Cham­pi­onship side and gave a good ac­count of our­selves and that’s some­thing we can be proud of.”

PIC­TURES: An­drew Vaughan

BACK IN IT: Ip­swich’s Tom Lawrence cel­e­brates scor­ing his first equaliser

STAR MAN THEO ROBIN­SON Lin­coln City

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