Andy's Angles: Elder's return, a once-heralded trialist and a captain's display - Town's U23s win again
PUBLISHED: 16:04 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:18 12 April 2019
Ipswich Town’s table-topping Under 23s beat Watford 2-1 at Playford Road yesterday thanks to goals from Kai Brown and Lounes Foudil. ANDY WARREN was there.
Just as the Ipswich Town first team are now waiting for the inevitable relegation to be confirmed, the Under 23s are waiting for their end-of-season play-offs to come around.
They have already secured the Professional Development League Two South title during an impressive campaign, meaning they will battle it out with the side who finish second in the Northern section for a right to play in the overall final.
Just as in the 3-0 loss at Leeds on Monday night, this was a youthful Town side given the likes of Idris El Mizouni and Tristan Nydam were in action with the first-team at Brentford on Wednesday night.
They were ahead early on as a nice one-two between Tyreece Simpson and Kai Brown saw the latter finish well, before Marley Blair superbly levelled for the visitors from outside the box.
The young Blues were not to be denied, though, as Brown broke free on the right with 12 minutes remaining before driving a cross for Lounes Foudil to turn home.
Ipswich play their final regular season game of the campaign on Monday night when they host Nottingham Forest at Portman Road, before hosting their play-off semi-final.
Callum Elder was last seen in an Ipswich shirt on January 19 away at Blackburn, when he endured a difficult afternoon as he gave away a penalty and was turned inside out for the second Rovers goal in a 2-0 loss.
His time at Ipswich has spanned just three games and has been marred by injury since the loss at Edwood Park, with the Australian left-back undergoing surgery on a hernia recently.
It was a little surprising to see him return to action in this game, during which he was barely troubled as much of the play went down the Ipswich right before he was replaced just before the hour mark.
During his time out, Myles Kenlock has well and truly made the starting left-back spot his own but, with Jonas Knudsen certain to depart this summer, Paul Lambert will surely be in the market for another in this position.
Elder, remember, was part of the Wigan side which won the League One title last season and has good experience in the third tier.
He performed well enough in the FA Cup loss at Accrington Stanley and in the 1-0 home win over Rotherham in January, prior to his Ewood Park nightmare, showing enough to suggest he can be a steady hand on the left side of defence.
At 24 he appears to have little chance of forcing his way into the first-team at parent club Leicester so, if he is given the chance in any of the Blues’ five remaining games this season, could he potentially earn an extended stay at Portman Road?
There was a new name on the team-sheet in this game in the form of trialist Deese Kasinga-Madia.
The 18-year-old winger was born in Congo but raised in London, where began his career at Brentford before being snapped up by Newcastle, where he is currently in the second year of his scholarship.
He was once named in the ’20 young Premier League players to watch’ list but has found any kind of breakthrough difficult at Newcastle.
He’s now out in search of his next club but, in truth, he was unable to impact this game significantly from the left flank during the first-half and saw little of the ball.
Things picked up in the second as he showed a decent touch, quick feet and had a couple of good runs at defenders.
It remains to be seen whether the Ipswich coaches liked what they saw.
Those who have watched the Under 23s regularly this season will have enjoyed watching the young players grow throughout the course of the campaign.
Kai Brown is one of those to have made good progress, becoming a regular at this level of football despite still only being 17.
He played on the right during this game and took his goal excellently, before squaring nicely for the second.
Brown, signed from Grays last season after breaking into the non-league side’s first-team as a 16-year-old, is a clever player and is always looking to bring others into the game.
He’s one to watch.
If you were to hand out a player-of-the-year award based solely on Under 23s games, centre-half Corrie Ndaba would have to be in contention.
He’s become more and more solid as the season has gone on and he’s talking his team-mates through games well.
On a couple of occasions in this one, central defensive Pat Webber got himself into trouble but Ndaba was there to bail him out.
The Irishman has now signed a professional deal and looks to have already caught the eye of manager Paul Lambert.
He figures to be around the Blues’ first-team squad next season.