Trotter is two-goal hero

IT took Town nearly an hour to get going but a Liam Trotter brace was enough to give Roy Keane's side victory over a hard-working Southend.

Derek Davis

Southend United 0 Ipswich Town 2

IT took Town nearly an hour to get going but a Liam Trotter brace was enough to give Roy Keane's side victory over a hard-working Southend.

Keane put out arguably his strongest side so far in pre-season and used one up front with five in midfield.

Jon Walters and Lee Martin came in from the flanks, while Norris pushed through the middle in support.

Indecisive defending allowed the Shrimpers an early chance when Adam Barrett struck a powerful shot into the side netting.

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A lack of guile and quality meant Town rarely created a chance in the first half although Trotter hit a post with a low shot after being teed up by Jon Stead from 20 yards.

An overhead kick by Stead, who was playing as the lone striker, was easily gathered, while Walters nodded over from a tight angle.

The Shrimpers with four wins over non-league opposition under their belt while Town have lost two of their previous four outings, gave a good account of themselves as Ipswich once again struggled to find their tempo.

Essex referee Andy D'Urso is well known to Keane, who can forget the episode at Old Trafford against Sunderland in 2000 when he angered the United players and a vein-bulging Keane was leading the chasing pack as D'Urso backed away.

Keane has since spoken of his regret at that incident. D'Urso also awarded a penalty against Keane for Liverpool at Wembley the following year but there was an amusing moment when D'Urso got in the middle of a tackle between Martin and Anthony Grant and the man in green went over, a little too easily for some people's liking, but it raised a laugh.

Keane was not so happy when Grant impeded David Norris and vented his fury towards the official.

It was another feisty friendly for Town and Damien Delaney clashed a couple of times with Frenchman Francis Laurent and after being booked the Town bench substituted the defender.

The flash point seemed to liven up Town though and moments later when Walters found Norris in space and his cross was met by a stooping header by Trotter 11 minutes after the break.

That put the travelling 420 Town fans in good voice and they were even happier in the 68th minute when Trotter finished off a good move started by Norris winning a tackle with Stead the provider.

Former Dutch under 21 international Maceo Rigters, who also spent a loan spell at Norwich City from Blackburn Rovers, was on trial with the Shrimpers but was kept fairly quiet.

Pim Balkestein made two blocks right at the death to ensure a clean sheet while Trotter was denied a hat-trick by a Steve Mildenhall save from his header.

Town now take on Colchester United at Portman Road on Saturday, 2pm kick off, with a nine a side match being played at half time that will include Frans Thjissen, Martijn Reuser, Darren Currie and Kieron Dyer.

Southend United: Mildenhall, Francis (Herd, 78) Bakayogo, Christophe, Barrett (Sawyer, 33) Grant, McCormack (O'Keefe, 78) Barnar (Revell, 62) Laurent, Rigters (Calver, 78) Moussa. Subs not used: Joyce,

Ipswich Town: R Wright, Bruce (D Wright, 53) McAuley, Balkestein, Delaney (Smith, 56) Norris, Trotter, Garvan (Shumi, 76) Martin (Quinn, 72) Walters (Rhodes, 76) Stead (Wickham, 72) Subs not used: Supple.

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Billericay) Attendance: 2,406