Craig goal gives Town victory
Hadleigh United 0Ipswich Town Reserves 1A LIAM Craig header settled this entertaining game at Millfield as a young Ipswich side out-ran wily Hadleigh, writes Derek Davis.
Hadleigh United 0
Ipswich Town Reserves 1
A LIAM Craig header settled this entertaining game at Millfield as a young Ipswich side out-ran wily Hadleigh, writes Derek Davis.
The Ridgeons League side were solid, organised and disciplined but the quick youngsters showed terrific movement and passing to keep them on the back foot, especially in the second half.
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The parched pitch was not conducive to great ball control but both teams were full of endeavour, although Scott Peat in the Town goal had little to do.
His counterpart Wayne Donovan, one of three brothers in the United side, made good saves from Matt Robinson and Craig Reid and got behind a long-range Erdum Artun shot.
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Matt Richards had a chance to mark his return from injury but blazed over the bar. He was delighted with getting 45 minutes under his belt and paving the way for a first-team return against Colchester United tomorrow.
John McGreal and Jermaine Wright were pencilled in to play but a stiff back put paid to McGreal's plans and Wright was not quite ready though has recovered from a groin problem.
Matt Bloomfield was among the watching players and is eager to get back playing after a knee operation.
He said: "My fitness felt good and hopefully I can now get back with the first team.
"The game was quite tight although the bobbly pitch did not help us."
The youngsters worked hard for their first-half lead with Matt Robinson the architect. His deep, angled cross was met by Liam Craig who rose well to head in off the post three minutes before the break.
Exciting young Irish protégé Billy Clarke might have done better moments after going on as a substitute but hit his shot on the turn over the bar.
Hadleigh were without five senior players, three on holiday, two on honeymoon, but played well, especially in the first half and in the second half the customary coming and going of substitutes did little to disrupt the flow.
Portuguese winger Bruno Ferrado hit a left-foot half-volley well over while Peat made a good save from a Jon Chennery header as he met a Ross Snell cross.
Joe Royle, Willie Donachie and Tony Mowbray, were among the 350 crowd, three times the normal average.
Robinson was productive throughout alongside Alfie Kamara the youngster signed from Arsenal.
Hadleigh United: W Donovan, Sheldrake, Crawford, M Donovan, Pritchard, Vhinnery, Ferrago, Snell, Curtis, Godbold, Becket, Goulbourn, Gaston, Cracknell, Oakes, K Donovan, Welton.
Ipswich Town: Peat, Artun (Manning, 60) Okay (Richards, 46) Flack, Mitchell, Hogg, Robinson (Knight, 62) Kamara, Reid, Craig (Clarke, 74) Barron (Boardley, 56)
Referee: Matt Clarke (Harwich).