MATCH REPORT: Set-pieces once again Ipswich Town’s undoing in friendly defeat at non-league Luton Town

IPSWICH Town were defeated 2-0 by non-league hosts Luton Town in this afternoon’s pre-season friendly.

Just like last season, set-pieces were once again the Blues’ downfall as towering Hungarian centre-back Janos Kovac was left unmarked to head home from a corner and a deep-free-kick respectively.

The Blue Square Premier side could and should have been in front after 11 minutes when striker Andy Gray air-kicked in the six-yard box.

Town – whose side was a mix of first-team and fringe players – were nowhere near as fluid as they were at Cambridge United on Wednesday night, though they could have broken the deadlock in the 35th minute when Michael Chopra glanced a deep Jimmy Bullard free-kick onto the post.

Luton broke the deadlock in the 37th minute when Kovac’s header looped over far post guardian Andy Drury and into the top corner.


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And they kept that advantage come the half-time whistle thanks to some excellent goalkeeping from Mark Tyler, the custodian keeping out a Bullard long-ranger and then getting up quickly to block striker Ryan Stevenson’s follow-up.

Blues boss Paul Jewell made six changes at half-time and there was a slight improvement in performance after the restart.

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Luke Hyam saw a sweet volley clawed out of the top corner, while the home keeper also kept a low Jay Emmanuel-Thomas effort out at the near post.

Aaron Cresswell cleared a Kovac header off the line in the 69th minute – the big man again finding space at a set-piece – but the Blues failed to learn their lesson as he was once again left unmarked in the 89th minute, the defender time heading home from close-range.

– Reaction to follow.

LUTON TOWN (4-1-2-1-2): Tyler; Taylor, Henry (cpt) (Beckwith 71), Kovacs, Rowe-Turner (Watkins 56); Kasim; Lawless, Howells (Robinson 77); Rendell (O’Donnell 46); Gray (Walker 68), Fleetwood (Woolley 68).

Unused: Brill.

IPSWICH TOWN (4-1-2-1-2): Loach (Lee-Barrett 46); Ainsley (Edwards 46), Chambers, Delaney, Whight (Cresswell 46); Luongo; Kourouma (Hyam 46), Drury; Bullard (Emmanuel-Thomas 46); Chopra (Scotland 46), Stevenson (Ellington 70).

Attendance: 2,440 (273 away)

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