Aaron Cresswell’s lethal left foot proves potent weapon

WHEN assistant referee Adrian Sannerude finally awarded Ipswich Town’s winner against Derby County on Saturday, the praise was rightly focused on the ninth goal of Keith Andrews’ prolific loan spell.

WHEN assistant referee Adrian Sannerude finally awarded Ipswich Town’s winner against Derby County on Saturday, the praise was rightly focused on the ninth goal of Keith Andrews’ prolific loan spell.

But whose jinking run and teasing cross made the controversial breakthrough? And who comfortably leads the Town assist charts in the first half of the season? Step forward Aaron Cresswell.

Never mind the set pieces of Jimmy Bullard, the flair of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas or the wing-play of Lee Martin. The recently-turned 22-year-old left-back is putting them all to shame.

As manager Paul Jewell has since admitted, many supporters were left scratching their heads when a young Tranmere defender was one of his first signings of the summer.


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The capture of Cresswell certainly never grabbed the imagination in the same way as Michael Chopra before him and Emmanuel-Thomas weeks after.

But the Liverpudlian quickly won over any sceptical fans with his steady defending and raids down the left wing which have made him such a potent attacking weapon.

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Then there is the trusty left boot which has made an impressive six of Town’s 33 goals this season. The fact that the next highest has just two assists – something shared by seven players – shows how important Cresswell has become to Jewell’s team.

After his move from the Wirral, Cresswell soon showed his quality at both ends with a series of consistent displays which have arguably made the left-back Town’s best player in the first half of the season. He caught the nation’s eye during his man-of-the-match performance in the 3-0 win over Coventry – a game that saw him set up Martin Cranie’s own goal and then clear off the line three times.

But the secret is now out on Cresswell, who has missed just one league and cup game this season and has seen England Under-21s boss Stuart Pearce watch him with interest. Though the full-back is 16 days too old for Pearce’s national team, the manager might be monitoring Cresswell for next year’s Olympics.

Speaking after Cresswell’s latest assist against his Derby side, Rams boss Nigel Clough admitted trying to stop the young full-back formed part of his pre-match plans.

Topping the table for assists in the Championship this season is Leeds’ Robert Snodgrass who has nine to his name followed by a number of players – including Town summer targets Peter Whittingham and Rickie Lambert – who have seven.

According to the club website, Town’s full list of assists this season are: Aaron Cresswell – 6; Jimmy Bullard, Daryl Murphy, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Jason Scotland, Lee Bowyer, Carlos Edward, Michael Chopra – all 2; Grant Leadbitter, Mark Kennedy, Lee Martin, Nathan Ellington, Tamas Priskin – all 1.

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