Roberts stakes a claim

Dartford 1 Ipswich Town 3GARY Roberts staked his claim for a place in the Ipswich Town first team for Saturday's Coca Cola Championship opener against Sheffield Wednesday with a goal at Dartford last night.

By Elvin King

Dartford 1 Ipswich Town 3

GARY Roberts staked his claim for a place in the Ipswich Town first team for Saturday's Coca Cola Championship opener against Sheffield Wednesday with a goal at Dartford last night.

On a splendid pitch, but with at times a thunderstorm producing torrential rain, the Blues beat their Ryman League opponents comfortably.


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And Roberts, pictured right, who was left out of the squad for Sunday's win over Panathinaikos, showed he was fully fit by lasting 80 minutes and notching the opening goal in the 35th minute.

Billy Clarke won possession to blast in a second goal soon after the interval, and George O'Callaghan collected the third goal with an excellent left-foot finish with two minutes to go.

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Earlier Dartford made it 2-1 when Shane Supple was beaten from a free-kick that skidded through on the wet surface.

Frenchman Sylvain Legwinski came through unscathed playing 65 minutes before being replaced, and he will also be a candidate to replace the injured Gavin Williams in the Town midfield against the Owls.

Town coach Bryan Klug was in charge of last night's game, and said: “It was a thoroughly worthwhile exercise in difficult conditions.

“It was just what we wanted against good opposition, and we came through with no injuries.”

Performances by O'Callaghan, Clarke and Sito caught the eye.

Ipswich team: Supple, Sito (sub Watson 75 mins), Synnott, Casement, Wilnis (Murphy 69), Trotter (Rhodes 51), O'Callaghan, Legwinski (Upson 65), Richards, Clarke, Roberts (C Williams 81). Unused: Plummer.

Attendance: 649.

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