Great fightack by Town Under-17s

ACADEMY FOOTBALL: Town's Under-17 youngsters fought back from being a goal down to win an exciting play-off group game 2-1 over a talented Manchester United side at the ITFC training centre.

ACADEMY FOOTBALL: Town's Under-17 youngsters fought back from being a goal down to win an exciting play-off group game 2-1 over a talented Manchester United side at the ITFC training centre, writes David Vincent.

A large crowd, which included Town chairman David Sheepshanks, was there to see Ipswich fightback and take the game thanks to two Craig Reid goals.

Ipswich also have reason to be grateful to keeper Floyd Croll, from Bury St Edmunds, who saved a penalty and made two more vital saves when United threatened to run away with the game.

Ipswich began brightly but United went ahead after seven minutes when Ramon Calliste headed home a corner at the far post.


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Town then had the majority of possession and pressed forward. United keeper Tom Heaton's best save was a flying one to keep out a Scott Barron strike from 25 yards.

United though were slick and dangerous on the break and twice Croll had to be at his best to stop dangerous efforts.

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The visitors seemed happy to sit on their lead in the second half and wait for breakaway opportunities.

Scott Mitchell was struggling from a clash of heads in the first half and he was replaced by Aidan Collins on the hour and Bryan Klug also sent on Dean Bowditch, the first-team squad teenager, at the same time to terrorise United.

From his first right-wing run Bowditch skinned his full-back and crossed to Scott Barron in the penalty box, Barron stepped inside his defender eight yards out and was hacked down.

Up stepped Reid to coolly knock in the equaliser from the spot.

Ipswich had gone close twice before United had a chance to take the lead again when Sylvan Blake went down in the box. Croll dived down to his right to save Calliste's penalty.

Town's winner came with less than 10 minutes to go.

Adem Atay supplied James Krause down the left, Bowditch took the ball on into the danger area and crossed for Reid to take one touch before blasting it into the net for his 16th goal of the season.

Reid said: "My form has been good recently and I have been helped by stepping up to the reserves. I couldn't be at a better club, there are great people here to help you."

Croll was modest about his form in goal. "It was my first penalty save of the season but I am just happy we won the game."

Ipswich need to win their next play-off game against Crystal Palace to be sure of progressing to the knock-out stages.

Ipswich: Croll, Synott, Krause, Manning, Nash, Mitchell, Flack, Atay, Craig, Reid, Barron, subs used Bowditch, Collins, unused Knights, Leabon, Ainsley.

Manchester United: Heaton, Lea, Hogg, Neuvins, McShane, Picken, Calliste, Marsh, Blake, Eagles, Rose, subs used Campbell, Flanagan, unused Crockette, Mullen, Lef.

* An experimental Ipswich U19 side went down 1-0 to a late goal at Wimbledon and finished with half-a-dozen trialists on the pitch.

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