Town U23s led twice in extra-time... but semi-final ends in heartbreak
- Credit: Ross Halls
Ipswich Town Under-23s twice led in extra-time only to suffer a heartbreaking 5-4 play-off semi-final defeat at Coventry City this afternoon.
Will Bapaga's breakaway goal gave the Sky Blues an early lead (7), but Tommy Hughes' powerful strike (15) and Cameron Humphreys' near post finish (29) soon turned the game on its head.
Town increasingly dominated the first half but were left to rue Tawanda Chirewa heading a golden chance wide just before the break.
Coventry sub Evan Eghosa fired narrowly wide after restart before the hosts got back on level terms through Marco Rus' neat finish in box (55).
Home keeper Cian Tyler made smart saves from Hughes and Humphreys to take the game to extra-time and, within a minute of the restart, Matt Ward had set up Hughes for his second of the game.
Within eight minutes, however, the game was level once again as Jonny Ngandu converted from the penalty spot after Bapaga had been brought down by Edwin Agbaje.
The drama continued as Tawanda Chirewa fired into the top corner from the edge of the box. Town led 4-3 with 104 minutes on the clock.
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Ngandu tucked away another penalty though (113) and, just a minute later, Ryan Howley headed in a winner at the near post.
Ipswich had finished top of the Professional Development League South table, while Coventry finished second in the North division.
Coventry will now face Bristol City in the final.
IPSWICH TOWN: Ridd, Agbaje, Hudson, Bradshaw, Kabongolo, Armin (cpt), Ward, Humphreys, Buabo, Chirewa, Hughes. Subs: Bort, Barbrook, Valentine, Siziba.