Report: Ward nets winner as Edwards makes first appearance in Crawley win

New Ipswich Town signing Gwion Edwards is set to play again after a first appearance against Crawley

New Ipswich Town signing Gwion Edwards is set to play again after a first appearance against Crawley. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town produced a much-improved display in their second pre-season outing as they saw off Crawley Town 1-0 at East Grinstead this evening.

Josh Payne gets his foot to the ball to thwart the efforts of Tristan Nydam in the first half.

Josh Payne gets his foot to the ball to thwart the efforts of Tristan Nydam in the first half. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Manager Paul Hurst didn’t hide his feelings following the Blues’ 2-0 defeat by Braintree at the weekend, with the Blues boss insisting he expected considerable improvement - and that’s exactly what he got.

There was more urgency, both with and without the ball, with the visitors more confident in possession and more determined to win it back once it was lost.

Grant Ward’s fifth-minute goal ultimately won it for Hurst’s men, as the manager’s reduced squad of only 17 players got vital minutes in their legs during what was their second opportunity to try and play their way into his plan for the start of the Championship season.

Gwion Edwards, signed this morning from Peterborough for £700,000, made his first appearance in an Ipswich shirt and looked to run at his man whenever possible in what was a promising display as a second-half substitute.

Martyn Waghorn had this shot saved late in the first half. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Martyn Waghorn had this shot saved late in the first half. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The Blues started with great intensity as they went hunting the ball from kick-off on the command of vocal captain Luke Chambers, and they were ahead within five minutes.

The assist came from a familiar source as Waghorn, who provided 11 Ipswich goals last season, slid a delightful ball through to Ward which the wide man latched onto and fired into the bottom corner.

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Dean Gerken was sharp to save from Reece Grego-Cox as he beat away a powerful head from Lewis Young’s cross, but the Blues then began to dominate possession and were solid at the back for the remainder of the second period.

Few chances came, though, as the Blues worked the opposition defence without finding a way to go, with Waghorn firing wide and then over with two half-chances.

The striker then chipped wide after beating the offside trap before having an effort blocked on the line before the half was out.

Edwards was introduced at the break along with Flynn Downes and was on the attack early, with two good runs testing the Crawley defence without creating anything of note for the Blues.

The winger was the visitors’ best outlet during a second period of few opportunities for either side, on what proved to be a good night’s work for the Blues.

Next up is Saturday’s visit to The Hive to take on Barnet.

Myles Kenlock heads the danger clear for Town

Myles Kenlock heads the danger clear for Town - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town: Gerken; Spence, Woolfenden, Chambers; Kenlock (Emmanuel 78); Skuse, Nydam (Roberts 78); Ward (Folami 86), Dozzell (Downes 45), Sears; Waghorn (Edwards 45)

Sub not used: Wright

Town boss Paul Hurst before kick-off. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Town boss Paul Hurst before kick-off. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Grant Ward is congratulated by Martyn Waghorn after giving Ipswich an early lead last night. Picture

Grant Ward is congratulated by Martyn Waghorn after giving Ipswich an early lead last night. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller