Date: 17th January 2017 at 5:00pm
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For the neutral there can be nothing finer than this. A small club playing in the Vanarama League against a Championship side who have aspirations of reaching that Premier League.

Well, at least that was the plan at the start of the season! These days we appear to be light years away from that particular objective – although I do sincerely believe that the victory against a struggling Blackburn team on Saturday at Portman Road, will do wonders for our self-belief and this has been seriously lacking of late.

But the Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley expects Ipswich to be much better prepared when the sides meet in an FA Cup third-round replay at Sincil Bank and has warned his players to be on their guard from the off.

It promises to be an epic encounter and who wins it, might just depend on who score first? The Blues only FA Cup loss to a non-league side since they entered the Football League came way back in January 1960, when they were defeated 3-2 at home to Peterborough United.

Town will not want a repeat of that horror show and if the Tractor Boys do progress, they can look forward to another home tie against another Championship side in Brighton and the possibility of progression to the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2010!

The Imps can recall six players rested in Saturday’s FA Trophy win at Gateshead and this includes captain Luke Waterfall and top goalscorer Matt Rhead so they should be fresher going into this one than Town, who have had just over three days to recover from the Blackburn Rovers tussle.

Dean Gerken will be in goal for Ipswich and without wanting to say we are asking for trouble, I think we probably are. We always look more nervy at the back when Gerks returns and I see this being our greatest worry tonight as well.

Lincoln boss Vowley remains relatively upbeat, ‘ ‘To have this nationwide exposure is great for everybody. We are in front of the cameras, it will be a great night for the club and we want to make the most of it.’

This is in some respects is a no-win situation for Town. If we are victorious it is only what is to be expected but if we lose, then we will quickly become the laughing stock of the nation and quite possibly the world – as fans around the globe stare at their screens, in a state of collective disbelief!

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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