Leroy Lita scores the winner as Ipswich Town win 1-0 at Braintree, while Crystal Palace’s Owen Garvan won’t rule out a return to Portman Road
Leroy Lita scored the winner as an Ipswich Town XI won 1-0 in a friendly at Essex non-league side Braintree Town tonight.
Lita was one of six triallists to play for Town at Cressing Road in front of watching Blues boss Mick McCarthy, the match a testimonial for the Conference Premier host’s long-serving midfielder Bradley Quinton.
French striker Achille Campion and Mauritian midfielder Kevin Bru also featured for Town, the latter’s free-kick proving too hot to handle prior to Lita sweeping home in the 36th minute.
Lita and Campion were withdrawn at half-time, while Bru was subbed in the second half.
Former England Under-21 international Lita, 29, struggled to make an impact with Swansea after his £1.75m move from Middlesbrough in 2011 and he was released at end of last season after starting only four Premier League games during his time there.
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The former Bristol City and Reading man had a spell on loan with Brighton & Hove Albion in the first half of last season, making five substitute appearances and scoring one goal.
Campion, 24, played college and university football in the United States and has recently been on trial with Sheffield Wednesday and Yeovil.
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Paris-born Bru, 25, spent time at various French clubs before making a reported 250,000 Euros move to Levki Sofia. Last season he made two appearances for the Bulgarian side in the Europa League. He switched international allegiance in 2011 and has two caps for Mauritius.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace midfielder Owen Garvan has not ruled out a return to the Blues.
The 26-year-old – who made more than 150 appearances for the Blues between 2004 and 2010 after coming through the club’s academy – made just two Premier League starts last season and finished the campaign on loan at Millwall.
“It looks like my days as a Crystal Palace player are numbered and hopefully I’ll get something sorted in the next couple of weeks,” said Garvan. “My agent is talking to a few Championship clubs and the most important thing for me is to go somewhere where I’ll play regularly, because there is nothing worse as a footballer than being on the bench.”
On the possibility of returning to Ipswich, he said: “I spoke to Mick (McCarthy) earlier in the year but for whatever reason the move didn’t happen. I’m not ruling anything in or out at the moment.”
Ipswich’s first team play at Essex neighbours Colchester United tomorrow night (7.30pm).
Town started their pre-season campaign with a 4-0 win at Irish second tier side Shelbourne and then drew 0-0 at home to Premier League outfit West Ham at Portman Road last Wednesday. On both occasions manager McCarthy named a completely different side in each half.
Summer signings Bartosz Bialkoswki, Jonathan Parr, Alex Henshall and Cameron Stewart should all feature at The Weston Homes Community Stadium, while Stephen Hunt could make his first appearance of the summer after recovering from a calf problem. Youngsters Darren McQueen, Teddy Bishop and Jack Marriott could also get some more game time.
Tickets and car-parking spaces are still available.