Sunday Snap: A Coventry ‘thrillogy’, double ouch, a wonderful moment and captain calm
PUBLISHED: 06:00 08 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:20 08 December 2019
Ipswich Town drew 1-1 with Coventry City (again) yesterday. Andy Warren looks back at the goings on around the game.
There has to be a winner
The Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, Big Momma's House.
You can add Ipswich Town v Coventry City to that list of great trilogies.
We're only two rounds down of course, with both of those ending in 1-1 draws. There's been nothing between the teams in truth, with yesterday's game a classic game of two halves.
But there has to be a winner on Tuesday night in the FA Cup replay that ends this 10-day thrillogy, by hook or by crook, even if penalties are required.
So by 10.30pm on Tuesday, after what could possibly end up being 300 minutes of action, we will finally know which team is better, Ipswich Town or Coventry City.
Until they meet again in early March, anyway.
Much has been written about Flynn Downes over the course of the last week.
He's become the youngest player to ever wear the Ipswich Town armband but even he would surely have expected last weekend's FA Cup game to be a one off. For now at least.
But Luke Chambers' neck injury and a knock to Cole Skuse's hip meant he kept possession for the league games. It marks a wonderful four-month journey for the academy product who has bounced back from a reckless red card at Cambridge in pre-season to become a centre-piece of Lambert's side.
He played like a captain and acted like one, too, most notably when he was the first on the scene to play peacemaker when a brawl erupted between Gwion Edwards and Sam McCallum.
It's no wonder clubs higher up the football pyramid, most notably Fulham, have been keeping a close eye.
We want to go home
Birmingham's a s******* we want to go home rang out from the two St Andrew's stands populated with supporters yesterday.
That chant is an away-end staple, regardless of where the game's being played, but the fact it emanated from the home support highlights an important issue.
Both games inside the last week have been played out in front of an eerie atmosphere, with 3,000 and then 8,000 inside the 29,000-seater home of Birmingham City.
It didn't feel like a football match was due to take place until just a few minutes before kick-off and you have to feel for the Coventry fans.
Just six years after playing in exile at Northampton, the Sky Blues are homeless once again due to an ongoing dispute between City owners Sisu and London Wasps, the rugby club which now owns the Ricoh Arena.
There has been some talk that they may be set to return 'home' for the second half of this season.
Hopefully common sense can prevail.
The 8,000 crowd all felt the pain of the Coventry City ballboy during the first half of yesterday's game.
A Coventry defender had leathered the ball into the empty top tier of the Tilton Road Stand at St Andrew's, with the ballboy in question leaving his seat in the lower tier to clamber the steps to collect it.
On his way back down he slipped, hitting the deck with an almighty whack. You could hear the crowd wince as they watched on.
Thankfully he seemed to be ok and he ultimately got the ball back to Luke Garbutt, who subsequently delivered a corner which Will Keane headed against the post.
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Ouch Part Two
As time ticked down at the end of the first half, Alan Judge fell to the turf and came up holding his left wrist. The same left wrist he broke on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. A broken wrist which kept him out of pre-season, impacted his form and contributed to a slow start to the campaign.
So it was a relief to see him return to the pitch after the interval. The last thing the midfielder needs is another spell on the sidelines.
He will be disappointed to have been substituted not long after, particularly given the fact he missed out on the chance to operate in a No.10 role at the tip of a midfield diamond which would appear to suit him down to the ground.
The Donaissance continues.
After a slightly shaky display at St Andrew's last weekend, Janoi Donacien was a solid performer in the second game yesterday. In fact I'd probably put him in the running for Ipswich's man of the match, given how many times he swept up trouble in behind the Town defence.
But there's something more I want to see from him.
We watched on for three years as Jonas Knudsen's famed long throws consistently failed to produce the good for Ipswich, only for him then to become one of Denmark's major weapons at the 2018 World Cup.
His efforts in blue were 'loopy' and lacking punch, but Donacien is capable of both those things. He can throw a bullet down the line, as evidenced on a few occasions at St Andrew's.
So should he have the chance to hurl one into the box in an attacking situation? It's a yes from me.
A wonderful moment
You may have seen a video on social media recently where the entire Arsenal squad ignored their matchday mascot as they arrived for their game against Norwich at Carrow Road. Big headphones in, washbags in hand, blinkers on. Such a shame - manners cost nothing.
But it couldn't have been different story outside the Ipswich Town dressing room yesterday.
Young Alfie Carpenter was waiting to greet the Blues as they returned from their warm-up and received a high five of fist bump from each and every member of the squad.
His father Jamie posted a video online with the caption 'what a day for my little lad. Not stopped smiling'. This is exactly what football should be.
Song of the week
'I would drive 500 (and 26) miles and I would drive 606 more, just to be the man who drives 1,000 miles to watch Ipswich Town progress in two cup competitions.'
Lyrics the Proclaimers would be proud of.
Cup draws have not been kind to Ipswich Town over the last week. Well, unless you happen to live in the south west that is.
It's entirely possible the Blues will need to cover more than a thousand miles between January 4-7, for games against either Plymouth or Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup and Exeter in the EFL Trophy. For the former to happen Tuesday's replay needs to be won, of course.
Lambert labelled the draw with Exeter, the 526-mile round-trip in the 'regionalised' southern section of the Trophy draw no less, as pathetic and ludicrous.
Maybe he has a point, given all eight clubs still competing in the northern section of the competition are closer to Portman Road than the regionalised Grecians.