A step up the ladder for Bowditch

BARCLAYCARD PREMIER RESERVE LEAGUE (SOUTH)Ipswich Res 1 Leicester City Res 1YET another young prospect served notice he is ready to follow in the illustrious footsteps of Ipswich Town hot-shots, writes Derek Davis.


Ipswich Res 1

Leicester City Res 1

YET another young prospect served notice he is ready to follow in the illustrious footsteps of Ipswich Town hot-shots, writes Derek Davis.

Dean Bowditch, at sweet 16, banged in the opening goal for Town reserves who flattered before stumbling to a draw against a young Foxes side.

While Bowditch will have taken another step up the ladder, some of the older crop of players know time is running out for them.

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Justin Miller was on show for the first time in front of Blues boss Joe Royle. The South African, who spent such a successful three months at Leyton Orient in the first half of the season they wanted to buy him, resumed the captain's role for a reserves side he led to the league title last season.

He said: "I hope I did enough for the manager to want to keep me on. It was my first game for nearly a month and I could have done better really. I just need to get more games under my belt to show him what I can do and see what he thinks. It is all down to me.

"It was a bit of a strange game to be in. We were on top and we should have been three or four up by half-time. Leicester came into it more but even then they only had a couple of chances and they scored from one of them."

Ipswich had the upper hand in the first half but struggled at times in the second. Town's opener after 20 minutes came when Matt Bloomfield won a ball he had no right to and it went to Armstrong, who crossed for Bowditch to hit first time past Simon Royce.

Bowditch, an England under-17 international is another from the Town youth production line with great promise. The 16-year-old also teed up Martijn Reuser but his shot across goal went wide and he was thwarted in a one-on-one by Royce.

Matt Richards hit a post after a terrific move started by Richard Naylor, who picked out Reuser, who delivered a deep cross.

More than one senior player was looking to impress boss Joe Royle and coaches Willie Donachie and Tony Mowbray, and a host of senior scouts.

Reuser hit a free-kick wide while Alun Armstrong fired a 20-yard shot at Royce.

Royce was the busier of the two former Heybridge Swifts keepers as James Pullen was rarely troubled, largely due to a strong defence marshalled by Miller. The Town captain had a shot blocked with Royce beaten but the City keeper made excellent saves from Reuser and Ian Westlake.

City lost Leon McSweeney to injury after just seven minutes and Irish international Gerry Taggart was replaced at half-time by Kevin Klarvin, who equalised in the 62nd minute after he ran unchecked onto a through ball and finished with a low shot.

Ipswich Town Res: Pullen, Bloomfield, Richards, Beevers, Naylor, J Miller, Abidallah, Westlake, Armstrong (Morrow, 63) Bowditch (Robinson, 80) Reuser. Subs not used; Price

Leicester City Res: Royce, Mortimer, Campbell, Taggart (Larvin, 46) Tozer, Butcher, McSweeney (Pearmain, 7 – Dawson, 72) Reeves, Stevenson, Sutton, Oakes. Subs not used: Murphy, Doyle.

Referee: Ray Lee (Essex)

Attendance: 797.

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