Brett Pitman scores twice as Ipswich Town start pre-season with a 6-0 win at Shelbourne

Brett Pitman scored twice for Ipswich Town in the 6-0 win over Shelbourne. Photo: Gregg Brown

Brett Pitman scored twice for Ipswich Town in the 6-0 win over Shelbourne. Photo: Gregg Brown - Credit: Gregg Brown

Ipswich Town kick-started their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 6-0 victory at Irish second tier side Shelbourne this afternoon.

Alex Henshall, Darren Ambrose, Cole Skuse, Brett Pitman (2) and Jay Tabb scored the goals, with Mick McCarthy fielding an entirely different team in each half.

Town broke the deadlock inside the opening minute after a deft touch by former Shelbourne midfielder Adam McDonnell to Henshall receiving the ball out wide left. The winger – who has worked with a personal trainer over the summer – showed a remarkable turn of pace, speeding past three defenders on his way into the box before hammering home an angled shot.

The Blues doubled their lead midway through the half following a neat exchange of passes between Freddie Sears and Ambrose, the latter finding the bottom corner with a neat finish.

And a third goal was added in the 37th minute, Skuse rifling a low shot through a crowded area and under the goalkeeper after a crossed Henshall free-kick was half-cleared.

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Following the restart, Pitman tucked home a penalty to make it 4-0 after Josh Yorwerth had been fouled in the area.

Tabb added a fifth, firing high into the net after patient build-up involving Ryan Fraser and Teddy Bishop, with Pitman made it six just before the final whistle when he headed home from close-range.

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The final score could easily have been a lot higher too. Home keeper Dave Ryan made a trio of good saves; tipping a curling Kevin Bru effort over the bar, blocking a Pitman shot with his legs and stopping Kyle Hammond’s powerful shot. Dylan Connolly also clipped the top of the bar with a stooping header.

Mick McCarthy changed his entire team at half-time but stuck with a 4-4-1-1 formation. Ambrose had played just off of Freddie Sears in the first half, while it was Bishop in the No.10 role – behind Pitman – after the break.

The emphasis throughout was on getting the ball wide and for wingers to run with the ball. Henshall and Arsenal loanee Ainsley Maitland-Niles were the stand-out performers in the opening 45 minutes, while jet-heeled Bournemouth loanee Fraser took on his marker at every opportunity during the second period.

Young full-backs Josh Emmanuel and Myles Kenlock, on the right and left respectively, both did well on their senior debuts having impressed during a week-long training camp at Carton House.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-1-1)

First half: Gerken; Emmanuel, Chambers, Clarke, Parr; Maitland-Niles, Skuse, McDonnell, Henshall; Ambrose; Sears.

Second half: Bialkowski; Hammond, Smith, Yorwerth, Kenlock; Connolly, Bru, Tabb, Fraser; Bishop; Pitman.

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