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Burnley will play Fleetwood Town at home in the fifth round of the FA Cup having overcome Ipswich Town last night in a Turf Moor replay with the winning goal coming in stoppage time.

Nathan Tella was the goalscoring hero. He netted early in the game only for Ipswich to quickly equalise, but he was on hand with a smart finish right at the end to avoid extra time and a potential penalty shoot-out.

We went into the game on the back of a 3-0 win at Norwich last Saturday, Ipswich had drawn 1-1 at Cambridge in what had been described as their worst performance of the season. Again, though, league form means little and teams make so many changes, it means it isn’t really worth looking back at the previous league games.

Kieran McKenna made nine changes to the Ipswich team with only George Edmundson and Sam Morsy retaining their places. Vincent Kompany opted for seven changes with Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Connor Roberts, Ian Maatsen and Nathan Tella retained from the team that won at Norwich. The Burnley team gave first home starts for both Ameen Al-Dakhil and Scott Twine and a first start for Lyle Foster.

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The game couldn’t have had a more dramatic start. Jack Cork won the ball back from Burnley in our own half and played it to Samuel Bastien who fed Maatsen down the left. He played in Foster who I thought was going to get the quickest home debut goal ever. A left foot touch took him past a defender but he seemed to get the ball caught between his feet. It didn’t matter, it run to Tella who hammered home.

The goal has officially been recorded as being scored in the second minute of the game but it was clearly in the first minute and I’ve read that it was around 45 seconds. I’m just thankful no one held either minute in our first goal sweep to ensure we had no debate there.

What isn’t in doubt is that an Ipswich equaliser came in the third minute. Sone Aluko played a ball down the right hand side. Former Accrington midfielder got the better of Maatsen and crossed low into the box where it was turned in by George Hirst. There was a question as to whether it might have been an own goal but Hirst was very definitely claiming it.

With that sort of start, we wondered what might come next but for the remainder of the first half, precious little did come. Neither side looked likely. It’s often the case when teams make so many changes. We looked disjointed for long periods and, in truth, the two goalkeepers had little to do other than collect the ball from their respective nets after the balls had gone in during those opening three minutes.

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There wasn’t too much of a change in the game in the second half either with a Jackson effort, saved by Peacock-Farrell, the only real effort, but as the half moved on then I felt we were becoming more and more the better side. Given this was a cup replay, it was surprising that Ipswich started to look like a side settling for 1-1 and their time wasting was infuriating the home fans.

Referee Scott Oldham had a strange game, with his worst decision probably being to blow for half time just as he was going to card an Ipswich player for a bad foul on Bastien, and then not bothering with the card.

He warned Ipswich time and again about the time wasting but did nothing about it and was, in fact, like David Webb in an earlier match this season, wasting more time in telling them about it than they were in the first place.

We made substitutions and they made a difference. Tella tried a speculative shot from the right that the Ipswich keeper Václav Hladky just about dealt with. He made a good save from late substitute Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, getting down to his right, and that left the scores still level as the board went up for seven extra minutes which I thought was very generous to Ipswich who, by this time, were hanging on.

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There isn’t a right and wrong way to play football. Our play this season has, for the most part, been very pleasing on the eye but there’s a time when you have to change that. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Roberts, some distance away from reaching the half way line, launched the ball forward. Ashley Barnes, the last substitute to come on for us, challenged the defender. It was proper centre forward play, and the ball went through to Tella who didn’t take a touch, but hit home right footed.

The game was won. We were through to the fifth round with news filtering through that our opponents would be Fleetwood who had just beaten Sheffield Wednesday.

It hadn’t been the best of nights, football wise, but it was a winning night and you can’t ask for more in the cup. I heard someone leaving say that it must be years and years since we last got this far. It’s two years as it happens but it is twenty years now since we went to round six. We are one game away from that now and we’ve given ourselves a good chance. We’ll need to be better than we were last night but that’s sometimes what you get when so many players have had little game time.

I was brought up in the days when the FA Cup brought in huge attendances, when winning it was ahead of being league champions. I’m really looking forward to the next round.

The teams were;

Burnley: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Connor Roberts, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Charlie Taylor, Ian Maatsen, Jack Cork (Josh Cullen 69), Samuel Bastien (Josh Brownhill 69), Nathan Tella, Scott Twine (Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson 84), Vitinho (Darko Churlinov 70), Lyle Foster (Ashley Barnes 88). Subs not used: Denis Franchi, Jordan Beyer, Anass Zaroury, Halil Dervişoğlu.
Yellow Cards: Jack Cork, Vitinho.

Ipswich: Václav Hladky, Janoi Donacien, Luke Woolfenden, George Edmundson, Greg Leigh, Sam Morsy, Cameron Humphreys, Kayden Jackson (Kyle Edwards 79), Sone Aluko (Conor Chaplin 70), Marcus Harness (Nathan Broadhead 70), George Hirst (Freddie Ladapo 70). Subs not used: Christian Walton, Richard Keogh, Leif Davis, Cameron Burgess, Kane Vincent-Young.
Yellow Cards: George Hirst, Sone Aluko, Conor Chaplin.

Referee: Scott Oldham (Poulton-le-Fylde).

Attendance: 11,534.

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