Ipswich Town’s Carabao Cup campaign ended at the first hurdle as Paul Cook’s side were knocked out by Newport.
Timmy Abraham’s goal was the difference, as the brother of Chelsea’s Tammy found himself in too much space inside the box, with his clever finish after just four minutes ultimately winning the game for his side.
From that point on, Ipswich dominated the game and had much the better of the chances, with Macauley Bonne on the end of many of them in the first half without being able to find an equaliser.
Armando Dobra was dangerous throughout but couldn’t find the end product, with his best effort clawed away by Nick Townsend in the Newport goal, before substitute Kayden Jackson had a header acrobatically cleared off the line as the pressure increased.
Ultimately, though, there was no way through, with the Blues’ cause certainly not helped by an injury suffered by James Norwood, which saw the striker limp off just 15 minutes after coming on, leaving Town with only 10 men after using all of their substitutes.
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Town’s cup run is over but there were positives to take from an entertaining game, with young midfielder Cameron Humphreys growing into this contest and showing all of the qualities which saw him impress while with the first-team in pre-season. Idris El Mizouni served a reminder of his technical ability, too, following a tough time with injuries of late.
Next up is a league visit to Burton on Saturday.
Cook, who made it clear this competition is third in his priority list this season, made 10 changes to his side, with only Luke Woolfenden retaining a starting place in the side from the weekend draw with Morecambe.
Bonne and Janoi Donacien stepped up into the starting XI, having appeared from the bench, while there were debuts for Sone Aluko and Louie Barry after they completed their moves to Portman Road last week.
Dobra and Humphreys started the game having impressed in pre-season, while El Mizouni, Corrie Ndaba, Bailey Clements and goalkeeper Tomas Holy were all given the chance to show their manager what they can do.
James Norwood and Kayden Jackson had to make do with places on the bench.
Town were on the front foot early as Humphreys worked the ball into Dobra, with the playmaker able to turn quickly and dart towards goal, shooting from the edge of the box and clipping the outside of the post.
But the hosts were soon behind as a quickly-taken free-kick found Finn Azaz in space on the right, with his cross picking out Abraham to cleverly turn home.
The game was frantic, with the Blues straight back on the attack as Donacien’s cross just evaded Bonne, allowing Dobra to thunder in a shot which Newport keeper Nick Townsend was able to push away, before another cross did this time connect with Bonne, who headed down into the ground and then up over the top of the bar.
Town kept applying the pressure, with Aluko fluffing a shot and Bonne heading Clements’ driven shot over the top, after veteran Newport midfielder Kevin Ellison had sent in a sublime cross which Woolfenden had to do well to cut out before it reached big striker Jordan Greenidge.
Humphreys’ clever touch opened things up in midfield before an even better pass fed Clements down the left, with the resulting cross only just evading Bonne before it settled into the arms of goalkeeper Townsend, following a crucial intervention from James Clarke.
Bonne then thumped the outside of the post as he connected with Aluko’s corner, before heading Donacien’s cross wide of the post and El Mizouni’s into the arms of the goalkeeper before the half-time whistle blew, with El Mizouni also forcing a save from Townsend with a skidding free-kick.
The Blues came out the blocks quickly at the start of the second period, with Barry firing over and Bonne then heading in from an offside position, connecting with an excellent Humphreys cross, only to see the flag go up.
Scott Fraser entered the game before the hour mark, replacing Aluko, with Dobra the next to shoot as he took aim from range and forced Townsend to claw the ball round the outside of the post.
Cook’s search for a goal saw him throw on James Norwood and Kayden Jackson, in something of a throwback move, with the latter having a header cleared off the line as an Ipswich counter-attack sprung forward, with Dobra first shooting too close to the goalkeeper before Jackson’s effort was turned away.
Norwood’s game ended just a few minutes after he came on, as the striker limped off, leaving the Blues down to 10 men as they chased the game in the final 10 minutes.
And that was too much of a hurdle to overcome, as Town exited the competition early.
Ipswich Town: Holy; Donacien, Woolfenden, Ndaba, Clements; El Mizouni, Humphreys; Dobra, Barry (Norwood 64)), Aluko (Fraser, 57); Bonne (Jackson, 64)
Subs: Hladky. Armin, Alexander, Ward
Newport County: Townsend, Lewis, Clarke, Hall, Woodiwiss; Missilou, Azaz (Collins, 64), Ellison (Telford, 73), Livermore (Upson, 55), Greenidge, Abraham
Subs: Ovendale, Hillier, Lewis, Karadogam
Att: 6,154 (131 away)