Lincoln City beat Ipswich Town and move into FA Cup fourth round

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Lincoln City are into the fourth round of the FA Cup for only the third time in their history after a 1-0 victory over Championship side Ipswich.

A record 9,069 people packed into Sincil Bank to watch the game which was also covered live on BBC One.

Prior to kick off, a minute applause for former manager Graham Taylor was impeccably observed. He was the last manager to take City into the fourth round, in 1976.

Lincoln had the majority of the play, and they should have taken the lead on twenty five minutes. A long throw found Theo Robinson in space in the area, but he couldn’t quite turn his defender to get a shot off.

Ipswich’s first effort of the half fell to Jonathon Douglas, but his tame long range effort was dealt with easily.

Ipswich were offering very little, and Lincoln had another great chance on the half hour mark. It was Robinson the provider with a teasing cross that Alex Woodyard connected well with, his header dropping just wide of Dean Gerken’s left hand post.

Robust striker Matt Rhead was causing Ipswich problems, and they didn’t seem able to contain him as he continually got the better of former Scotland international Christophe Berra.

Lincoln almost took a deserved lead just minutes before half time. A cross found centre half Luke Waterfall, but his effort produced a wonder save from keeper Gerken. Bizarrely the referee awarded a goal kick when the Imps were looking to apply the pressure.

If Ipswich thought the non-league side would tire in the second half they were mistaken.  Just two minutes had elapsed when a Sam Habergham free kick was headed towards goal by Waterfall, but his effort was blocked for a corner.

Ipswich started to find a bit of rhythm and their best chance of the match came on 58 minutes. Wide man Josh Emmanuel found space to fizz a drive towards Paul Farman, which the Imps keeper parried well.

The Ipswich hero from the first match, Tom Lawrence, was virtually anonymous as Bradley Wood marked him out of the game. City weren’t giving their opponents any space on the ball at all.

On 70 minutes neat work by Alan Power saw the ball worked out to Terry Hawkridge, and his sweetly struck drive brought a diving save from Gerken.

The game looked to be heading into extra time when an Ipswich corner was cleared to Lincoln substitute Adam Marriott. The striker did well to stride forward, and showed neat footwork to evade a challenge.

He laid the ball into the path of an onrushing Nathan Arnold who found himself one on one with Gerken. He kept his composure superbly to round the goalkeeper and slot into an empty net.

Sincil Bank erupted as 8,000 home fans had their dreams realised. A few tense moments followed, but City held on to record an historic win on a night that will live long in the memory for everyone who witnessed it.