Forster back in the first-team frame

NICKY Forster last night put himself in the frame for a first team return with a sharp work-out as Ipswich Town reserves beat Norwich City 2-1 at Carrow Road.

NICKY Forster last night put himself in the frame for a first team return with a sharp work-out as Ipswich Town reserves beat Norwich City 2-1 at Carrow Road, writes Derek Davis.

Danny Haynes bagged a brace as the reserves doubled their Canary counterparts and quite a few Town players gave watching manager Joe Royle a selection nudge.

Forster looked sharp considering he has been out of action since December 28 and is ready for a call into the side to face Brighton at Portman Road on Saturday.

The 32-year-old striker last night said: “I was very pleased with the way it went. I need a few more games to get up to full pace, but I would love to play if selected and I feel ready. We have four games left and if I can be involved in at least three of those then I would be delighted.”

Forster was also full of praise for the youngsters playing around him.

He said: “Danny was excellent and those two goals were great for him. Chris Casement was awesome at the back, as was James Krause alongside him and they were up against a very experienced player in Peter Thorne.”

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Royle is considering making changes against relegation certainties Brighton after the Blues' 4-1 drubbing by Stoke City and was last night weighing up his options.

As well as Forster, Haynes did his prospects no harm, while Vemund Brekke Skard could be about to make his full debut for the Blues and the Blues tried out Sito Castro on the right side of midfield.

Royle said: “I have been wanting to do that for a while. Sito has got a lot going for him. He can get past people and put a cross in so perhaps he can fit in well in that right midfield position.

“We did something similar with Matt Richards when I felt he would be better in midfield and it worked.”

The Blues boss is looking for a good response after defeats by Luton and Stoke, but won't be waving a big stick at the squad. Royle last night said: “There is no need for me to harp back to Saturday. The players don't need to be told. They know it was not good enough and that we need to be better against Brighton on Saturday.

“The Watford manager, Adie Boothroyd, was here against Stoke and will have been rubbing his hands with glee as he left. What we have to do is make sure he is not rubbing them again after Monday's game.”

Danny Haynes carried on his terrific record of scoring against the Canaries with the opening goal after just 11 minutes when a ball from James Krause was headed on by Forster. Haynes' pace took him past on loan Fulham defender Zeshan Rehman and he beat young England keeper Joe Lewis.

City equalised when the referee ignored a ball to hand in the Norwich area, but punished Krause when he could not get out the way of a Ryan Jarvis drive from two yards away, on the half-hour. The elder Jarvis brother's spot kick was superbly struck to beat Lewis Price who dived the correct way. The City keeper then made a terrific double save to keep out a vicious Jay McEveley thumper and Forster's deflected follow-up.

Haynes' second came from the penalty spot, once again awarded for hand ball. This time Andrew Fisk jumped to block a Jamie Peters cross and his outstretched arm stopped the ball, in the 63rd minute. The Academy graduate, who once played a trial game for Norwich but chose the Blues, also hit a post in a lively all-round display.

Lewis made two excellent saves from Peters, while Andrew Cave-Brown cleared off the line from Darryl Knights in an enthralling finale. With two games left to play City are still bottom of the reserve league. Town should finish about mid-table after their remaining match, against second-from-bottom Leicester City.

Teams: Norwich City Res: Lewis. Spillane (Bexfield, 60) Charlton, Fisk, Rehman (Cave-Brown, 46) Haliday, Colin (Eagle, 77) Henderson, Thorne, Rossi Jarvis, Ryan Jarvis. Subs not used: Eagle, Bexfield, Arnold.

Ipswich Town Res: Price, Mitchell, McEveley, Brekke Skard, Krause, Casement, Peters, Trotter, Forster (Knights, 72) Haynes, Sito. Subs not used: Knights, Webster, Leabon, Moore, Petursson.

Referee: R Lee. Attendance: 3,935.

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