Bowditch goal gives Town a point
Ipswich Town Reserves 1Leicester City Reserves 1By Derek DavisChief Football WriterDEAN Bowditch salvaged a point for the plucky 10-man Town Reserves last night.
Ipswich Town Reserves 1
Leicester City Reserves 1
By Derek Davis
Chief Football Writer
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DEAN Bowditch salvaged a point for the plucky 10-man Town Reserves last night.
The exciting 17-year-old equalised five minutes after Trevor Benjamin had given the Foxes a 73rd-minute lead from the penalty spot when the wily striker made the most of Gerard Nash's close proximity to him in the box.
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Substitute Adem Atay made an instant impression after going on for Matt Bloomfield. He beat two defenders before pulling the ball back and Bowditch poked in at the second attempt from close range.
It was a hard-earned and well-deserved point for the young Town side, who lost Aidan Collins to a controversial sending off.
Collins had been booked for a tackle after 15 minutes but went for a second yellow card three minutes before the break.
The 16-year-old, coming back after tonsillitis, won the ball fairly but caught the experienced Benjamin's trailing leg and Essex official Ray Lee deemed it another booking.
Not many in the crowd or on the pitch would have agreed.
Sam Morrow was sacrificed as the defence was reorganised, with Scott Mitchell going to right back and Chris Hogg tucking in alongside the rugged Nash.
The referee seemed not to be a fan of people tackling and as well as punishing Collins, he warned Matt Bloomfield after winning the ball fairly and harshly booked the lively Nabil Abidallah for an innocuous tug. He also booked City's Tommy Wright and Paul Brooker when he probably didn't need to.
Bloomfield was handed the captain's armband and is getting back to his best after two bad injuries last season.
He chiselled away in midfield and was unfortunate to see one long-range shot miscued by Mathew Heath and then tipped on to the crossbar by the agile keeper Conrad Logan.
Darren Bent had the ball in the net after just three minutes but the linesman ruled Abidallah's corner had curled out of play.
The two combined in the second half when an excellent 30-yard pass from the Dutchman set Bent clear. The young striker rounded the keeper but his shot was cleared off the line by Nicolas Priet.
The England Under-21 star also blazed another 12-yard angled shot past a post.
Wright was a constant danger, shooting wide early on, volleying over the bar from 10 yards and hitting another 18-yard shot off target after seemingly controlling with a hand. Lewis Price was down sharply to stop a low drive.
Price also made a super save to push away a Benjamin volley and showed assured handling and kicking all night.
Ipswich Town Reserves: Price, Hogg, Okay, Murray, Collins, Nash, Abidallah (Barron, 78) Bloomfield (Atay, 78) Bent, Bowditch and Morrow. Subs not used: Suple and Reid.
Leicester City Reserves: Logan, McAnallen, Deen, Heath, Priet, Dawson, Brooker, Williamson, Benjamin, Wright and Stewart. Subs not used: Larvin, Murphy, Lewis, Williams and Pearmain.
Referee: Ray Lee (Essex).