Town draw

Premier Reserve League (south)Ipswich Town Res 0 Southampton Res 0By Derek DavisA SPIRITED teenaged Town reserves denied high-flying Saints the chance to move into second place and kept a clean sheet in the process.

Premier Reserve League (south)

Ipswich Town Res 0 Southampton Res 0

By Derek Davis

A SPIRITED teenaged Town reserves denied high-flying Saints the chance to move into second place and kept a clean sheet in the process.


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(A clean sheet, for Town first-team followers, is when the opposition don't score against you.)

The young Blues started brightly with Scott Mitchell turning smartly to get in a shot, but Andrew McNeil pulled off an excellent save to tip his shot around a post.

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Matthew Mills, the teenager who gifted Town victory at Coventry with an own goal while on loan at Highfield Road, handled the ball in the opening minute but the referee must have deemed it ball to hand and refused a penalty.

The lively Darryl Knights fired in a vicious effort that the keeper could not hold but it was scrambled clear and the Saints stopper was more confident in taking a drive by the same striker.

Antonio Murray had a shot from a good Matt Richards cross deflected onto the angle of post and bar midway through the second half but chances were few and far between.

Fears that Shane Supple had broken a toe proved unfounded and he started with 40-year-old coach Andy Rhodes backing up on the bench.

Relieved Rhodes, who would have been among the first team substitutes at Watford on Saturday but was not registered in time, was not required as Supple put in an almost flawless display.

The 17-year-old Supple showed no discomfort to pull off good stops to push away a Leandre Griffith drive and turn round another effort by Andrew Surman although the best was probably when David McGoldrick was clean through but could not beat the promising young keeper.

The all-Academy side, with defender Richards the most senior player, kept the Saints at bay with Jerrome Sobers clearing his lines three minutes before the break when Aaron Davies beat Supple with a lob.

Davies was also denied with a header from a corner as Supple tipped over his bar.

Steve McCall was forced to reshuffle his side minutes before the game when Chris Hogg pulled out sick, with Liam Manning promoted from the bench into midfield with Mitchell going to right back.

With Danny Higginbotham the most experienced Saint on show, the lively young Blues showed plenty of energy to cause Southampton problems in the second half. Chris Baird, whose agent confirmed Town's interest after he was reported as a possible summer target, was another with first-team appearance and played in the FA Cup Final the season before last.

Ipswich Town Res: Supple, Manning (Synott, 85) Richards, Murray, Collins, Sobers, Flack, Mitchell, Knights, Atay, Craig. Subs not used: Lordan, Rhodes, Hammond.

Southampton Res: McNeil, Baird, Cranie, Gillett, Mills, Higginbotham, Griffit, Davies, McGoldrick (Walcott, 66) Jones, Surman. Subs not used: Poke, Anaclet, Sparv.

Referee: Mr G Evetts.

Attendance: 423.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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