The Imps haven’t met today’s opponents Ipswich Town in a League match since 1961, so I’ll look at the last four meetings instead, all of which were in the FA Cup. The first of the four meetings took place at Portman Road on Saturday 7th January 2017, in front of a crowd of 16,027. It was a truly incredible day, with The Imps backed by just under 5,000 supporters. This match finished 2-2, with goals from Tom Lawrence for the hosts (12′ & 86′) and Theo Robinson for the visitors (7′ & 65′).
The replay took place at Sincil Bank on Tuesday 17th January, in front of a crowd of 9,054. I’m not going to lie, I went into this match expecting Ipswich to beat us, but that wasn’t the case, and Nathan Arnold scored, following a beautiful through ball by Adam Marriott, in the first of four added minutes, to book The Imps a place in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup for the first time in 41 years.
Fast forward to 2019 and The Imps get drawn away at Ipswich again. Not quite the glamour tie it was in 2017 because The Imps were in the Conference and The Tractor Boys were in the Championship. On this occasion, the attendance at Portman Road was 11,598 on Saturday 9th November and it finished 1-1, with Tyler Walker putting The Imps ahead in the 37th minute and Andre Dozzell making it 1-1 with 11 minutes of the 90 to play. It’s a match we should have won, but unfortunately, Tyler Walker’s penalty was saved at 1-0 to City.
So, to another replay at Sincil Bank, this time in front of a crowd of 6,781 on Wednesday 20th November 2019. On this occasion, it was Alan Judge who scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time in the second half to take the visitors into the Second Round of the FA Cup. And guess what? It was another match we should have won, we just couldn’t score!
Anyway, it’s time for the Q&As. Thank you to Ipswich Town supporters Gavin from Turnstile Blues and Jamie for answering our questions. The answers have been published on two pages. To get to the second set of answers, click “Click here for the second set of answers!” at the bottom of the page or click the name above!
First up, the answers provided by Gavin:
How long have you supported Ipswich Town?
Since 1982. As an 8-year-old I started following Ipswich just after Bobby Robson left and his legendary team began to break up. Timing.
Where did you finish last season?
Rock bottom of the Championship. If it’s possible to be relegated emphatically, that’s what we managed.
What do you think of your Manager?
Paul Lambert has done a great job off the pitch. He’s highly regarded for having brought some pride and professionalism back to a club that was in a state of neglect. On the pitch, there’s a lot of frustration with the current run of form, and in particular, Lambert’s habit of constantly tinkering with selections and formations, but we’re still second in the table going into the Lincoln game.
What are your hopes and expectations for the 2019/20 season?
I hope for promotion but don’t expect it. I think some other Town fans have higher expectations, but reality is now starting to bite.
One(s) to watch?
James Norwood is in a poor run of form at the moment, but when he’s on top of his game he’s an absolute pest of a centre-forward and a good finisher. We’re hoping he’ll rediscover his scoring touch soon. Our most exciting player, Kane Vincent-Young, is unfortunately out injured for a while.
Which teams you think will finish in the top six?
Wycombe, Rotherham, Peterborough, Ipswich, Fleetwood and Coventry. Everyone keeps waiting for Wycombe to fall away, but they’re very good at what they do, even if it isn’t much fun to watch.
Which teams do you think will finish in the bottom three?
Bolton have too much ground to make up, and Southend are awful. I’m just hoping the Franchise keep hold of their current place in the relegation zone.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
We obviously had a bit of insight into Lincoln from the FA Cup games in 2017, and it was clear that the Cowley brothers were doing a great job. Michael Appleton is a manager I’ve always rated so I hope he succeeds there.
What do you think the score will be?
1-1. We haven’t scored more than once in a game since November.
Will The Imps win, lose or draw against Ipswich Town?
Random fact about your Club?
If global warming isn’t slowed down, and the oceans continue to rise, Portman Road will be one of the first league grounds to be submerged by the North Sea.
If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?
Tyler Walker always looked good when he played against us for Forest in the Championship. I wouldn’t mind him in our current squad.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as an Ipswich Town Supporter?
The proudest was George Burley’s newly-promoted team finishing 5th in the 2000/01 Premier League season, and qualifying for Europe, with almost the same squad that had got us out of the Championship the previous year. The most embarrassing was last season – we were awful, and it was made worse by the fact that the scale of our decline had been obvious to supporters for years, yet the club’s ownership didn’t take action until it was too late.
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
Flynn Downes is a young midfielder who’s been our most consistent player this season. He does the simple things well and makes a big difference to our team.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
Unfortunately, the Trust hasn’t been very active for the last few years, which is a real shame. The club themselves finally relaunched the Community Trust earlier this year, which was very welcome. Its previous absence had been symptomatic of how things had been going off the pitch, until recently.
Which was your favourite match involving Ipswich Town?
Definitely the second leg of the 2000 play-off semi-final against Bolton. It was an epic match featuring three penalties, two red cards, eight goals, and extra time. We ended up 5-3 winners (7-5 on aggregate), finally got to Wembley after many previous semi-final failures, and the Bolton manager (some bloke called Allardyce) got really wound up. What more could you want?
Which was your least favourite match involving Ipswich Town?
Amongst many contenders, the 9-0 defeat at Old Trafford in 1995 probably stands out the most. (Manchester United’s eighth goal probably should have been disallowed)
Do you have a Former Players Association at Ipswich Town?
Yes, there are regular reunions of the successful teams from the late 70s and early 80s. Frans Thijssen, in particular, always seems keen to pop over from Holland.
What’s the best thing about Ipswich?
Apart from my favourite pub (the Greyhound), and the waterfront on a sunny day, the best things about Ipswich are the statues of former Town bosses Alf Ramsey and Bobby Robson on Portman Road. For many years, the only statue in Ipswich was of the character “Grandma” from the Giles cartoons in the Daily Express, until earlier this century when Ramsey and Robson’s images were added to the ground. A further statue of former Ipswich player Kevin Beattie, who died last year, has recently been commissioned to join them.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) December 29, 2019