Jordan Stevens scored one goal and made another as battling Barrow upset League One Ipswich 2-0 in their FA Cup second-round replay at Holker Street.
Mark Cooper’s League Two strugglers’ 0-0 draw in the first game at Portman Road cost Paul Cook his job as Ipswich manager. And the interim manager John McGreal can have few complaints at his side’s early exit from the competition.
Barrow had already threatened through Robbie Gotts before taking a grip on the replay with two goals in nine first-half minutes. Stevens’s 26th-minute right-foot drive was on target but a deflection off Idris El Mizouni ensured the ball found its way past Christian Walton.
Ipswich’s first competitive trip to Holker Street took a further turn for the worse after 36 minutes. Stevens was the provider with a ball in from the right wing and, while teammates Josh Gordon and Patrick Brough could not apply a finish, Gotts made no mistake from six yards.
Ipswich, dreadful in the first half, were more potent in the second. Paul Farman kept out the substitute Sam Morsy’s low drive and did just as well to grab the rebound as Kayden Jackson swooped for a tap-in.
Farman also saved from Joe Pigott but Barrow comfortably held on to eliminate the 1978 Cup winners and set up a trip to Barnsley in the third round in January.
“I thought we played fantastically well in the first half and took it to another level,” Cooper said afterwards. “We dominated and didn’t give them any time to settle. The football was incredible and that’s how we try and play. I thought 2-0 [at half-time] flattered them.
In the second half, we knew there would be a reaction because Ipswich is a big football club … but we stood up to it and kept another clean sheet. I never felt in danger as much as they were putting the ball in the box. We were disciplined and determined.”
“It was a poor first half, so we had to change it for the second,” McGreal said. “We gave opportunities to players who haven’t been playing and you could see the inconsistency from half to half. It’s criminal some of the performances we have been turning in for the fans.
“The main thing is we came away from the second half with a little bit of pride,” insisted McGreal. “I am a positive person but it’s plain to see we are seeing the inconsistencies over 90 minutes. It’s back to the drawing board and back to the training pitch.”