‘Granddad’ enhances growing reputation

TEENAGE centre-back Tom Eastman took a step closer to earning a senior contract with Ipswich Town yesterday afternoon with yet another impressive reserve team performance.

TEENAGE centre-back Tom Eastman took a step closer to earning a senior contract with Ipswich Town yesterday afternoon with yet another impressive reserve team performance.

Town’s second string comfortably beat their Colchester United counterparts 3-1 at Playford Road in a Totesport.com Combination League encounter.

And while there was a host of experienced players on show for both sides – Owen Garvan and Lee Martin both getting on the scoresheet – it was 18-year-old Eastman’s assured display at the back which really stood out.

Endearingly nicknamed ‘Granddad’ by his team mates for his mature outlook on life, Eastman was named on the bench for Ipswich’s Championship clash at Derby on Monday.

Roy Keane revealed recently that he was considering awarding the 6ft 3in Academy player a senior contract in the near future. And with the Town boss having watched from the sidelines yesterday afternoon, Eastman will have done his chances no harm at all.

Colchester took the lead 13 minutes into the game when club-record signing Steven Gillespie blasted home Phil Ifil’s cross.

Most Read

Town – partnering the out-of-favour duo of Pablo Counago and Martin up front – dominated from this point onwards though.

Eastman sent a towering header onto the post, Lambe smacked the woodwork from outside the box, while Owen Garvan was denied by a superb Mark Cousins save.

Ipswich finally pulled level in the 57th minute when full-back Jack Ainsley’s deep cross into the box appeared to evade everyone and bounce into the net. Counago may claim he got the slightest of touches.

With U’s manager Aidy Boothroyd also in attendance, Colchester took the chance to take a look at triallist Rhema Obeid. The 18-year-old right-back has recently been released by Arsenal, but failed to catch the eye.

Gillespie, pushing hard for a recall to out-of-form Colchester’s starting line-up, had a goal chalked out for offside in the 74th minute and that proved to be the turning point.

Town took the lead four minutes later when Garvan – who was played left, right and centre midfield at various stages of the game – fired home from the edge of the box following Counago’s square pass.

The win was then wrapped up eight minutes from time when Ipswich were awarded an indirect free-kick inside the box for a backpass. Counago tapped the ball off to Martin and he duly smashed it into the roof of the net.

Teams – Ipswich (4-4-2): Aaran Lee-Barrett; Liam Rosenior, Jack Ainsley, Tom Eastman, Tommy Smith; Reggie Lambe, Luke Hyam, Billy Clark (Seb Dunbar 83), Owen Garvan; Pablo Counago, Lee Martin.

Colchester (4-5-1): Mark Cousins; Rhema Obeid, Alan Maybury, Matt Heath, Tom Bender; Phil Ifil, Ian Henderson (Craig Arnott 46), Sam Corcoran, John-Joe O’Toole, David Fox; Steven Gillespie.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter