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Town’s under 18s get their season off to a winning start with a 2-0 win over visiting Leeds United

PUBLISHED: 17:04 16 August 2014

Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town

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Two headed goals gave Ipswich Town’s under 18s an opening-day win in the Youth Premier League Division 2 South at the club’s Playford Road training ground on Saturday afternoon.

The young Blues side controlled much of the game and were largely untroubled in the first half by visitors Leeds who were left reeling after an early goal.

Barely 20 seconds into the match a cross from the right wing was whipped in by Ronaldo Jones. Bailey Peacock in the Leeds goal was unable to claim or clear the ball leaving Kundai Benyu free to head past a single defender on the line to open the scoring.

Buoyed by taking this early lead Ipswich took charge of the first 45 minutes, playing much of it in their opponents’ half.

Leeds’ attempts to break down a solid and organised home defence often resulted in their final passes being sent too long although they did threaten more as half-time drew closer. However Town’s clean sheet remained intact going into the break.

The game was more evenly matched in the second half but Town remained composed in possession and didn’t allow Leeds too many opportunities in the final third.

The second home goal arrived in the 64th minute. Right-back Josh Emmanuel sent in a cross from near the corner flag which a leaping Shane McLoughlin met smartly to beat Peacock.

Leeds’ response was to send an extra man up top and try to knock the ball over the top. The Blues defence mopped up everything that game their way though and claimed a deserved three points.

Key to Ipswich’s success was their confidence on the ball. Despite Leeds often putting pressure on the home defence there was rarely any panic and Town’s players were happy to play their way out of trouble more times than not without causing themselves more problems.

The squad’s work rate also contributed to their dominance. Most Leeds attacks were met with at least five or six players behind the ball defending and rarely was a position left without cover.

Substitutes Chris Smith, Edward Ellis and Nicholas Ingram slotted in well when brought on for Sam Ford, Cemal Ramadan and Jones respectively, all three getting amongst the goal mouth action as Town pushed for a third late on.

The Youth Premier League Division 2 South contains 10 teams who will play each other twice, home and away. They will also play the nine teams in the equivalent North division once, giving a total of 27 games for Ipswich’s under 18s this season. The top two teams from each division qualify for a two stage knockout competition (semi-finals and final) to determine the overall league winner.

Ipswich: 1. Marsden, 2. Jones, 3. Walton-Owen, 4. George-Kenlock, 5. Emmanuel, 6. Fowler, 7. Ford, 8. Blanchfield, 9. Ramadan, 10. Benyu, 11. McLoughlin. Subs: 12. Daly, 13. McDermid, 14. Smith, 15. Ellis, 16. Ingram.

Leeds: 1. Peacock, 2. Taylor, 3. Pearce, 4. Vann, 5. Turnball, 6. Bennett, 7. Lyman, 8. Berry, 9. Mbanje, 10. Bell, 11. Crouz. Subs: 12. Molloy, 13. Assenso, 14. Odour, 15. Downing, 16. Croft.

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