Luton Town 0 Ipswich Town 2 report: Youngsters shine as David McGoldrick brace sees Blues progress
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David McGoldrick scored both goals as Ipswich Town won 2-0 at Luton Town in the first round of the Carabao Cup tonight.
The League Two hosts played their part in an entertaining knockout tie, but the Blues’ extra class showed on a very encouraging evening in Bedfordshire.
Teenage duo Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam produced performances which belied their tender years in midfield, while Manchester City loanee Bersant Celina excited with his direct running and trickery.
McGoldrick took his two goals coolly – firing low across the keeper in the 34th minute and deep into stoppage-time – as Town booked their place in round two for only the second time since they reached the semi-finals in 2011.
The Blues lived dangerously at times in the first half, but gradually they found their feet and their higher level status increasingly began to show. Following on from Saturday’s encouraging 1-0 win against Birmingham, there was certainly more evidence of an easier-on-the-eye passing approach.
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The only negative from the evening was Adam Webster going off at half-time with what looked like a tweak of the ankle injury he has only just recovered from, though replacement – teenager Luke Woolfenden – was also assured.
Celina – playing very much as a striker – had already delivered a few ominous driving runs on his debut. The Kosovan international was integral to the opener, receiving Nydam’s forward ball, skipping past his marker and supplying a sublime pass for McGoldrick to calmly stroke back across the keeper and into the bottom corner.
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Luton had their chances though. Elliott Lee curled inches past the post in the 39th minute, then missed a sitter deep into first-half stoppage-time when blazing over an open goal after Dean Gerken had parried Jordan Cook’s effort back into danger.
The Hatters – who started with eight of the team that thrashed Yeovil 8-2 on Saturday – refused to lie down. The closest they came to an equaliser though was when Gerken tipped an Elliot Lee volley wide.
Town continued to impress. McGoldrick saw one deflected shot tipped over, then finished things off following Dominic Iorfa’s fine pass inside. The draw for the second round is on Thursday.
LUTON TOWN (4-4-2): Stech; Stacey, Cuthbert, Rea, Sheehan; Cook (Mullins 86), O.Lee (Gambin 74), Mpanzu, Shinnie; E.Lee, Collins.
Unused subs: Shea, Senior, McQuoid, Bainson, Musonda.
IPSWICH TOWN (5-3-2): Gerken; Iorfa, Chambers, Webster (Woolfenden 46), Knudsen, Kenlock; Skuse (McDonnell 72), Downes, Nydam (Waghorn 63); Celina, McGoldrick.
Unused subs: Bialkowski, Webber, Rowe, Sears.
Referee: Andy Haines