Date: 8th August 2016 at 4:47pm
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In the first half the blues were outfought and out thought by a resilient and determined Barnsley. The newly promoted team had most of the possession and most of the chances and had it not been for the remarkable agility of keeper Bartosz Bialkowski Town would have been down at the break.

The second half produced six goals and three of them were scored by debutant Grant Ward who seems to have the knack of shooting on impulse. It took him just 38 seconds after coming on to get on the scoresheet and he was impressive throughout.

Barnsley are as tough as old boots and they never gave up and deserve great credit for their never say die attitude. Twice they hit back to deny Town that feel good factor but in the end it was ex Tottenham man 21 year old Grant Ward who saved Town’s bacon.

Manager Mick McCarthy was suitably impressed with his new signing but stressed that it is a team game and the team were busting a gut just to create those chances for him.

Tomorrow in the cup he has made seven changes but some are enforced. Brett Pitman picked up a knock in training and as a result will miss out and Daryl Murphy has been rested after his European adventure meant he had less of a break than the rest.

Dean Gerken is back in goal for the blues and Jonathan Douglas also gets a run out. Tommy smith will get some game time too along with new signings Grant Ward and Everton loanee Conor Grant, who was also effective against the men from Yorkshire.

Stevenage will be no push-overs tomorrow night at Portman Road but they were defeated at home to Crewe at the weekend and there is nothing like winning to instill some much needed confidence into the squad and that is why that Town win was so important in my view and should enhance their chances of a win tomorrow night.

Adam Webster will also be rested but the team still looks good enough to be victorious if of course we approach it the right way?

We can expect a small attendance for this one but winning it will help to sustain the momentum and give fringe players a chance to excel.

Frank Weston. – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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