Joe Garner goal gives Ipswich Town friendly victory at Colchester United
Summer signing Joe Garner scored his sixth goal of pre-season as Ipswich Town defeated Colchester United, 1-0, in a friendly at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Garner climbed the highest at the back post to power home Myles Kenlock’s teasing cross, after the full-back had been played in by Bersant Celina.
After a poor first half, the arrival of Celina, in particular, gave the Blues an extra edge – the on-loan Manchester City winger forcing a fine save from Sam Walker and looking pacy, direct and skillful throughout.
Former U’s goalkeeper Dean Gerken started in goal, while Dominic Iorfa, Adam Webster, George Fowler and Myles Kenlock made up the back four, the former two playing at centre-back.
Conor McKendry and Adam McDonnell were handed starts in midfield, with Danny Rowe and Tristan Nydam completing the engine room, which was missing Luke Hyam, Emyr Huws, Tom Adeyemi, Cole Skuse, Andre Dozzell and Teddy Bishop through a mixture of injury and illness.
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David McGoldrick partnered Ben Morris in attack, with a number of senior players on the bench.
Rowe and McKendry contrived to miss Town’s best opportunity of a dire first half.
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First, Rowe’s long-range chip from 45 yards, after goalkeeper Walker had scampered out to clear a McGoldrick through ball, hit the underside of the bar. Young winger McKendry then followed in the rebound, but could only head the ball into the U’s stopper’s hands.
Former Ipswich man Tom Eastman went close at the other end, his hooked shot being cleared to safety by Adam McDonnell, before the same player flashed a shot over the bar from the resultant corner.
The introduction of Celina at the break immediately lifted Town and within two minutes of the restart he had set up Rowe, whose shot was deflected wide for a corner, before forcing Walker into a fine one-handed save, the winger’s curling effort being palmed wide of the far post.
It was another half-time sub though, Garner, who gave Town the lead, the former Preston and Rangers man heading home powerfully at the back post after Kenlock, who was fed down the line by Celina, floated a tantalising ball up towards the back post.
Town made seven more substitutions with 20 minutes to go and moments later the U’s created a half-chance that went begging, Sammie Szmodics unable to get a touch on substitute Lewis Kinsella’s deflected cross-cum-shot.
Sears almost doubled Town’s lead with three minutes remaining, the former Colchester man forcing a good save out of his ex-team-mate Walker, at the near post, the ball going out for a corner.
U’s: Walker, Jackson (Vincent-Young, 73), Lapslie (Slater, 78), Kent, Wright (O’Sullivan, 78), Szmodics (Issa, 78), Kpekawa (Kinsella, 63), Murray (Loft, 78), Eastman (Wynter, 73), Mandron (Johnstone, 63), James. Subs: Barnes, Gilmartin.
Town: Gerken, Fowler (Chambers, 46), Kenlock (Knudsen, 70), Webster (T Smith, 70), Iorfa (Spence, 70), McKendry (Celina, 46), McDonnell (Downes, 70), Rowe (Ward, 70), Nydam (Bru, 70), McGoldrick (Sears, 70), Morris (Garner, 46). Subs not used: Bialkowski, Folami, Webber, Patterson, Chris Smith, Crowe.
Referee: Tim Robinson