Town youngsters suffer big home defeat to Saints

A HAT-trick from Jake Sinclair helped condemn Ipswich Under-18s to a 4-1 home defeat to Southampton this afternoon.

A youthful Blues side, featuring just three second-year scholars, were always second-best to the powerful Saints at Playford Road.

Under the watchful eye of Paul Jewell, they had no answer to Southampton number nine Sinclair who showed his undoubted potential after just 13 minutes, turning the otherwise impressive George Fowler but not being able to beat the onrushing Cody Cropper.

After 26 minutes, Sinclair went closer still when he created a yard of space and unleashed a wickedly dipping shot that beat Town’s young American keeper but cannoned off the crossbar.

It was only a matter of time before Ipswich – who started with Joe Whight, Byron Lawrence and Callum Bennett – fell behind and it duly came in the 39th minute. Dan Booman found a yard down the right wing and his low cross was turned in by Sinclair from close range.

Southampton doubled their lead six minutes after the interval when James Ward-Prowse exchanged passes with Sinclair before the central midfielder strode through the Town defence and calmly found the bottom corner.

It was looking bleak for the hosts and the Saints soon scored their third in comfortable fashion – an unmarked Sinclair heading home Matt Young’s cross.

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To their credit, the Blues recovered well and proceeded to play their best football of the match. They pulled a goal back when schoolboy Kyle Hammond headed in Byron Lawrence’s deep corner and they almost grabbed another when sub Mark Timlin did well to find space but Jordan Turnbull got in a goal-saving tackle.

The scoring was complete in the 87th minute when Ward-Prowse beautifully dissected the home defence and Sinclair stroked the ball under Cropper to complete his hat-trick.

n Meanwhile, Town’s Under-16s also lost 4-1 to Southampton at Palyford Road this afternoon.

Town side: Cropper; Hammond, Fowler, Thorsteinsson, October; Bennett (Meikle 67), Acott (Leddy 70), Whight, Lawrence; Winter, Marriott (Timlin 62). Subs not used – Tiofack, Jones.