How the Ipswich Town players performed in their friendly clash with Crystal Palace

James Norwood about to pull the trigger on a shot that ender up wide of the target.

James Norwood about to pull the trigger on a shot that ender up wide of the target. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Ipswich Town lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace in their pre-season friendly this afternoon. Andy Warren looks at how the Blues performed.

Vaclav Hladky 

A first Portman Road appearance for the Czech keeper, clad in pink, saw him catch a couple of dangerous crosses, distribute the ball well and gratefully watch wayward Palace shooting fly past his posts and over his bar during the first half. Was quick off his line on a number of occasions.  Faced an early barrage at the start of the second half and stood firm, before conceding as Wilfried Zaha netted from the spot. Made two more excellent saves before the full-time whistle.  

Kane Vincent-Young 

Back in the fold for his first action of pre-season and in the thick of things quickly, making a great tackle to deny Zaha. Had some good touches going forward, some decent moments at the back, but was the guilty party as Zaha hit the deck and converted the resulting penalty. Kept going for 70 minutes of this game and it was great to see as he appears to be developing a good relationship with Wes Burns. 

Jordan Ayew, with a Crystal Palace free-kick high over the Town wall.

Jordan Ayew, with a Crystal Palace free-kick high over the Town wall. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Matt Penney 

Another making their Portman Road bow, with the left-back showing attacking intent for much of this game as he looked to get forward and cross. Had a few difficulties defensively, as you might expect against Premier League opposition, but stood up throughout. Is likely to have a challenger for a starting spot, with Hayden Coulson expected to arrive. 

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Toto Nsiala 

The centre-half was captain for this game, leading his side out to a great reception at the start of the match. He too made a great tackle to stop Zaha while also making some other good interceptions. His defence were stretched at times but the skipper came up with some big moments, notably an excellent clearance to stop Palace from finding an empty net after Jean-Philippe Mateta had hit the bar. 

Luke Woolfenden 

Big striker Mateta was a real handful for the academy product but he stood firm on the majority of occasions, cleverly winning balls back on the ground. He and Nsiala are very much in pole position to be Cook’s starting centre-backs when the real stuff begins. 

Rekeem Harper in action.

Rekeem Harper in action. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Rekeem Harper 

A smooth operator in midfield, looking to work the ball around the pitch and create for others. He is able to make time for himself on the ball with clever touches and is expansive in what he tries to do. He played 75 minutes and left to a warm applause. The first of many, you have to feel. 

Cameron Humphreys 

This was a big moment for the teenager, who played a real part in Town’s Youth Cup run last season. He started at the base of midfield and didn’t look out of place while showing plenty of technical ability throughout this game. Well done, young man. 

Wes Burns in action against Crystal Palace.

Wes Burns in action against Crystal Palace. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Wes Burns 

A very good first Portman Road showing from the Welshman, who is positive in what he does, has a good first touch and looks to knock the ball past his man and beat him for pace. Had one well-struck shot saved and put in a couple of decent corners. A promising 70 minutes. 

Scott Fraser 

The creative midfielder started this game wide on the left but did his best work drifting inside to play clever little passes into tight spaces. He took in-swinging corners from the right, with his left foot, in what was a promising first appearance in blue. There’s more to come. 

James Norwood 

Pure hard graft from Town’s No.10 this afternoon as he led Paul Cook’s calls to press the Palace defence. He forced errors at the back and had some decent moments on the ball himself, chesting into the path of Joe Pigott before the striker hit the post from long range. He’s got a fight on his hands for a starting spot, which could bring out the best in him. 

Joe Pigott 

A first pre-season outing for the big striker was a good one. He showed good link play, enjoyed playing with Norwood in attack and offered himself to team-mates time and again. Had one driven shot which clipped the outside of the post. Another who made a good first impression.  

Macauley Bonne (for Norwood, 60) 

This will have been a big day for the boyhood Town fan, who had plenty of friends and family in the ground for his Portman Road bow. He showed some good touches and clever movement but will hope for further minutes as we move forward. Next up for him is a return to former club Colchester on Tuesday. 

Ipswich keeper Vaclav Hladky takes an early goal kick.

Ipswich keeper Vaclav Hladky takes an early goal kick. - Credit: Stephen Waller

Armando Dobra (for Fraser, 60) 

The young attacker will have perhaps been disappointed not to start this game but, once he got onto the pitch, he was his usual self as he looked to produce something positive when on the ball. 

Janoi Donacien (for Vincent-Young, 71) 

The final 20 minutes for Town’s back-up right-back, here. Solid throughout. 

The youngsters 

As at Dartford, Town’s substitutes were largely drawn from the Under 18 side and none looked out of place. 

Jesse Nwabueze got the most minutes from the bench, coming on for the final 20 and showing some classy touches, while the pick of the young replacements was teenager Matt Ward. The former Wroxham player showed a superb touch, a great positional sense and the confidence to turn in tight situations and use the ball well. Very encouraging indeed.

Matt Healy and Fraser Alexander both got the final 15 minutes and acquitted themselves well, before Bailey Clements, Albie Armin and Matt Healy all came on as time ticked down. 

Corrie Ndaba, who is battling for a first-team spot for the third successive summer, will be disappointed to have only made it on on 86 minutes.  

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