Makin off at half time for reserves

CHRIS Makin's comeback from injury ended in disappointment when he was forced off at half-time as Ipswich reserves went down by a single goal to Coventry City.

CHRIS Makin's comeback from injury ended in disappointment when he was forced off at half-time as Ipswich reserves went down by a single goal to Coventry City, writes Derek Davis.

The defender was making his first appearance in a Blues shirt since his operation to try to rectify a hip problem at Christmas with high hopes of a return to first-team action.

But Makin was never comfortable in the first 45 minutes and faces an anxious wait over the next 12 hours or so to see what sort of reaction there is.

Reserve team boss Steve McCall last night said: “It was a disappointing night all round as we looked comfortable at nil-nil but ended up losing to a late goal.

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“It would have been made a little bit more bearable if Chris had come through alright but he had to come off at half-time.

“We won't know if it is a setback or not until he has had time to recover from this game and see how it settles down but it didn't look particularly good.”

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There was further disappointment when Dean Bowditch failed to make much of an impression as he strives for a breakthrough back into the first team.

Bowditch is regarding as a bright hope for Town who need as much help up front as they can get at the moment. His intelligent reading of the game and terrific finishing could aid the ailing Town attack but he was given little opportunity to shine at Nuneaton Borough's Manor Park last night.

Bowditch made his debut for Ipswich last year against Norwich and made an instant impact with the Blues scoring twice after he went on a substitute and ended up victorious.

He may be included in the squad to travel to Carrow Road on Sunday unless a loan striker is brought in before then, but that is still looking unlikely.

Blues boss Joe Royle is still keeping the identity of his targets close to his chest but has made no secret that he is not happy with the relative lack of goals from his front men.

With just three weeks left before the transfer deadline on March 25, time is running out, but Royle refuses to just bring in any old striker.

He said: “The people we want are not available just yet but that could change any time so we keep on trying.”

Town's defensive woes got no better with the news that John McGreal will miss Sunday's derby game at Norwich with knee ligament damage.

The central defender tweaked the medial ligament in a knee during the 2-0 defeat at Stoke City and while it is not torn he is expected to be out for at least a week, possibly two.

Skipper Jim Magilton is also a doubt with an ankle injury and a sore thigh but it would take a lot for the Ulsterman to miss out.

Norwich have injury worries too with skipper Adam Drury a doubt after suffering a bruised hip in the scoreless draw with West Brom on Tuesday.

Jim Brennan is a ready-made replacement should the former Peterborough defender not make it.

Makin was the oldest player in a youthful Town team that were holding City at bay last night while never really creating much themselves.

Gavin Ward made a good save from defender Michael Synott early on but otherwise was rarely bothered.

McCall said: “Too often this season we have been looking comfortable at nil-nil but go on to lose by a single goal.

“That is down to a lack of determination or will to win which these young players need to develop for when they get into the first team.”

City included 17-year-old Everton midfielder Anthony Barry in their line up along with former Arsenal and Colchester striker Graham Barrett who has faded from the first team scene at City.

Coventry City reserves: Ward, Whing, Giddings, Osbourne, Cooney, Briscoe, Hall, Barry, O'Donovan, Barrett, Nicell. Subs: Brush, Mackey, Yazdani, Noon, Oddy

Ipswich Reserves: Price, Synott, Barron, Patten, Collins, Makin, Mitchell, Kamara, Morrow, Bowditch, Boardley. Substitutes: Sobers, Flack, Manning, Reid.

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