David October’s fine late strike keeps Ipswich Town’s pre-season run going
- Credit: Archant
A fine injury-time strike from David October kept Ipswich Town’s pre-season winning streak going at Gillingham.
The first-year professional – brought on at left-back in the 79th minute – sent a beautifully-controlled low half volley, on the angle, beyond keeper Stuart Nelson.
Town dominated the first half and led through David McGoldrick’s fine free-kick, but former Norwich City striker Cody McDonald slotted home just 10 seconds after the restart for last season’s League Two champions..
Titus Bramble was one of three trialists to start in Town’s defence at Priestfield.
The 31-year-old – who made his name at the Blues before sealing a £6m move to Newcastle in 2002 – was released by Sunderland at the end of last season. He trained with West Ham for two weeks at the start of pre-season before joining up with Mick McCarthy’s squad on Monday.
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At right-back was Frederic Veseli, a 20-year-old who started his career at Manchester City before moving to neighbours Manchester United. The Swiss Under-21 international – a versatile defender, comfortable on the ball – was also released this summer and trained with Ipswich during their recent trip to Ireland.
Former South Africa captain Bongali Khumalo, 26, once again played on trial after his appearance for Town in last Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Crawley Town. McCarthy is weighing up whether to take the athletic centre-back on loan from Tottenham.
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Gillingham started the match pressing high and hard, but they were soon forced to chase shadows as Ipswich began to zip the ball about confidently with some fluid passing and movement.
The opening goal arrived in the 22nd minute and it was a lovely strike. Having won a central free-kick a good 25 yards from goal with a driving diagonal run, McGoldrick dusted himself down to whip a fine effort into the bottom left-hand corner.
Town continued to push for a second and were only denied it thanks to some sublime saves from home custodian Nelson.
Veseli was the only Town player subbed at the break, but he had caught the eye with his over-lapping runs complementing Anderson’s tendency to drift inside.
Town then switched off at the start of the second half, with McDonald sliding the ball under Scott Loach following Bradley Dack’s through ball.
There was an almost immediate response as sub Elliott Hewitt bombed forward, put in a low cross and Nouble put a cheeky effort with the in-step of his trailing leg just wide. Moments later McGoldrick went close with an overhead attempt.
Equaliser aside, Bramble and Khumalo had barely broken a sweat at the back. Bramble in particular was always in the right place at the right time and never seemed to be out of second gear.
The game looked to be heading for a draw until October’s fantastic strike right at the death, the cross having been delivered by the on-running Hewitt.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Loach, Veseli (Hewitt 46), Khumalo (Chambers 71), Bramble (Smith 71), Mings (October 79); Anderson (Hammond 71), Hyam (cpt) (Lawrence 79), Wordsworth (Skuse 71), Tabb (Carson 79); McGoldrick (Murphy 66), Nouble (Chopra 66).
Unused subs: Gerken.
Gillingham (4-1-3-1): Nelson; Fish, Legge, Barrett (cpt), Martin; Gregory (Davies 74); Whelpdale (Miller 56), Dack (Butcher 79), Grant (Hare 67); Kedwell (German 67), McDonald (Akinfenwa 67).
Unused subs: Birchall, Muggleton, McKain, Derry, Gowans.
Referee: Andy D’Urso.