Youngsters enhance their reputations

TWO-goal Connor Wickham received the lion's share of the praise in a weakened Ipswich Town Carling Cup penalty shoot-out victory over League Two Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday.

Elvin King

TWO-goal Connor Wickham received the lion's share of the praise in a weakened Ipswich Town Carling Cup penalty shoot-out victory over League Two Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday.

And rightly so with the 16-year-old giving a highly skilful mature performance adding considerable weight to manager Roy Keane's reasoning for parting company with fellow strikers Jordan Rhodes, Kevin Lisbie, Billy Clarke and Dean Bowditch during the summer.

But the part played in the victory at the ProStar Stadium by two players also seeking to catch the manager's eye should not be forgotten.


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Keeper Shane Supple looks destined to spend yet another season sitting on the bench after signing a new one-year contract extension.

And no doubt he will be understudying Richard Wright against Leicester City at Portman Road tomorrow.

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His brilliant diving penalty save from Jake Robinson at the start of the shoot-out was crucial to deciding the tie, and the 22-year-old could not be blamed for any of the Shrews' three goals in regular play.

His penalty save out of the top drawer and crucial to Town's entry to the next round to face the Peterborough.

Ed Upson is another whose status surely rose on Shropshire soil. After a couple of ineffective years and a late reprieve when looking certain to leave after failing to gain a regular reserve team place, Upson is now on the verge of a regular first-team squad position.

He gave a hard-working midfield display after coming on after 45 minutes and rarely put a foot wrong. And his character and confidence was summed up by his willingness to put his neck on the line and take - and score - in the shoot out.

Shane O'Connor was another youngster who particularly caught the eye on a night when Town's playing future was shown in an excellent light.

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