Blues show teen spirit

STRIKE duo Sam Morrow and Dean Bowditch were both on target as a youthful Blues reserves beat Arsenal's second string 2-0.It was perfect revenge for the 4-1 home defeat earlier in the season and Steve McCall's reserves deserved the win in a disciplined and energetic display.

STRIKE duo Sam Morrow and Dean Bowditch were both on target as a youthful Blues reserves beat Arsenal's second string 2-0, writes Derek Davis.

It was perfect revenge for the 4-1 home defeat earlier in the season and Steve McCall's reserves deserved the win in a disciplined and energetic display.

Only Georges Santos and Lewis Price for Town and Stuart Taylor for Arsenal were out of their teens with everyone else still eligible for their respective Under-18 sides, or younger.

Eighteen-year-old Scott Mitchell captained the reserves for the second time and praised his fellow youngsters. He said: "It was excellent to beat a very good side like Arsenal. We got the goal early on and that helped set us up. I thought all the lads played very well and we deserved it."


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Ipswich included 17-year-old trialist Jerome Sobers from Ford United after the young centre-back did well in the Town youth team on Saturday. He went in alongside Aidan Collins and Santos in a three-man central defence, with flying Scotts, Barron and Mitchell, used as wing-backs to good effect.

Sobers showed he is strong in the tackle with a crunching challenge on Ryan Smith, who was stretchered off, and the young defender was booked. He also showed he can see a pass, with a terrific through ball for Dean Bowditch to latch on to and put a composed finish past England under-21 keeper Stuart Taylor after 27 minutes.

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The Blues had gone ahead after just five minutes when skipper Mitchell crossed for Morrow to head in from 10 yards.

Aidan Collins glanced a header wide after another good delivery by Mitchell, who continually found space. Arsenal took control more in the second half but for all their possession and crisp passing they could not break down a determined Town defence.

Lewis Price tipped over a powerful 30-yard drive from Justin Hoyte and had to be down sharpish a couple of other times. Morrow had a shot blocked and a dipping Daniel Flack shot went just over the crossbar.

Bowditch has been called into Dick Bates' England under-19 squad to play against Holland in the Hardewyck Stadium next Tuesday.

Arsenal Res: Taylor, Hoyte, Nicolau, Skulason, Simek, Oji (Djourou, 75) Spicer, Fabregas, Owusu-Abeyie (Cregg, 46) Bradley and Smith (Birchall, 12). Subs not used: Bailey and Holloway.

Ipswich Town Res: Price, Mitchell, Barron (Krause, 89) Sobers, Collins, Santos, Flack (Smith, 86) Kamara, Morrow (Hammond, 85) Bowditch and Boardley. Subs not used: Manning and Knights. Referee: Mr F Graham.

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