Gallant Town lose grip on cup

GALLANT Ipswich will feel justifiably hard done by after crashing out of the FA Youth Cup 2-1 in the fourth round at Liverpool last night.A disallowed Kieran Leabon goal denied them the opportunity of at least extra time and penalties at Anfield after looking the better side for much of the match.

By Derek Davis

GALLANT Ipswich will feel justifiably hard done by after crashing out of the FA Youth Cup 2-1 in the fourth round at Liverpool last night.

A disallowed Kieran Leabon goal denied them the opportunity of at least extra time and penalties at Anfield after looking the better side for much of the match.

Town played the classier football and created the clearer chances in the first half, while Liverpool were playing classic counter-attack football without really hurting Town.


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But the Reds stepped up a gear in the second half with Paul Anderson giving them the lead before Stuart Ainsley equalised with a thunderbolt.

Jimmy Ryan put Liverpool back in front before the harsh decision which denied Town and the holders went out as the Reds marched on to meet Burnley at Turf Moor in the fifth round.

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Denied three influential players, with Danny Haynes and Owen Garvan on first-team duty and Billy Clarke recovering from a shoulder injury, Town gave an excellent account of themselves.

The Blues showed their attacking intent straight from the kick-off with Leabon making space to fire in a 20-yard shot which went into the Kop. There won't be many occasions when Ipswich fans, or blue and white colours, will be seen in the world-famous Kop End, but they were last night as a group of keen devotees travelled from East Anglia.

Leabon provided another scare when he closed down quickly on Godwin Antwi, but keeper David Roberts scooped up the ball from the ricochet before the Town striker could finish.

An even better chance for Leabon followed when Daryl Knights fed a through ball to him, but the keeper stood strong and saved in a one-on-one situation. Ainsley followed up and after showing neat skill to beat a defender hit a tame shot, which Roberts plucked from the air.

Ainsley then had a wonderful chance from a cross by Ollie Fenn, but Roberts made a terrific one-handed save low to his right and Leabon could not keep his follow-up down.

The Liverpool keeper made another stunning save to tip over a powerful Chris Casement free kick from 25 yards that seemed destined for the top corner.

Skipper Casement, a Northern Ireland young international, looked composed as he dealt with the midfield runners going into the channels, while Sammy Moore and Kurt Robinson dealt with Liverpool's wide men and got down the flanks themselves, with Moore in particular putting in decent crosses.

James Frayne, nephew of Manchester City and England keeper David James, who was watching from the stands, was halted in his tracks by a great tackle from Craig Short, another of Town's emerging talent who has made the reserves already.

Adam Hammill was not far away with a dipping 30-yard effort and Jimmy Ryan smashed against the wall after a bizarre back pass handed Liverpool a 14-yard free kick.

Full-back Miki Roque-Ferrero, a 17-year-old signed from Spanish second division club Llieda and pushing for a first-team place at Anfield already, was outstanding in the Liverpool defence, especially in the air.

The breakthrough came for Liverpool nine minutes after the break when Town lost possession from their own throw-in. The ball was moved swiftly across the Blues box and Anderson's low shot from 20 yards rifled into a bottom corner.

The Blues' response in the 62nd minute was pure quality with Ainsley hitting an excellent shot from the angle of the 18-yard box to beat Roberts after a good piece of Town play.

Hammill was denied by an excellent save from Icelandic keeper Oskar Petursson

The Reds went back in front after Town failed to clear their lines and Ryan Flynn found himself clean through and beat the keeper with a low shot from 10 yards.

Ainsley almost found a way through again after cutting in from the left, but his shot skimmed wide.

Leabon, and most of the crowd thought he had grabbed a deserved second leveller nine minutes from time when he burst through the Reds defence before drilling in a low shot, but the linesman signalled a push and the goal was disallowed.

Liverpool's man of the match Roberts saved his side once again three minutes from time when he got a foot to a low Knights drive just as it was about to go inside a post.

Liverpool: Roberts, Roque-Farrero, Darby, Hobbs, Antwi, Ryan (Barnett, 51), Anderson, Flynn (Smith, 90), Frayne (Lindfield, 75), Hammill and Barratt. Subs not used: Mimms and Thelfall.

Ipswich Town: Petursson, Moore, Robinson, Trotter, Casement, Short, Fenn (Sheringham, 60), Knights, Leabon, Upson (Webster, 79) and Ainsley. Subs not used: Nimmo, Boto, Plummer,

Referee: Mr S Cummins.

Attendance: 1,435.

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