Bowditch hat-trick is a timely reminder

DEAN Bowditch gave a timely reminder of his goalscoring ability with a first-half hat-trick in last night's 4-0 victory over Stevenage Reserves in the Pontin's Holidays Combination at Portman Road.

Elvin King

DEAN Bowditch gave a timely reminder of his goalscoring ability with a first-half hat-trick in last night's 4-0 victory over Stevenage Reserves in the Pontin's Holidays Combination at Portman Road.

Struggling for goals and form in recent times after bursting on to the first team scene as a 16-year-old, Bowditch was back to his best, albeit against mediocre opposition.

With Pablo Counago banned and Jon Walters injured it remains to be seen whether Bowditch did enough to earn a call-up to the squad for Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship game against QPR at Portman Road.

Bowditch was the star of a young Ipswich side, and he turned well to create space before beating Clarke Master comprehensively in the 18th minute.

His second goal was his best when he showed strength to hold off a defender, pace to go beyond another and a precision finish to top it off in the 37th minute. It was vintage Bowditch.

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His hat-trick came when he received the ball from Matt Daniels in the 41st minute to run free and confidently slip the ball low into the net.

In-between, Jordan Rhodes, who was unable to convert a number of good chances, scored his customary goal in the 32nd minute. Jai Reason's corner was flicked on by Liam Trotter for Rhodes to flick in at the far post.

Master made a number of good second half saves against an Ipswich team that has already won the division with a 100% record.

Both managers - Jim Magilton and Peter Taylor - watched from the stands in front of a sparse crowd.

Referee Mike Bull was an early casualty knocked down by a ball that struck his head in the tenth minute. He was not knocked out but suffered concussion.

After treatment from Town physio Matt Byard, he was led off in a groggy state and replaced by senior linesman Mark Bampton from Haverhill.

Stevenage full-back Ashley Grinham went down in considerable pain just before the interval, and then collapsed as he was being led back to the dressing room.

He was attended to by a doctor and medics beside the pitch before being carried off on a stretcher. He suffered medial ligament damage in his right leg.

Ollie Allen, just back after a long knee injury, was carried off in the final seconds after taking a heavy blow to the same knee.

Line-ups

Ipswich Town: Ward, Synnott, Robinson, Reason, Watson, Hyam (sub Eastman 86), Ainsley (Clemo 80), Trotter, Rhodes, Bowditch (Clark 46) and Daniels. Subs: Griffiths and Wickham.

Stevenage: Master, Grinham (Balderstone 45), Eames, Greene, Caslake (Pain 42), Flaco, John, Molesey, Buchanan (Burke 62), Allen and O'Sullivan. Subs: Adams and Antcliff.

Referee: Mr M Bull.