Ipswich Town Under 21s end their season with defeat to Millwall

Teddy Bishop and former Blue Ed Upson challenge for the ball

Teddy Bishop and former Blue Ed Upson challenge for the ball

Ipswich Town’s under 21s ended their season with a 2-0 loss to Millwall at Playford Road this afternoon.

The Blues included both Teddy Bishop and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in their side but, despite the pair playing their part as the youngsters knocked the ball around well, it was the more experienced visitors who scored a goal in either half to earn a place in the Professional Development League 2 South play-offs.

The Lions included former Ipswich captain Carlos Edwards and ex-Blue Ed Upson in their side, as well as Irish international goalkeeper David Forde, and had the greater intensity throughout as they knew a win would secure them a spot in the post-season.

Things started badly for the young Blues as, just three minutes in, Millwall midfielder Kyron Farrell lashed home a shot which took a slight deflection off defender Joe Robinson, before beating Ipswich goalkeeper Michael Crowe.

The hosts struggled to create any meaningful openings in the first half, despite knocking the ball around well and bringing full-backs Myles Kenlock and Josh Emmanuel into play whenever possible, with Millwall’s only other effort of note coming when former Blue Upson lashed a free-kick over the top.

Bishop was replaced by Connor McKendry at the break, but the Blues were on the back foot again at the start of the second period, with Crowe forced to pull off a smart double save to keep out two efforts from Jamie Philpott.

The hosts suffered a blow when Shane McLoughlin was forced off with an injury and was replaced by Ben Morris, with Monty Patterson perhaps fortunate not to pick up a knock of his own following a wild tackle from Sid Nelson which earned the Millwall defender a yellow card.

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Substitute Morris was soon involved as he scampered past two visiting defenders to reach the byline, before pulling the ball back to McKendry who in turn fed Patterson, with the New Zealander’s effort forcing a smart save from Forde.

Maitland-Niles departed just past the hour, with Flynn Downes taking his place, and within seconds of the Arsenal loanee leaving the field, Millwall had doubled their lead thanks to a well-struck effort from Joseph Otudeko.

Robinson then had to turn a dangerous Kris Twardek cross behind for a corner, as the visitors continued to push, but the Blues soon enjoyed a period of prolonged pressure as Adam McDonnell’s cross saw Forde fumble, with no Ipswich player able to latch onto the rebound.

Crowe was called upon again, saving from Noel Leighton one-on-one, before using his legs just a few minutes later to save from the same player.

As time ticked down the young Blues pushed forward, with James Blanchfield shooting over, but they couldn’t find the net as they ended their season with a defeat.

The loss means the Blues look set to finish their season seventh in the table, having won nine of their 30 games.