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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

Archant

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.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes young defender Chris Smith returned from his loan spell at Chelmsford ‘more of a bloke’ and is hopeful he has a first team future.

Ipswich Town U18 Academy boss Alan Lee is hoping his young charges can keep up the proud Blues tradition of success in youth football, with victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tonight, at Portman Road, 7pm ko.

Ipswich Town U23 3

QPR 0

Ben Morris hit a brace and Aaron Drinan opened his account in a blue shirt as an experienced Ipswich Town under 23 side eased past QPR 3-0 at Playford Road today, writes Kieren Standley.

FA Women’s Premier League

South East Division One

Ipswich Town 9

Haringey Borough 0

Ipswich Town Ladies bounced back from last Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup exit to Charlton with an emphatic 9-0 trouncing of bottom of the league Haringey Borough at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is set to appeal the red card given to Eunan O’Kane following his altercation with Jonas Knudsen.

Episode Six: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back for another episode of the Kings of Anglia podcast to discuss the win over Leeds, Portman Road atmosphere and the latest transfer news.

Bersant Celina revealed just how much the adulation of the Ipswich Town fans means to him after his latest match-winning effort.

It’s that kind of season. Just when everything seems to be miserable, and the fans’ anger is mounting, along comes a victory to lighten the mood. At least temporarily, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

Saturday was a much-needed day for Town fans, writes Karl Fuller.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and former Blues boss Roy Keane could be in direct competition for the Republic of Ireland job if Martin O’Neill is lured to Stoke City, according to the Irish Sun.

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