McGreal back for Blues
JOHN McGreal made a winning return to action as Ipswich Town won 2-0 at Boston last night but is refusing to make the mistake of rushing back too soon.
JOHN McGreal made a winning return to action as Ipswich Town won 2-0 at Boston last night but is refusing to make the mistake of rushing back too soon, writes Derek Davis.
Goals from Ian Westlake and Alun Armstrong secured victory over a game Boston United side but seeing a host of Town stars at various stages of coming back after injury was of primary importance.
McGreal went on at half time, along with Matt Bloomfield, who has also recovered from a serious knee injury.
The former Tranmere defender was his usual calm and assured presence and the watching Joe Royle will be delighted to have him back in the fold.
McGreal said: "It was just what I needed, the contact was important and with one big man and one nippy forward it was ideal for me.
"To say I'm desperate to play is an understatement but I'm still a fair way away and I can't do what I did last season and push myself back too quickly. I hope to involved on Saturday at Bury but I will take it steady, building a game at a time."
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Bloomfield was also looking his old terrier-style self, eager to get involved and make things happen.
The Blues went ahead on the quarter-hour when Ian Westlake hit a long-range beauty to beat Steve Croudson.
Alun Armstrong hit the second seven minutes from time with a first-time effort from 20 yards which took a slight deflection after Dean Bowditch played him in.
Although seven of the starting XI have first-team experience it was really a strong reserve side fielded by Town. They reverted to a 4-4-2 with Bowditch and Armstrong up front with the younger of the partnership producing some sparkling runs, but couldn't find the target in the first half, although he forced the Pilgrims' keeper into making a good save with an outstretched leg.
Jermaine Wright, skipper for the night, relished the time and space he was allowed in the vast expanse of midfield in the York Street stadium and pinged the ball around with aplomb.
Nabil Abidallah also looked lively and Westlake put in the miles as usual and showed some clever touches.
Former Town striker Richard Logan had little opportunity to test Andy Marshall, although his strike partner Stuart Douglas went close with a couple of efforts and had a shot saved off the keeper's legs.
Marshall's main danger came from Simon Rusk free-kicks but he dealt with them comfortably.
FIFA referee Uriah Rennie controlled the match well but ran out of patience with the eager and strong Aidan Collins and showed him a yellow card after a series of crunching tackles, but his later flurry of cards were a tad unnecessary.
Boston United: Croudson, Sutch, Chapman, Ellender, Greaves, Hocking, Bennett, Rusk, Douglas, Logan (Duffield, 65) and Potter. Substitutes not used: Balmer, L Thompson, Higgins, Beevers, Clarke and Redfearn.
Ipswich Town: Marshall, Mitchell (McGreal, 46) Richards (Hogg, 61) Kamara (Bloomfield, 46) Collins, Nash, Abidallah (Morrow, 75) Wright, Armstrong, Bowditch and Westlake. Substitutes not used: Pullen, Morrow and Hogg.
Referee: Uriah Rennie (Sheffield) Attendance. 1,257