Report: Ipswich Town Under 21s beat Crewe Alexandra 4-2 at Playford Road
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Monty Patterson returned from a seven-month injury lay-off with a goal, as Ipswich Town’s Under 21s beat Crewe Alexandra 4-2 yesterday.
The New Zealand Under 23 international broke his ankle in a game against Leeds United in August and, in his first game back, opened the scoring as the Blues claimed victory at Playford Road.
The young side looked to be cruising to victory as goals from Patterson, Myles Kenlock and Conor McKendry gave them a comfortable 3-0 lead, before late strikes from Daniel Udoh and Liam O’Neill set up a nervy final few minutes.
However, with the visitors pushing for an equaliser, Charlie Brown broke the offside trap to bring Josh Emmanuel’s superb pass under control, before finishing confidently past the goalkeeper to secure the win.
For Patterson it was a successful return as he found the net on his first appearance in seven months, while looking sharp throughout and taking his goal well.
In the centre of midfield Kundai Benyu, who himself recently returned from injury, linked up well with Adam McDonnell as the pair moved the ball around well and brought wingers McKendry and James Blanchfield into the contest regularly.
Emmanuel and Kenlock were both solid at the back and ambitious in attack, getting forward throughout, with the latter superbly setting up Patterson’s goal before scoring the Blues’ second himself.
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The young hosts came out the traps quickly, with a slick move involving Patterson, Shane McLoughlin and McKendry ending with McLoughlin having a shot blocked, before McKendry shot wide minutes later.
It was then the turn of home keeper Jacob Marsden to see some action as he made a good stop to deny George Cooper, before the winger then shot wide, with the Ipswich stopper denying Cooper again minutes later before bravely diving at the feet of Udoh to smother the rebound.
Ipswich kept pressing and McLoughlin fired over the top after Blanchfield had knocked Emmanuel’s cross into his path, but the young Blues weren’t to be denied for much longer.
Full-back Kenlock confidently drove from the middle of midfield to the edge of the Crewe D, before threading a masterful pass into Patterson who, despite Richards getting a strong hand to his shot, was able to finish to mark his return with a goal.
The young Blues weren’t content with a single-goal advantage, with Benyu and McDonell passing the ball with confidence, and soon made it two as, after creating the first, Kenlock fired home a rasping drive as the ball fell nicely for him following a ball into the box was only partially cleared.
The lead was extended in style, within seconds of the restart, as Blanchfield’s ball was finished superbly by McKendry as he volleyed home from just inside the box.
That seemingly killed the game but, with a little over 15 minutes left, Udoh grabbed one back as he followed up well after Marsden saved his initial effort, before O’Neill picked up Udoh’s flick on to beat the Town keeper with just under 10 minutes to go.
The game was sealed though as Brown broke clear and slotted past Richards to complete the scoring, before Crewe’s Perry Ng was sent off late on for dissent.
Ipswich Town: Marsden, Emmanuel, Kenlock, McDonnell, Fowler, Smith, Blanchfield, Benyu (Downes), Patterson (Brown), McLoughlin, McKendry (Jones).
Subs not used: Hayes, Cole.
Crewe Alexandra: Richards, Morgan, Pickering, Finney, Ng, Neal, Howell, Atkinson, Udoh, Brown, Cooper.
Subs: O’Neill, Hilton, Lowery, Quinn, Dale.