Reserves beaten despite Bowditch treble

DEAN Bowditch sent a “come and get me” message to the watching managers and scouts by hitting a first-half hat-trick as Ipswich blew a 3-1 lead to go down 4-3 against Wycombe Wanderers.

Derek Davis

DEAN Bowditch sent a “come and get me” message to the watching managers and scouts by hitting a first-half hat-trick as Ipswich blew a 3-1 lead to go down 4-3 against Wycombe Wanderers.

Bowditch is desperate to break back into the first team reckoning and manager Jim Magilton has indicated he wants to use him and his current scoring form - two previous goals and a hat-full in behind-closed-doors friendlies - will help his cause.

But if he can't break past the current trio of Jon Stead, Pablo Counago and Kevin Lisbie then a loan move is a viable option with a number of clubs tracking his progress.

Although the Chairboys had a decent passage of play in the opening period and equalised, Town were sitting comfortably by the break after stepping up the pace with Bowditch netting all three first-half goals.

But they were too relaxed after half-time and wide-awake Wanderers hit back with a swift double and then went in front for the first time - and stayed in front.

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The Blues defence was marshalled by Alex Bruce, back again after a three-match ban following his sending-off against Wolves, and even though he was not initially included in today's squad for Southampton he and a couple of others, possibly including Bowditch, could travel down to the south coast this morning.

Magilton explained: “Alex needs games. He played very well against Wolves. He had not missed a tackle all game, even the lad (Dave Jones) will tell you he got the ball and didn't complain.

“Alex is a wholehearted lad who wants to do well and has a terrific attitude but he keeps missing games through suspension and it has cost him.”

Bruce has yet to agree the new contract offered to him and Magilton moved to reassure the centre-half.

He said: “Others have come in and done well so it could be difficult but he is still very much part of this team.

“The contract situation is still ongoing but I still want him at this football club.”

The Blues quickly went ahead when Paul Murphy hit a powerful cross and Bowditch just needed to guide it in using the pace of the ball which he did perfectly to give Town a second minute lead.

A mistake from Joe Clemo allowed Wycombe their first good chance but a downward header by Matt Phillips from Nathan Ashton's cross bounced over the bar.

Wanderers got their equaliser after poor defending with Tommy Smith's back header going straight to Ashton, who controlled and finished in one movement.

Bowditch restored the lead eight minutes before the break with a tap-in with Murphy once again the provider.

The 22-year-old completed his hat-trick with a low shot following a goalmouth scramble three minutes from half-time.

Matt Harrold pulled one back immediately after the break by sending Lewis Ward the wrong way with a penalty kick after more weak defending by Town.

Wycombe levelled when Robert Rice waltzed his way through and finished well, beating Ward to make it 3-3.

Substitute Daniel Flitchett put Wycombe ahead for the first time with his first touch after Ward failed to deal with a back pass across his goal from Kurt Robinson.

Reggie Lambe showed good skill before unleashing a left-foot curling shot from the edge of the area which brought out a save for the cameras by Jamie Young.

Wanderers keeper Young made another good save to deny Town moments before the interval and yet another to push away a powerful Murphy effort.

Town keeper Ward also pulled off a couple of good full-stretch saves that ultimately proved futile.

The teams

Ipswich Town: Ward, Clemo, Robinson, Daniels (Ainsley, 78) Smith, Bruce, Peters, Trotter, Murphy, Bowditch and Lambe. Subs not used: Watson, Dunbar, Hyam and Stenstrud.

Wycombe Wanderers: Young, Clark, Duncan, Read, Crooks, Lumsden, Phillips, Rice, Harrold (Flitchett, 76), Vieira and Ashton (Daly, 76). Unused subs: Pearce and Lewis.

Attendance 219.

Referee: N Kinseley.