LAWRENCE THWARTS IMPVASION
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.”
BACK IN IT: Ipswich’s Tom Lawrence celebrates scoring his first equaliser
STAR MAN THEO ROBINSON Lincoln City