Andy’s Angles: Adeyemi scores on his return but young Blues are beaten by the son of an Ipswich icon
PUBLISHED: 20:53 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 20:56 15 April 2019
Ipswich Town’s Under 23s were beaten 4-1 by Nottingham Forest at Portman Road this evening. Andy Warren gives his take on the game.
Tale of the game
It's been success after success for Ipswich Town's Under 23s but they were well and truly beaten this evening.
The damage was done in the first-half as the visitors scored four without reply.
Brennan Johnson (more on him later) scored three of them – made up of one stunning free-kick, a magnificent shot from outside the box and another more scruffy effort – while Will Swan scored the other.
Tom Adeyemi, making a long-awaited return to action following Achilles surgery, scored the Blues' goal before the interval as he connected with a low cross in the box before being replaced at the break.
The youngsters improved after the break but couldn't find a way to goal as they were beaten on home turf.
They ended the contest with 10 men, with Barry Cotter shown a second yellow card in added time after being booked for dissent earlier in the game.
The young Blues have already won the Professional Development League Two South title and are now waiting for their play-off semi-final against the side finishing second in the northern section to be set.
Hopefully this was a just a blip for them as they bid to finish an impressive season with silverware.
These games are usually played at Playford Road on often wet and windy Playford Road on Monday lunchtimes but this, under the lights at Portman Road, is a far better experience for all involved.
The 300 or so supporters in attendance certainly enjoyed themselves, with the full range of songs coming out of the Cobbold Stand all night.
Like father, like son
David Johnson scored some memorable goals at Portman Road during his four years with Ipswich. Now his son is at it.
David only scored one hat-trick on this pitch, though, against Oxford, meaning his 17-year-old son, who is an attacking midfielder who finds pockets of space on the field, has matched him already.
Both of the young Johnson's first two goals were of the highest quality, the first from a free-kick and the second an excellent driven effort from outside the box. The third was scruffy, but they all count.
Oh, and all three of Brennan's goals came past Harry Wright, the son of his father's long-time team-mate, Richard.
The return of an enigma
Be honest. Hands up if you honestly thought Tom Adeyemi would be seen playing for Ipswich Town at Portman Road again?
The midfielder has become the Blues' forgotten man since his last appearance for the club in October 2017, at which point a succession of injuries took over and robbed Ipswich of a player signed by Mick McCarthy to be a centre-piece of his midfield.
The former Town boss had planned on using a trio of Adeyemi, Cole Skuse and Emyr Huws in what appeared to be a well-balanced midfield three. They haven't played a single minute as a trio, though.
Former Ipswich boss Paul Hurst questioned whether his player was strong enough mentally to push himself back into action, while online comments and the regular press conference questioning of his whereabouts mean he has become something of a figure of fun.
One thing's for certain, Adeyemi's not been having fun. It must have been an extremely difficult time for him, working alone in the gym while his team-mates were 'out on the grass'.
But now he's back, following Achilles surgery before Christmas, adding intrigue to this game.
He looked well short of match-fitness, unsurprisingly given he's been out for so long, but he also showed signs of just why McCarthy signed him with some clever passing and good movement.
Within seconds of kick-off he'd broken out of his central midfield role and was running at the Forest defence down the left, before making two good blocks in his own box minutes later.
He then fired a shot over the bar before Forest's flurry of goals took the game beyond the hosts.
His evening also included a yellow card as he protested a little too hard for the referee's liking, after being fouled in the build-up to a Forest attack.
Then, just before his departure at the break, a goal as he netted following a good ball from Bailey Clements to the edge of the six-yard box.
Given he's out of contract this summer, the natural assumption is that his Ipswich career has just weeks left to run. And that may well prove to be the case, given Paul Lambert has pledged to carry a smaller squad next season with money tight following the drop to League One.
But Town boss knows Adeyemi from their time together at Norwich and is fully aware of his ability when fit, so is there any way back?
Only time will tell.
A trio of trialists
The Portman Road crowd, numbering a few hundred, and those watching at home on Facebook had the chance to witness three new faces in action.
Defender Ethan Patterson, winger Deese Kasinga-Madia and striker Colin Oppong are all on trial with the Blues, looking to win permanent deals in Suffolk.
Patterson is an 18-year-old central defender, currently on the books at Aston Villa, who captained the Midlanders at Under 18 level but has been unable to break into the Under 23 side on a regular basis.
The Northern Ireland youth international showed some good signs but also had his hands full with the Forest attack.
Kasinga-Madia, also 18, is currently with Newcastle, where he was named as one of the 20 young Premier League players to watch as recently as last year.
He played for the young Blues against Watford on Monday and started on the left wing again tonight, playing a part in Adeyemi's goal as he combined with Clements.
Oppong is a teenage Northern Ireland striker, currently with Cliftonville, who has featured for the Under 18s and Under 23s during his time in Suffolk.
He got the start tonight and was full of running, before missing the target narrowly with two good efforts before the break.
It remains to be seen if any have done enough to earn extended stays.
Not for the first time, Barry Cotter was spoken to by a referee for showing dissent in the wake of decisions he felt hadn't gone his way.
He received a yellow card this evening and was told he'd be off if he continued, before applauding the official's next decision.
He didn't finish the game as, with just seconds left, he was shown a second yellow following a foul.
Cotter's a confident character and is a big voice on the field, all while showing superb physical ability, a great first touch and a desire to burst forward, but he needs to rein in the backchat if he wants to make a real push for the Ipswich first-team.
Ipswich Town U23s: Wright; Cotter, Patterson, Webber (Z Brown), Clements; Nydam, Adeyemi (McGavin), El Mizouni; K Brown, Kasinga-Madia; Oppong
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