Strikers keep on firing

AIF Mjallby 1 Ipswich Town 3GOAL-getting Ipswich continued to show they have serious firepower with a three-goal first-half salvo against Swedish side Mjallby last night - and they also took a large step towards solving their defence frailities.

AIF Mjallby 1 Ipswich Town 3

GOAL-getting Ipswich continued to show they have serious firepower with a three-goal first-half salvo against Swedish side Mjallby last night - and they also took a large step towards solving their defence frailities.

Mjallby lead their regional section in the Swedish Third Division but were no match for lively Ipswich, who did a professional job.

Managed by Soren Cratz, who won the Swedish championship as boss at Hammarsby, Mjallby made Town work and it was another important step up in the Blues' fitness levels.


You may also want to watch:


The shape of the side also looked good, even with so many second-half changes, and defensively they looked much improved with Drissa Diallo and Richard Naylor in central defence and Georges Santos in a holding midfield role.

The loss of skipper Jim Magilton after just five minutes due to a hamstring pull was a worry, although coming off quickly was precautionary and Ian Westlake stepped in with great aplomb.

Most Read

The front three once again looked sharp and the impressive Marcus Bent opened the scoring on 11 minutes.

Pablo Counago was the supplier and Bent's shot squirmed under the keeper's body.

Bent turned provider for Town's second in the 25th minute when he played a one-two with Darren Bent, who finished with a sweet first-time shot from 10 yards.

Counago deserved the pat on the head too, after his clever running had pulled a defender away.

The Spaniard had a goal disallowed for offside, more's the pity, because it was another excellent piece of inter-play between him and Marcus Bent. And the elder Bent was also flagged when he tapped in to finish another swift move.

He got the goal he deserved to make it 3-0 at the break, when he tucked away a square pass from the unselfish Darren Bent, after good play from Tommy Miller.

All three also scored in the 4-2 win at Southend on Tuesday and look frightening - long may it last.

England under-21 forward Darren Bent drew praise from the appreciative Swedish crowd after a classy piece of dribbling from deep inside his own half after Diallo had neatly tidied up at the back.

Javier Broto had a nervous start with handling and kicking looking suspect and he was caught off his line by a 35-yard shot by substitute Frederik Ohlsson in the 79th minute, seconds after Diallo came off.

But he also produced an acrobatic tip-over save to deny Thomas Westergren from 20 yards and made another good stop to punch away a fierce Daniel Nicklasson drive.

There were four changes at half-time, with all three forwards getting a deserved rest.

Dean Bowditch tested the keeper from 10 yards and missed with a close-range header, although Alun Armstrong's chipped cross was a little too high for him. Naylor had a close-range effort stopped, Martijn Reuser had a couple of long-range shots blocked while Armstrong looked sharp.

Santos was commanding in the holding role and Diallo looks a terrific acquisition in what is becoming a sturdy back line.

Line-ups

AIF Mjallby: Olsson, Bengtsson, Sentfen, Svensson, Westergren, Rhen, Nicklasson, Jonasson, Hiir-Salakka, Ekenberg and Augustsson. Subs: Sjofors, D Nilsson, J Nilsson, Cederberg, Hrnjic, Ohlsson, Micalski, Hakansson and Erlandsson.

Ipswich Town: Broto, Wilnis, Makin, Naylor, Diallo (Collins, 78 mins), Santos (Murray, 46), Magilton (Westlake, 5), Miller (Abidallah, 63), Counago (Armstrong, 46), D Bent (Bowditch, 46) and M Bent (Reuser, 46). Subs not used: Price and Nash.

Attendance: 1,703.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus