Michael Chopra’s first half brace just about proves enough for Ipswich Town at Colchester United

Colchester v Ipswich: Ipswich Town’s youthful starting XI once again put on an impressive first half display tonight before some familiar frailties reared their head following a string of second half changes.

The same side which blew Premier League side West Ham away in an impressive first half at Portman Road last Saturday did the same at League One outfit Colchester United.

Michael Chopra – who has looked ultra-sharp following a summer fitness camp in California – was in the right place at the right time to apply a simple finish in the 23rd minute, following a slick move which included a breath-taking cross-field ball from Lee Martin.

The front man then took his goal tally for pre-season to six in the 37th minute by coolly rounding keeper Mark Cousins and slotting into an empty net, Martin providing the assist with a perfectly weighted through ball.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ close ball control and trickery, Martin’s energy and Massimo Luongo’s grit and vision caught the eye in another impressive opening 45 minutes in which Town’s passing game was assured.

Town’s Essex neighbours, who had nowhere near their strongest side out, were allowed to come back into the game after the break though as Jewell gave others their chance.

Following a slow start to the second period, the Blues saw their advantage halved after failing to deal with a low Anthony Wordsworth cross from the left. Substitute Damien Delaney managed to block Duguid’s close-range shot with a desperate lunge, but there was nothing Ipswich could do as summer signing Clinton Morrison forced home the rebound at the far post.

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And the U’s could have been level 10 minutes later when keeper Arran Lee-Barrett – also introduced at half-time – failed to deal with a deep free-kick delivery from Wordsworth, with Duguid not quite able to convert at the far post.

Martin had frustrated his manager in the opening stages of the match by wasting two good goalscoring opportunity. And he was given the hook in the 78th minute after missing absolute sitter of a chance. The midfielder was unmarked and only a yard out when Carlos Edwards’ cross came his way, but he appeared to shy away from the ball to send it ballooning over the bar.

One bright spot in the second half was another lively display from sub striker Ronan Murray.

– Reaction to follow.

COLCHESTER UTD: Cousins; White, Okuonghae, Eastman, Coker; Duguid, O’Toole, Bond (Wright 81), Bean, Wordsworth (Gilbey 72); Morrison.

Subs: Pentney, Rose, Heath, Izzet, Sears, Henderson, Ladapo.

IPSWICH TOWN: Loach (Lee-Barrett 46); Edwards, Chambers (Delaney 46), Smith (Ainsley 78), Cresswell (Whight); Luongo, Hyam (Stevenson 65); Emmanuel-Thomas, Martin (Kourouma 78), Carson (Murray 61); Chopra (Scotland 72).

Attendance: 3,873 (1,376 away)

Referee: Mr M Russell