Reserve boss praises his side's quality

RESERVE-team boss Steve Greaves praised his side's quality and resilience after 10-man Ipswich held on to secure a two-goal victory and lift the Champions Cup Chris Casement and Billy Clarke had given the Blue a half-time lead before Danny Haynes was dismissed early in the second half for violent conduct.

By Derek Davis

RESERVE-team boss Steve Greaves praised his side's quality and resilience after 10-man Ipswich held on to secure a two-goal victory and lift the Champions Cup

Chris Casement and Billy Clarke had given the Blue a half-time lead before Danny Haynes was dismissed early in the second half for violent conduct.

Petulant Haynes was sent off a couple of minutes into the second half after already clashing a little with full-back Gary Hart. The two squared up again a few minutes later, but this time Haynes moved his head towards the defender, and although no contact was made the referee showed a straight red.


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Haynes' sending-off marred a game that sparkled in the first 45 minutes but went cagey and tight in a rain-sodden second half.

Greaves said: “It is never a bad thing to win cups.

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“We started very brightly and were well worth the two-goal lead. Danny being sent off was unfortunate, but the lads did their jobs very well and were disciplined and organised.”

The game was played between the winners of their two respective regional divisions and held over from last season.

Greaves added: “In an ideal world it would have been played at the end of last season, but both teams had other commitments - but we decided to use it as a reserve game for this season and everyone's pleased.”

Town took a two-goal lead thanks to a combination of poor defending from Albion and breathtaking quality from Town.

The Seagulls had been given notice of Casement's attacking intent at corners when he nodded wide from a Matt Richards flag-kick after just five minutes.

When he was left alone again the Northern Ireland Under-21 international got the approach, take off and connection just right to put Town ahead on 19 minutes.

Clarke got the second six minutes later when he controlled a Jaime Peters cross on his chest, swivelled and volleyed in one movement to bury in a top corner from 18 yards. It was a goal of supreme class.

The impressive crowd of 730 had already seen glimpses of class from George O'Callaghan, whose brilliant vision was supplemented with superb long-range passes sprayed to Richards and Peters.

He also showed how to tackle in the middle of the park and generally controlled the midfield.

Richards played well and struck the bar with a free-kick, and he was denied at the death by a super block by Kerry Mayo.

Brighton had their moments, with Shane Supple called on to make a couple of good saves from skipper Jake Robinson and Joe Gatting.

Robinson, coming back from injury, showed his slipperiness by skipping away from O'Callaghan and Clarke before shooting from range, which the keeper gathered.

Bas Savage and Paul Reid had both been involved in the Carling Cup loss to Cardiff the night before but showed no ill effects as they pushed and probed.

Savage got down the right flank well to put in a couple of decent cross while Reid forced Supple to push away a free-kick at full stretch.

Doug Loft lofted a free-kick over the bar and then flashed a shot across goal, while a low cross from Hart evaded everyone in the six-yard box and Cobb clipped the crossbar late on.

Town's skipper on the night Fabian Wilnis, who was sure-footed at the back, handed the captain's armband to Michael Synnott, who lifted the cup presented by former Football League and Colchester United chairman Peter Heard.

Wilnis said: “Michael was skipper last year and did very well, so this was his moment.”

It is not the first time Wilnis has been involved in reserve-team success. In 2002 he played a part in Dale Roberts' side's Premier Reserve League title race, when a certain Pablo Counago scored four goals in the campaign and Darren Bent hit 21 goals in 22 games.

Ipswich Town Res: Supple, Castro, Synnott, Trotter, Casement, Wilnis, Peters (Upson 74) O'Callaghan, Haynes, Clarke (Rhodes 62) and Richards. Subs not used: Tooms, Williams and Plummer.

Brighton & Hove Albion Res: Sullivan, Hart (French, 87), Fogden, Reid, Cobbs, Mayo, Loft (Wills 87) Savage, Elder, Gatting and Robinson. Subs not used: Beda, Louis and Winterton.

Referee: John Hopkins (Colchester)

Attendance: 730.

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