Ainsley spot on to give Town victory

FELIXSTOWE boy Jack Ainsley ended the unbeaten run in the FA Premier Academy Under-18s League of a Gunners' side littered with foreign internationals last night.

By Derek Davis

FELIXSTOWE boy Jack Ainsley ended the unbeaten run in the FA Premier Academy Under-18s League of a Gunners' side littered with foreign internationals last night.

The local hero gave Town a 1-0 win - only their second of the season - to defeat a strong Arsenal team that included Dutch, Polish and Portuguese internationals and had previously won seven of their eight league games.

Paul Rodgers brought down Ainsley in the box as he played a one-two with Paul Murphy in the 75th minute and he was emphatic from the penalty spot to beat Wojciech Szczesny, who played senior football for Legia Warsaw when he was just 15.

Table-topping Arsenal had numerous chances as they dominated the first half with Tommy Smith and Kurt Robinson making goal-line clearances from Jay Thomas and Sanchez Watt.

The ball was scrambled clear after Thomas hit a post and Andy Plummer had to make some sharp saves.

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Portuguese international Rui Fonte blazed over the bar in both halves and Arsenal grew frustrated.

Town struggled to keep possession while the Gunners were patient and careful in their build-up. However, being wasteful in front of goal was the factor that cost them.

Smith was dangerous at set plays for Town and went closest when he headed down a Murphy corner but the ball was scooped over the bar to safety.

Ed Upson, who made his full debut for the England Under-19s in their 3-1 win over Belgium the night before, went on as a second-half substitute and the Blues finished strongly.

Full England international Kieron Dyer, who sponsored the game to allow under-16s in for free, met the players before the match to remind them of what can be achieved as a Town graduate.

Judging by the skills displayed by his son Kai, who was mascot for the game along with Joseph Lawrence, then Town could have another top class Dyer coming through.

With just one win in the league this season Town were second-bottom of their section but last night's win will have improved their position and given a real boost to their confidence.

Teams

Ipswich Town: Plummer, Clemo, Robinson (Hyam, 90) Williams, Watson, Smith, Murphy (Barrett, 81) Reason, Ainsley, Calver (Upson, 54) and Fenn. Subs: Ward and Lambe.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Ogogo, Steer (Evina, 70) Dunne (Frimpong, 72) Hoyte, Rodgers (Ayling, 77) Lansbury, Thomas, Watt, Fonte and Barazite. Subs: Eastmond and Blackwood.

Referee: Mark Watson. Attendance: 1,986.

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