If there was anyone doubting it, then last night surely proved that Ipswich Town football club currently has real strength in depth. I watched the game at Portman Road last night and although just over 5,000 attended this fixture in the Leasing.com Trophy, one of them was Ed Sheeran again! By my calculations that is four in a row for the Suffolk lad made good in the music business!
Now the game itself might not mean a lot to some people but it does provide valuable game time to fringe players who are currently struggling to get into the first team and youngsters coming through the academy. It is a Godsend too for Emy Huws and Will Keane because it serves as a valuable tool in their quest to reach full match fitness and last night they were both on the scoresheet which pleased assistant manager Stuart Taylor, who said afterwards, ” It was great for Emyr to get the first one. He’s always consistent in hitting the target. We’re really proud of the way the lads went about their performance tonight – they were very professional in what they did from start to finish.”
Only defenders Luke Woolfenden and James Wilson survived from the Blues 1-0 win at Fleetwood Town, but there was a place in the team for out-of-favour Myles Kenlock and promising youngsters Tunisian Idris El Mizouni and exciting Albanian winger Armando Dobra, who replaced the injured Jordan Roberts at the interval. Danny Rowe also got a starting place as did Toto Nsiala and what was perhaps surprising is that the whole team gelled so well and were two goals up within the first half-hour!
This performance was very re-assuring because it confirmed that the victory against Spurs under 21 side was no fluke and Will Keane believes that this second string could go all the way to the final at Wembley! “We’ve got that winning feeling now, which we want to keep going. That’s obviously a good habit to have and we’ve got a big squad – so we’ve got the added bonus of being able to put strong teams out even when we rest players. Tonight was pretty much a first-team eleven – so we want to keep kicking on and yeah, we want to win it!”
Town romped home 4-0, in the end, thanks to goals from Emyr Huws, Jordan Roberts an own goal and last but not least a fine finish from Will Keane!
Ipswich Town team: Norris, Woolfenden, Nsiala (captain), Wilson (Hughes 81), Donacien (Edwards 46), El Mizouni, Huws, Kenlock, Rowe, Keane, Roberts (Dobra 46). Unused: Wright, McGavin, Clements, Simpson.
Gillingham team: Walsh, Hodson (captain), Garmston, Ogilvie, Mandron (Jakubiak 69), Charles-Cook (Lee 68), Cisse, Pringle, Marshall, Woods, Tucker. Unused: Bonham, O’Keefe, Ehmer, Ndjoli, O’Connor. Referee: Tom Nield (West Yorkshire).
The Attendance was: 5,271. ( the one was Ed Sheeran!)