Town U23s dominant as keeper Holy plays in victory over Wigan
- Credit: Ross Halls
Ipswich Town’s Under 23s produced a dominant display as they beat Wigan 3-0 at Portman Road.
Tawanda Chirewa, Albie Armin and Zanda Siziba scored the goals as Kieron Dyer’s side secured an impressive victory, controlling the game after a fairly even opening quarter and never looking like letting their lead slip.
Dyer’s side were solid throughout, winning balls in defence and midfield, but the link-up play between the front four of Chirewa, Siziba, Harley Curtis and Ben Morris caused problems for Wigan at almost every turn as the game went on.
Tomas Holy, now Town’s third choice goalkeeper following the arrival of Christian Walton, was the only senior player involved and had little to do but bellow out instructions at the young defence in front of him.
The victory was the young Blues’ second of the season, following success away at Crewe last time out and following a harsh defeat at home to Coventry in their first Portman Road outing of the season.
Town were on the front foot early, with Cameron Humphreys’ free-kick forcing a good save from Wigan keeper Sam Tickle, before a set-piece in the same position saw Siziba curl over the top of the bar.
Holy’s first involvement saw him come through traffic to try and reach a high ball, not quite reaching it as the following pile of bodies saw two Wigan players left flat out on the floor and requiring treatment. Thankfully they were good to carry on.
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Town’s attacking players were beginning to work their way into the game and the Blues were soon ahead, with Harley Curtis showing good footwork to move into danger, where Chirewa took aim and fired into the bottom corner at the second attempt, after his first shot was blocked.
Curtis then headed over after doing well to meet a Ben Morris cross, before Chirewa ended the first half by firing a free-kick over the top and then having a shot blocked from a dangerous area.
Town had dominated the half from around the 20th-minute onwards and, after the break, soon doubled their advantage as Armin found space at the back post to angle home an excellent header from Matt Healy’s corner.
Just a few minutes later it was three as Siziba turned superbly on the edge of the box and sent a rocket into the top corner, a goal which essentially ended the game as a contest.
Humphreys had a shot deflected wide as Town’s attacking players continued to purr, with Curtis having the ball in the net for a fourth time as he turned a long ball home expertly, only to be denied by the offside flag.
Chirewa was then denied by the out-stretched arms of Tickle, before Curtis superbly rolled his man on the edge of the box and hit the deck inside the area, only for referee Michael Ryan to award a free-kick rather than a penalty. Humphreys took it with James Carragher, son of former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie, to block it in the wall.
Elkan Baggot thwarted a rare Wigan attack with a good block, after Morris and Curtis had been replaced, before Tom Costello of the visitors had a shot deflected over. Holy claimed the following corner well.
And that's how it finished, as Dyer's young man secured an impressive victory.
Ipswich Town Under 23s: Holy; Alexander, Armin, Baggott, Clements; Healy (Andoh, 68), Humphreys; Siziba, Chirewa, Curtis (Nwabueze, 77), Morris (Buabo, 77)
Subs: Cullum, Agbaje